Looking unto the Hills of God! (Psalm 121:1-2)
Psalm 121 is one of 15 Psalms of degrees (or ascents).
These Psalms are commonly referred to as pilgrim psalms, which the Jews are said to have sung on their journeys up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts.
As Christians we are said to be pilgrims and sojourners. (Heb. 11:9-10, 13-16; 1 Pet. 2:11).
The Christian life is like one long journey. We are constantly on the move toward the heavenly city. As pilgrims and sojourners…
-we don't want to put our tent pegs down too deep; we must always be ready to move on to higher ground.
-we don't want to have earthly ties that will hinder our progress.
-we can't afford worldly ambitions and lusts that will turn us out of the way of our journey.
-and as pilgrims and sojourners we need to travel light. We don't need a lot of extra baggage. Some Christian's lives are so convoluted with unnecessary baggage of worldly and carnal things that sojourning is almost an impossibility.
As this pilgrim Psalm implies, the pilgrim journey is one of progressive ascents; or upward steps. We are to be constantly moving onward and upward. We shouldn't be satisfied in the lower plains of carnality and spiritual ignorance; but rather moving on…
-to higher plains of sanctification, holiness, and godliness.
-to higher thresholds of spiritual growth & understanding of the things of God in the Word of God.
-to greater elevations of experience in our Christian service.
-to higher plains of fellowship and communion with Christ.
This Psalm was written to encourage the Lord's people as we travel on our pilgrim journey.
It was especially written to remind us and encourage us to meditate upon God's preserving power at work in the lives of His chosen people as we travel the road to glory.
1. The dangers and troubles of the journey (vs. 1)
The very fact that we need help implies that our journey will have its share of dangers and troubles.
There are difficulties in the road itself, which include…
-the frequent obscurities in the road and the wrong turns that we make as a result.
-pitfalls and snares of sin in the road.
-times of spiritual darkness that come over our way.
-steep and treacherous places of great difficulty.
-harsh elements in the way because of the curse (heat, rain, cold).
There are enemies in the way…
-there are false teachers and false guides, who would lead us off course.
-there are wicked and worldly minded men who taunt and defame us, and temp us to turn out of the way.
-there is Satan and his host of evil demon spirits whose occupation it is to hinder and destroy the people of God.
There are temptations in the way…
-the vanity fair of the world, which entices our natural senses to commit sin of every sort. How they appeal to the eyes and the ears, and to the fleshly appetites of the old man!
There are the trials and troubles of the flesh…
-sickness, all manner of infirmities and pains.
-heartaches caused by sin in our lives, and the lives of our loved ones.
-then there is the old man that wars against the new man of the Spirit.
-and what about the mental anguish of depression & despair?!
2. We must see our need to look up for help (vs. 1)
We must recognize our need of the Lord's help.
-We can't make it on our journey alone. Too many Christians want to fight their battles in their own strength. We just can't do it! We are not strong enough for the battles that we will face. We will brake down; we will fail and falter in the strength of the flesh.
We need to realize that our help comes form the hills, or mountains of the Lord.
-Vain is the help of men.
-Vain is the help of the world.
-Oh that we as God's people would seek help from on high! And from the Word!
Best of all, the Lord wants us to look unto Him for Help…
-He takes pleasure in helping His chosen people.
-He is an ever-present help in time of trouble and need.
3. We want to see what some of the mountains of the Lord are (vs. 1-2)
We need to look unto Mt. Zion in heaven…
-unto the very mercy seat and throne of grace in Heaven itself.
-we have rightful access into Heaven as the children of God.
-were invited to come, and to come boldly unto the throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need!
We need to look unto the Mountains of spiritual truth found in the Word of God…unto God's attributes and His mighty works:
-To the mountain of His omnipotence (He has all power, nothing He can't do).
-To the mountain of His omniscience (He has all wisdom and knowledge).
-To the mountain of His omnipresence (He is everywhere at all times).
-To the mountain of His immutability (He never changes-the same yesterday, today, and forever).
-To the mountain of His mercy (He is plenteous in mercy, His mercy endures forever).
-To the mountain of His love (His love is sovereign, immutable, and everlasting).
-To the mountain of His faithfulness (to His covenant, and to all his promises He made to His people).
-To the mountain of His sovereign grace…
--His election and predestination (He chose us unto salvation complete).
--His divine effectual calling (the gifts and callings of God are without repentance).
--His particular redemption (He bought us with His blood, He will keep us).
--His divine preservation; which leads us to our last point and the theme of this Psalm.
4. God preserves His chosen people.
He keeps our feet from slipping (vs. 3)
-He upholds us through those especially difficult places in the road. Those times when we feel like we're ready to slip and fall on the jagged rocks below!
He doesn't slumber or sleep (vs. 3-4)
-He is not only ever-present with us, but He's always awake! His eyes are always upon us His chosen people (Israel); to keep us from falling.
The Lord protects us from the harsh elements of the curse (vs. 5-6).
-that is, from all those evils of life that befall men because of Adam's sin.
-the curse of sin is hard, but God preserves His people from many of its effects.
The Lord will preserve us from all evil (vs. 7)
-From Satan, the world, evil men, false guides, our old nature- all evil!
-He preserves our soul- that is, our eternal state as well as our physical lives.
-The Lord will preserve us through all our journey, and on into eternity (vs. 8).
As a child of God this morning, are you looking unto the hills of God for your help with your problems and difficulties in life?
-Learn to trust Him, and to look unto Him for your help.
-The Lord will abundantly help, and supply all your needs.
Do you know this Lord God that we've been speaking of today?
Learn to trust Him as your Savior-
-Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
-Believe He died on the cross for your sins.
-Believe He was buried and rose again the third day for your justification.
-Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be eternally saved!
(Sermon preached by Pastor Burke at the Faith Baptist Church of Lawtey, Florida)