Psa. 121:1-8 HANG ON, HELP IS COMING!
Intro: The superscription to this Psalm tells us that it is a "Song
of Degrees." That is, this is a Psalm that worshipers would sing as they made their
way to Jerusalem to participate in the three great annual feasts; Passover, Pentecost and
Tabernacles. With that in mind, it is plain to see that this is a pilgrim's song. It tells
of the dangers of the journey, and of the help God provides along the way.
Verse 1 is not a declaration of hope, but rather, it is a cry of
despair. The Psalmist is telling us that danger is lurking in the hills above and is
waiting for an opportunity to pounce upon the weary traveler. When this happens, where can
the pilgrim turn to for help? The psalmist answers his own question be reminding us that
the Lord is our help!
May I remind you this evening that we are pilgrims? Our pilgrimage began
the very moment that we received Jesus as Lord and Savior and it will continue until we
step out of this life and into eternity. My what glories await us when we finally get
home! Along the way, however, there are dangers lurking all around. There are thieves that
would rob us of peace, joy and victory. There are sins that would quench the fire of God
in our souls. There are problems that would strip us of the glory and power of God. I
don't know about you all, but I have been through these difficult times myself. Times when
dangers surrounded my life and I wondered where my help would come from. You might be
there tonight! If so, then allow me to encourage you with this Psalm. If you are
struggling tonight, or are just aware that problems might be just around the next corner,
then this Psalm is for you!
Let's join the Psalmist for a few moments as he tells us about a source
of help Who is greater than any problem imaginable. In these verses, we will find help for
the journey. Notice the truths revealed here as we think on the thought, Hang On, Help Is
I. V. 2-4 THE SOURCE OF OUR HELP
A. V. 2 He Is Our Creator - The Psalmist knew
that his help would not come from the hills. (Ill. In times past, the hills had been
places of idolatry and false religion. No, help could not be found in the false!) The
Psalmist turned his attention to the Lord! He knew that the real source of his help was
Almighty God. He isn't referring to a friend or and ally, but to the Creator of the
universe. The idea is this, "If God can make this world, then surely, He has the
power to take care of me!" What a truth! Our helper is none other than the very One
who stood on the edge of nothing and made everything with the Word of His power. He is
able to help you and me - Eph. 3:20.
B. V. 3 He Is Our Confirmer - This verse tells
us that the Lord will not allow our foot to "slip." God knows how easy it is for
us to slip into sin and into discouragement. Yet, we must remember that He is ever with us
and has promised to sustain us with his presence and His power, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20. We
need to remember that the Lord has never made a house that fell, nor a foundation that
crumbled. There will be times when we feel like giving up and giving in, but we need to
realize that He has lifted us out of the miry clay of this world and has established our
goings. We are constantly being reinforced and help steady by the mighty hand of God, Psa.
(Ill. What this means to us is that we can count on the Lord to help us
along the way. In fact, the New Testament depicts the Lord, in the Person of the Holy
Spirit, as a "Comforter", John 16:13. He is pictured as One who comes along
beside us to offer help and assistance during our journey. He helps us to keep on standing
for the Lord.)
C. V. 3b-4 He Is Our Constant Helper - Not only
does the Lord know that it is easy for us to slip, He also knows that it is easy for us to
sleep. There are times when we grow weary and want to rest. There are times when we let
down our guard and get caught napping. But, not so with the Lord! He is ever awake and
ever active on our behalf. He doesn't weary, He doesn't tire and He doesn't fall asleep at
the switch. Therefore, there is no need for you to worry. There is no need for you to
fret. There is no need for you to lose one moments sleep at any time because of this
problem or the other. God is ever awake and is constantly on the job. What a blessing to
know that we can depend upon Him. (Ill. Lam. 3:23 - "Great is thy faithfulness.")
(Ill. Back in the days of WWII, the Germans were bombing London all
night, every night. After one terrible attack, the people of London began to search
through the rubble looking for the dead and the injured. After a while, all had been
accounted for but one old grandmother, a Mrs. Smith. They searched everywhere fro her and
finally someone found her in her bedroom, asleep in her bed. They were shocked and asked
her, "Mrs. Smith, how could you sleep with all those bombs dropping all around?"
