Day 36: Tuesday, 16 April
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
1 I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
3 He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
5 The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.
As a counter to yesterday’s psalm. We’re going up to the Holy City, to Mount Zion. The writer pours out his confidence in the Lord God’s ability and readiness to help, protect and watch over him in all conditions of life. Where does my help come from? The Lord, of course!
God is able and ready to watch over each one of us day and night. He watches in the mundane things, our going out, our coming in, our visit to the supermarket, at the hairdresser’s, walking in town, driving to work, on the bus. Every common task of our daily lives is covered.
There is a caveat. In order for God to take care of us in the commonplace, we need to commit ourselves to Him in the commonplace. I’m not saying that God will only respond to those who ask, but if we are to see the truth of this psalm evident in our lives we need to consider and rejoice in God’s goodness to us in the commonplace as well as in the spectacular. God’s watching over us in the small events of life are no less important to him than watching in the big events. We may easily forget that, and can easily fail to give God the honour for the way he preserves us from all harm, and checks our movements day in, day out.
Do you commit your car journeys to God before you turn the ignition key or press the start button?
Do you pray on the bus for a safe journey for everyone?
Do you uphold the supermarket cashier in prayer as you queue up with your trolley?
Father God, you care for me in a way that goes beyond my understanding. What am I, that you should care for me! I commit to you my goings out and my returns from this day forward. Amen.
– a positive, confirming confessional acknowledgement of God’s providence.
– Hebrew with subtitles
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.