Psalm 121: The Shape of Help

We’ve been cutting out Christmas cookies and thinking about shapes. To some, the shape of a hill or mountain might be a fitting emblem of power. But according to what I read in Psalm 121, staring at “hills,” Capitol or otherwise, for our complete salvation is a useless exercise.

I want complete salvation.

After all, can someone who is only partially saved be really saved?

When it comes to “saving,” I want the whole cookie. Don’t you?

Jeremiah 3:23 says this quite well, and the expression is applicable to any difficulty at any time.

Truly in vain is the hope of salvation from the hills and from the tumult and noisy throng on the mountains; truly in and with the Lord our God rests the salvation of Israel.”

The rest of Psalm 121 describes my perfect salvation and rescue.

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From where shall my help come from?”

(My paraphrase—I’ve looked and seen that no effective human assistance is on the horizon.)

My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip or 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 side NOT carrying a shield)

The sun will not smite 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 forward and forevermore.

Forevermore.

My Prayer

Lord, when all else seems to crumble, give me the resilience to cling to You. You are The Salvation and my salvation. This season help my friends (and others) who struggle with illness, death, despair, sadness, helplessness, financial woes, loss, deprivation—Oh, God! Be their light even as you are mine, and as You’ve been light to all who’ve encountered darkness throughout all generations. Open our eyes to see the cradle-to-cross shape of Your Salvation. Illuminate fresh wonder in all who perceive! You are to be praised! Amen.

 

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