Her answer is priceless! She said, "Well, the Bible says that 'He who keeps Israel
never slumbers nor sleeps.' I decided there was no use in both of us staying up, so I just
went to sleep and left it in the Lord's hands.")
I. The Source Of Our Help
II. V. 5-6 THE STRENGTH OF OUR HELP
A. V. 5 He Protects Us From Our Enemies - This
verse tells us that the Lord is our shade upon the right hand. In ancient times, warriors
carries two items into battle. One was the sword and the other was the shield. Normally,
the shield was carried by the left hand and the sword in the right. This meant that the
right side was vulnerable to attack since there was no shield of protection upon it. The
Psalmist is telling us that God takes up a deliberate, defensive position to protect us
where we are most vulnerable.
(Ill. we never know from where our attacks will come. Sometimes, we find
ourselves attacked in areas where we are weak. Our enemy knows all about our weaknesses.
Other times, we may find that we are attacked in areas where we are the strongest. Elijah
is renowned for his courage, yet he fled from the woman Jezebel. Moses' great strength was
his meekness, yet in anger he smote the rock and was forbidden to enter the promised land.
Abraham's greatest strength was his faith in the Lord, yet he went into Egypt in pure
unbelief. The whole point in this, we will be attacked, and we never know where the attack
will come from, but it never catches God off guard! He is always ready to shield us and to
protect us from our enemies!)
B. V. 6 He Protects Us From The Elements - In
this verses, the Psalmist speaks of two possible sources of harm that were common to the
ancient soldier. One was sunstroke, a dangerous condition where the body became overheated
and shut down. This condition could be fatal. The other was moonstroke, believed by the
ancients to be just as dangerous. Moonstroke, unlike sunstroke, did not affect the body,
but the mind. In ancient times, mental illness was thought to be caused by the moon. This
is where we get the word "lunatic" to refer to someone who has a mental
The whole idea is this, while we are subject to attack in our lives. We
are also subject to attacks in our bodies and in our minds. However, just as God will
guard us against the attack of the enemy from the outside, He will guard us from the
attack on the inside as well.
(Ill. Whether the attack is open, or secret. Whether it comes by day or
in the darkness of night. Be sure that God is aware of where you are and of what is
happening and He will always be there to protect you, to guard you and to give you the
resources you need to stand in the day of battle. God is our strong tower! Our greatest
gift in troublesome times is having Him to flee to - Psa. 91:4; Psa. 18:2)
I. The Source Of Our Help
II. The Strength Of Our Help
III. V. 7-8 THE SECURITY OF OUR HELP
A. V. 7 We Are Preserved From Evil - These
bodies are much like volcanos. At any moment, the sin that is pent up in us can burst
forth and commit any sin imaginable! This flesh which we carry around is utterly depraved
- Rom. 7:18! How can we ever hope to live for God? The answer lies in the Holy Spirit.
When we are saved, He moves in! When He comes, He comes with all the resources necessary
to overcome temptation and to say no to sin - 1 Cor. 10:13.
(Ill. Have you noticed how easy it is to sin? It requires no effort at
all. Why? 1.) We are born with a bent in that direction. 2.) We like it. 3.) We are good
at it. However, the Lord will help us overcome evil in this life if we have that desire in
our hearts. He will protect us from the evil one - 1 Pet. 5:8)
B. V. 8 We Are Preserved For Eternity - In this
verse, the Psalmist reminds us that the Lord will keep us while we are here, 1 Pet. 5:7.
And, that He will continue this ministry throughout eternity! Ours is a priceless, endless
guarantee. This is simply a reminder of the wonderful doctrine of the security of the
believer. In Jesus, we are preserved forever!
Conc: I am grateful this evening that I have these promises for my
journey. What about you? I am glad that I do not have to look to this ever changing for my
help and for my security. There is a great God in heaven who is interested in everything
that happens in my life. My burdens are His burdens, my problems are His problems, my
worries are His worries. My duty is to trust Him, and His duty is to take care of me. He
is always performing His duty! Am I performing mine? Do you need help from the Lord
tonight? If so, then come to Him and let Him meet the need you have.
Sermon By Alan