This is one of the “Song of Ascents” a Psalm for singing on journeys to festivals to Jerusalem. It’s a travelling Psalm, asking the Lord to bless the journey!
The first two verses are on of those chiasms – an arrow where the main point is in the middle not at the end as we would normally right. Cultures that write with chiasms think more middle line than bottom line!
Look at creation (hills)
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
Look at creation (the heavens and the earth)
On a journey there may be bad things (lions, snakes and eaurgh spiders!) or bad people like robbers and bandits. So I need help! God is my help – look at creation he made it.
On commentator points out that Where does my help come from? may not even be a question – there’s no punctuation in Hebrew. A question has a word like Where, how and who and a change of word order. Poetry often also makes the same word order. So it could be a statement like – How cool is that! Who’s the boss now! Oh yeah – The Lord is our helper!
The next verses are like a priestly blessing a benediction to pronounce at the start of the journey
God is our helper, He is our protector
- From accidents – he won’t let you slip v3
- He doesn’t sleep – unlike Baal in 1 Kings 18:27, where Elijah taunts the Baal priests asking if their god is asleep? The Lord doesn’t sleep or nap. He’s always alert!
- He’s our keeper – always present. Where can we flee from God’s presence? (Psalm 139 nowhere is the answer!)
- He is our shade when things are heating up! v5 Then he protects from moonstroke (the moon was often thought to be associated with madness). God’s Spirit will keep us in a sound mind if we allow Him to drive out fear(2 Tim 1:7)
- God protects us from all evil, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus – whatever we go through, what ever we face. I love that Northern Irish pastor telling of suffering Covid-19 and asking God for a can of coke and packet of Tayto crisps and God protectings and keeping him through a cleaner – watch the testimony
- In all our comings and goings – the Lord is with us and will keep is in all the transitions of our lives, in the every day warp and woof of life and from now and forevermore!
Praise God that Jesus gives us abundant life, life to the full now and forever more and that His presence is with us in the power of the indwelling Spirit at all times.
God is good!