The God who keeps Israel: Psalm 121
Regular readers here will already know my penchant for singing Psalms in public worship. I hope that’s made a few of you think as to how to incorporate them into your services. My practice is to have at least one Psalm in every act of worship. This takes place in a section of the service where we listen to God’s Word read, we then sing God’s Word in a Psalm and then God’s Word is preached from the pulpit. My aim is to let the Word of God sink into the ears and hearts of God’s people. And there are very few better ways to get people to remember things than to sing them.
As I’ve gone on in my ministry a few Psalms have become firm favourites. Psalm 121 is one of those. You can find it at number 726 in Rejoice and Sing. It’s sung to the tune Dundee (French) which, in my opinion, fits the words beautifully.
I to the hills will lift mine eyes;
From whence doth come mine aid?
My safety cometh from the Lord,
who heaven and earth hath made.
Thy foot he’ll not let slide, nor will
he slumber that thee keeps.
Behold, he that keeps Israel,
he slumbers not nor sleeps.
The Lord thee keeps; the Lord thy shade
on thy right side doth stay.
The moon by night thee shall not smite
Nor yet the sun by day.
The Lord shall keep thy soul; he shall
preserve thee from all ill;
henceforth thy going out and in
God keep forever will.
We live in a time of great uncertainty for the church in this country. The old denominations (like ours) are dying. Government seems to be going out of its way to annoy people of Christian conviction for no good reason. The rock of Biblical authority has been chipped away at by those without and within the church. What might the future hold for my daughter as we seek to bring her up in the faith?
These things are nothing new. Every generation of the church will have had faithful people crying out for help and guidance from God. Thankfully, God has given us this Psalm to remind us of where our eyes should be looking and where our hope should rest.
This Psalm reminds us that God is a faithful God who has great power – he created all things! He is also a God who is always there – he’ll never be asleep on the job! When it comes to the safety and security of God’s people we can trust the covenant promises of God despite outward appearances.
I commend the singing of this Psalm to you. Try it without accompaniment like these folks: