A Song of Ascents.1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore. (NKJV)
This is one of the more familiar Psalms is it not? But it is one with deep assurance for you and me as Believer's in Christ Jesus. It is also full of Presuppositionalism -- (yeah - I'm reading VanTil.)
According to MacArthur, this Psalm is part of the "Great Hallel", psalms that were sung by the Jewish pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem on 3 different occasions. 1) The Feast of Unleavened Bread; 2) The Weeks/Pentecost/Harvest; and 3) The Ingathering/Tabernacles/Booths.
This particular Psalm has an unknown author to us. We see God in four ways: as Helper in verses 1 and 2; as Keeper in verses 3 and 4; as Protector in verses 5 and 6; and as Preserver in verses 7 and 8. As I read thru this verse 1 strikes me as coming from someone far away from his destination. As the writer, we today are looking to the Heavens for Christ's return, we look towards the hills for our Savior. The Psalm is noted as a Song of Ascents. A moving towards a destination, a progress towards a goal. In the previous Psalm 120:5 the writer talks of living far away in Meshech, he dwells in the tents of Kedar, upon further study this reveals he is living amongst unbeliever's and is drawn towards his longing, his heart's desire for the temple worship.
Side Note: The church I attend has people who drive an hour or more to attend this church. They have no Orthodox Prebyterian Church near them and are strongly bound to the reformed faith and teaching here that they travel this road to be at their church and worship their Lord on the Lord's Day. I am talking atleast 10 families do this. Our drive is about 1/2 an hour and we enjoy the ride to church but it is so refreshing to be amongst people who strive (drive) for the longing of their heart and the truth of the Word of God. They have to leave their home at 7:30am during the winter months to be there for 9:30am Sunday School. And they have kids!!!! And they arrive smiling and have the joy of the Lord!!!
In this Psalm we have one part, it's our only mention -- verse 1 -- "I will lift up my eyes to the hills." This is my responsibility. Look Heavenward. "From whence comes my help?" The writer is not looking to creation but to the Creator for his help. The rest of this Psalm is all about Him. The writer asks one question and receives his covering. 24/7 covering. Let us take a deeper look into the covering, our covenant blessings we have ...
vs. 2 -- LORD here as our Helper. YWH LORD (Strong's #03068) Meaning: The Proper name of the one true God. The existing One. The second part of verse 2 explains Him: "Who made heaven and earth."
vs.3 & 4 -- LORD here as Keeper. (Strong's #08104) Meaning: keeper, watchman, guard, restrain, to be kept, etc. "He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber." Here is the 24/7 watch. Moved: Strong's #04132 -- shaking, tottering, bar of yoke. The bar of yoke keeps us from shaking and tottering and moving in the same direction does it not? Towards Him not away from Him. Slumber: Strong's #05123 -- drowsy, sleepy. Our Lord is on guard of us with never a moment of drowsiness. Remember when the disciples were in the garden with Jesus and they couldn't even stay awake? He does not slumber on us. Ever watchful, ever faithful, ever loving. Sleep: Strong's #03462 -- to be asleep, sleep. He never sleeps, at all. He loves us all - Jew and Gentile - Israel. Pagan gods slept and needed to be awakened - what assurance is found here? none.
vs. 5 -- LORD as Protector. We already looked at keeper so let's move on to Shade. Shade: Strong's #06738 -- shadow, shade. Here again we see our covering at our right hand. When we are in need we put out our right hand, asking for help. Our place of human need. Jesus is our Mediator at the right hand of the Father, meeting the needs of our right hand in our humanness.
He is our protection.
vs. 6 -- around the clock protection - remember 24/7! Strike: Strong's 05221 -- smite, slay, stricken, beat, slaughter, wounded, given. WOW! We would faint if we knew what protection we have had, will have and are being given at this very moment. Satan wants us, to sift us as wheat, to beat us down, wound us. There is a battle raging beyond anything we can comprehend.
vs. 7 -- Lord as Preserver. Same word as Keeper in verse 5. Same Strong's #. What comfort in those first 3 words. The LORD shall -- no blinking here, no having to think twice -- just do it. He just does it for his beloved. Herein is found the peace that passes all understanding. He preserves us from evil, He preserves my soul. Now folks, I have to say what I believe. How can you teach that you can lose your salvation? When you read this verse folks, how do you see that I can lose my salvation? Only if I never had it in the first place is all. My soul He holds in the hollow of His hand. Do you think He is going to let it slip through His fingers?????!!!!! Our names as believer's is written in the Lamb's book of Life - do you think He would erase it? How sweet and precious is this to you I ask? Do you know him folks? Does He hold your soul to never let you slip away? I pray it is so, if not, Hell is going to be your lot. Let's look at the word soul. Soul: Strong's #05315 -- soul, life, person, creature, mind, heart, desire, appetite, emotion, passion. Look at those -- does He hold your heart? Your mind? Is every thought captive to Him? Your desire? Is it for Him? Is your appetite for Him and His word? Your emotion for Him? Your passion a passion for Him, to serve Him with all your being? This is deep -- you could talk on and on just about this one sentence! But you stray away and what does He do? He preserves you and brings you back around to His course for your life. His will.
vs. 8 -- He preserves our going out and our coming in. From this time forth (the day of your conversion) and even forevermore. Evermore: Strong's #05769 -- long duration, always, perpetual time, everlasting, ancient, unending future, ETERNITY!!!
Take some time and read Psalms 120 thru 123 and find comfort this Lord's Day. Find joy in your salvation and in your Lord. Herein we have our confidence thru the covenant promises which have been secured for us through the obedience of Christ.
Side Bar: http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/PA195.htm is a link to read about VanTil's Presuppositionalism by Greg Bahnsen.