psalm 121 the messagePosted by: | Posted on: November 27, 2020
C. He watches over you both now and forevermore Our faces are downcast. As the authors further explain, “Some interpreters refer t… Sunstroke was a real danger during the day, and there were often extreme changes of temperature between day and night. Tucker explains the structure of Psalm 121 as a division of four strophes (vv. Please check errors and resubmit. Read verse in The Message Bible And that’s why we need to look to God for our help. This image is heightened in verse 4a, where “the verb appears as a participle (shomer) and stands in a construct relationship with ‘Israel’” (732). I was a night watchman back in my seminary days, and there were times when I fell asleep on my watch, but not God. © Ray Fowler. will neither slumber nor sleep. CONCLUSION: We are on a journey to God, and Psalm 121 is a wonderful song for the journey. Devout Jews recite portions of this Psalm when they leave or enter their homes. Of course, God is that source, “but to speak it is one thing, to believe it is another. God provides this kind of 'help' because he is ‘the Maker of heaven and earth’” (732). Those who journey in this world are assured that God journeys with them and helps them—as the one who stands over all creation, as its Maker. Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Psalm 121 subverts these prevailing notions of the deities, for as the “Guardian of Israel,” Yahweh remains on watch to protect his people, neither slumbering nor sleeping. Psalm 121 MSG - A Pilgrim Song I look up to the - Bible Gateway. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. Throughout the Bible the sun and the moon are used to represent rulers or powers over the physical environment. Conversely, a God who stands over all as Creator yet fails to intervene personally remains equally problematic. And because God never slumbers nor sleeps – that means that you can! He is your body guard. And that means you do not need to worry or to be afraid of anything. I also pray for their spiritual growth, that God would grant them victory in their fight against sin, that they would know and follow God’s will for their lives. First of all, the Creator is your helper. Q: Weâre seeking help for one reason or another, for one circumstance or another. How would you live if you truly believed that you are currently in, and have never actually left, His shadow? This is God’s world, and God’s providence means that nothing can happen to you outside of God’s will and providential care. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” There is a very simple message here: God never sleeps, slumbers or naps. The name Yahweh in the Old Testament pointed to God’s covenant relationship with Israel. Let this psalm build your confidence—and celebrate God’s providential care along the way. 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. For Instructors and School Administrators. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (1 Kings 18:27) The implication here is if your god is sleeping when you need him, then you don’t have much of a god, do you? Website: http://www.rayfowler.org. You can also check out the Top Posts page to get a feel for the site. Click here to return to the Sermons page. Occurring six times in the final three strophes, the verb shamar (‘to guard,’ ‘to protect,” or ‘to watch’) is translated by the NIV as “watch.” However, Tucker explains, “the watchful care of Yahweh must not be limited to passive observation; rather, Yahweh ‘watches’ over Israel by providing protection” (732). II. The Psalms offer an important message to those who long for sleep in the midst of life’s anxious times. Look at verse 6: “The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.” (Psalm 121:6), The travelers to Jerusalem faced many dangers along the way. Of course, the reason the psalmist is looking “to the mountains” is because that’s where his help comes from, help that “comes from the Lord.” However, Tucker reveals that the English rendering of the Hebrew term ‘ezer as “help” or mere “assistance” doesn’t do the term justice: In its nominal form, “help” occurs twenty times in the Old Testament, with thirteen of those occurrences referring to Yahweh’s ability to save and deliver. In verse one the psalmist asks “Where does my help come from?” And in verse two we get the answer: “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2) Where does your help come from? Psalm 121 has a thematic center, writes Tucker: In verses 3–8 the theme of Yahweh as the “guardian” of Israel or the one who keeps watch (shamar) over Israel is the fundamental claim in the psalm, as suggested below. But praise God you don’t have to choose. Point: In the course of the tests and trials of such great Biblical characters such as Moses, David, Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and so on, the common characteristic they share is concern for maintaining their spiritual walk even more than overcoming the difficult circumstances before them. But don’t stop there. In reality, we are on a journey preparing us for eternal life in His presence. he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches(C)over Israel. Look at verses 3-6: “He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. It reminds us where our help comes from and infuses us with confidence: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” W. Dennis Tucker Jr. unpacks the true depths of this message by offering sound exegesis and application of the psalm in the new commentary Psalms, Volume 2 (NIV Application Commentary), co-authored by Tucker (who covers Psalms 107-150) and Jamie A. We read in Psalm 37: “The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24) There are no accidents for those who put their faith in Christ. Are you looking high enough? Add Psalms, Volume 2 to your library today in order to grasp the original meaning, exegetical context, and contemporary significance of these precious Hebrew poems, hymns, and prayers. This is in contrast to the pagan gods we meet in Scripture. By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. God watches over every aspect of your life. This is another example of the Hebrew language using a pair of opposites to express totality: your comings and goings and everything in between. 1–2; 3–4; 5–6; 7–8): The first strophe provides an overarching thematic claim for the entire psalm, namely, the Lord will be the psalmist’s helper. A: He knows that without His help, evil could overcome us. We tend to look down when we’re in trouble. As the authors further explain, “Some interpreters refer to this literary device as a ‘stair-step’ technique— the vocabulary connects each line as the reader moves through the psalm” (730), and connects the main theme over the course of the poetic movements. A Song of degrees. Friends? And when we look at the lives of great followers of God, we see this combination of breath-taking risks with an almost brazen confidence of being safe in God’s hands” [Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason, 172] (737).
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