My Help Comes from the Lord

David Bast

Read: Psalm 121

The LORD will . . . keep your life. (v. 7)

I thought of this psalm years ago when traveling in Bhutan, a small, beautiful country in the Himalayas. From the road that wound through Bhutan’s steep valleys, I could see countless Buddhist prayer flags dotting the hilltops all around. Something like that sight greeted the psalmist as well. In ancient Israel, the high places were where the pagan shrines were located. Thus the question: “From where does my help come?” (v. 1). Do I look to the gods of this world or to the Lord who made it?

Our help comes from the Lord, the psalmist proclaims. God is constantly vigilant to care for us. Nothing can slip past him to harm us (v. 4). God’s protection is comprehensive; he guards us from accidents (our foot will not slip), and from diseases both physical and psychological (the sun will not strike us by day or the moon by night).

But now comes the problem. This psalm seems to promise too much. Are we literally given such blanket protection? Obviously not. Christians go out to car crashes and come in to cancer diagnoses every single day. So then, is the psalm false? Obviously not! Generations of believers have found wonderful comfort in the truth of the psalmist’s testimony: “My help comes from the LORD” (v. 2). He does protect and preserve me—either from all ills or through them. Nothing “in all creation” can “separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39). —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks for God’s providential care over your life.