Psalm 121, 123-125, 128-130
Today’s Bible reading is 7 Psalms, each titled “A song of Ascents”. They were written to be traveling songs. I know there isn’t much traveling going on right now, but remember when we would travel to visit family and friends and exciting destinations? Remember the great fun of planning a trip and hitting the open road – though sometimes there were unplanned surprises around the bend.
Several years ago, right after church the three kids and I were taking the 2 hour jaunt from our hometown in northern Indiana up to my native Grand Rapids, Michigan to enjoy a Sunday dinner with my extended family. Half-way there, my tire blew and we were stranded on the side of a busy highway. I did what I could in my dress in the rain, but it quickly became obvious I was going to need some help (and this was back when all my kids were shorter and weaker than I was). How fortunate for us that an off-duty police officer who was taking his son to the circus saw us in our distress, covered us with his protection, gave of his time and changed our tire for us. With great relief we thanked him, watched them leave and continued on our way – for a matter of yards. It didn’t take much for our old spare tire to shred to bits and there we were on the side of the road again, with no spare and our Good Samaritan just out of sight and getting further and further from us. But with one phone call, my brother left the family dinner table, drove an hour, brought my parent’s spare tire that fit my van, changed the tire and followed us all the way to our destination.
There was no doubt I knew I was very protected and watched over and blessed on that journey, even though it was far from the journey I had planned or expected. The journey was not without trouble or danger or delay. It didn’t go according to my time schedule. But my God was watching over us every step (and tire) of the way.
In today’s psalms the Israelites are traveling up to the temple – to Jerusalem on Mount Zion – to worship the One who never forsakes them. They don’t have to worry about flat tires, but there would have been many other possible dangers along the way. In the 8 short verses of Psalm 121 the word “keeps” (also translated “watched over”) is used 6 times. How comforting to remember the times – over and over again – that God has watched over the Israelites. And the times that God has – over and over again – watched over me. And, this protector is not weak. He is not asleep. He is not surprised. He is here. He is powerful. He is the Creator of the Universe. And He cares for you and for me. We must lift up our eyes to seek Him and acknowledge Him.
You may not be planning a trip today – but you are no doubt on a journey. A journey of life that includes some unforeseen challenges and flat tires along the way. Sometimes we will feel weak and stranded. But, Praise God, we are being watched over. The Maker of Heaven and Earth is keeping us safe. He is not sleeping on the job. We can rejoice in rising up to thank the One who protects and guides and cherishes His children, even when our journey has some bumps along the way.
Also, remember God often uses people to do His work. How will you be a part of God’s rescue of someone who feels weak and stranded and perhaps ready to give up? How will you provide protection from the dangers on the road? Maybe you thought you were off-duty and heading to the circus, but God will show you someone who needs your help along the way. You will arrive just a little later and a little wetter to the circus; but, someone will know you cared – even if you couldn’t provide a permanent fix. Maybe you will be the brother who leaves the feast to help someone in need get going in the right direction. God has provided for you. He has blessed you and supplied you with what you need to be a very valuable part in His rescue of others. Rejoice in the way He has watched over and provided for you – and let Him use you today.
Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+121%2C+123-125%2C+128-130&version=NIV
Tomorrow we continue the events of David’s life as we begin 2nd Samuel, chapters 1-4 on our journey through the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan. It’s a great time and place to jump on and travel with us. Look up and seek Him!