A famous Beatles song started this way – “Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody. Help! You know I need someone. Help!”
As the Israelites ascended the hill toward Jerusalem for worship, they expressed in Psalm 121 a similar sentiment – a desire for help.
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
I woke up singing this Psalm one day this week, its themes washing over me as I faced a new day. What captured my thinking as my eyes were barely open is the full extent of the help which is expressed here.
The psalmist begins by looking and wondering – who will be his helper? It is none other than the Lord himself, and no earthly helper can do what this helper does. He is the creator God, whose creation spans heaven and earth.
And this helper is also a keeper. In the ESV (as quoted above), the word keep or keeper is used six times. Other versions use the words protect, guard, or preserve. The repeated use of the same word, however, grabs my attention and drives the point home. This one who keeps is my keeper. And this keeper, this guard, watches my steps and never goes off duty. I think of Jesus’ question to his sleeping disciples in Matthew 26:40, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?” Our helper never sleeps. He is always watching and always keeping us.
He provides shade, and neither the sun nor the moon are an obstacle to his protection of his people. Both day and night, nothing that concerns me is too big for him. He keeps me in his ways and guards my soul. His help never ends.
Are you calling out for some help today? Don't settle for help from just anybody. Look up, and remember that your help comes from the Lord, your keeper!