18 May Psalm 121 – Certainty in Uncertain Times
Have you ever been scared? Maybe scared of the dark when you were younger or perhaps afraid of getting lost in the park? A common theme seems to be found in the things that scare us most. Our fears are often centered around uncertainty. We fear what we can’t see. We fear what we don’t know. We fear the “What if’s.”
What if someone in my family gets sick? What if I have to take online classes and don’t get to have the “college experience” my freshman year this fall? What if my teacher chooses me to speak in front of everyone on Zoom? What if…?
This is where the author of Psalm 121 finds himself. He’s faced with uncertainty as he travels along the road to Jerusalem. Often times, thieves and outlaws would hide in the hills, waiting to grab travelers, rough them up, and take their belongings. This, combined with the fact that travelers faced the possibility of inclement weather or dangerous animals made this an anxious journey! In a way, this sounds a little bit like the journey we call life. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves constantly worried about the “What if’s.”
Thankfully, as this Psalm reveals, we’re not on this journey alone. We do have help and it comes from the LORD! In the midst of our anxiety and fear over what might happen, we must remind ourselves of this truth. Why? Because of who God is.
In this Psalm, we’re reminded that God is the Maker of the mountains (v. 2b), the Securer of our souls (3a), and the Protector of our paths (3b-6). He is the LORD (“Yahweh”) which means He’ll never change (v. 7-8)! (For a further explanation on the meaning of God’s name, read this article.)
In our minds, our problem is often big and our God is small. But the Bible teaches that the exact opposite is true! Because of who God is, what’s big to us is small to Him. You see, when God is magnified, our fears are minimized.
Along the road of life, there’s going to be hills. You’ll find yourself frightened, anxious, worried about the “What if’s.” But when those times come, don’t forget to look past those “What if’s” to the God who Is. What do you do when fear suddenly grips your mind as you stare at the mountains? You simply look past the mountains at the One who made them. “My help comes from the LORD”—that makes all the difference.
- If you were walking down a road that could be dangerous, what would be going through your mind?
- What are some “What if’s” in your life that worry you? (i.e. What are you worried may or may not happen in the future?)
- Why does it make a difference from where/who our help comes?
- What does Psalm 121 reveal about the LORD?
- Of those things that are revealed about the LORD in this Psalm, which one means the most to you?
- Read Matthew 6:25-34 together. What sticks out to you in this passage?
- How is Jesus’ command to not be anxious in Matthew 6 relative to the truths found in Psalm 121?
- Why is it so important for you to preach to (remind) yourself about who God is and what He’s done for you?
VIDEO: If you weren’t able to join us this past Sunday, you’re welcome to watch the recorded Zoom session here. (teaching begins at the 9:30 minute mark)