Ascending to the House of God
In Distress for Help
Psalm 120 and 121
In Psalm 120 the pilgrim leaves his home in distress, calling upon the Lord to deliver his soul from the trouble and heartache he experienced from slandering tongues and a world of strife.
Added to that, God’s pilgrim was constantly aware that he dwelt in Meshech. Meshech was the son of Japheth. His descendants were the people to the north of Israel. They were commonly associated with Magog, the enemies of God and his people. Meshech here represents all false, antichrist, freewill, works religion.
Therefore he ascends to the house of God seeking relief from the distress felt in his soul, distress caused by the idolatry surrounding him in this world. Here are the longings of the believing heart under distress, finding comfort in the Lord Jesus. “In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me. Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue…Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech!”
Turning his eyes, his heart, and his mind away from all that troubled him, the pilgrim looks away to Christ on his throne in Psalm 121. He is our Help. He is our Keeper. He will preserve us from all evil. He will preserve our souls! “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” The temple was built on Zion’s hill. In it was the ark of the covenant and the mercy-seat, all eminent types of Christ. Let us ever come to the house of God looking to Christ, who alone is our Help. “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Every believing soul, looking to Christ for help, may say with confidence, “My help cometh from the Lord.” As Spurgeon wrote, “Help is on the road, and will not fail to reach us in due time, for he who sends it to us was never known to be too late.”
“He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
Like David, we sometime cry, because of our unbelief, “My feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped!” But our safety and security do not depend upon us. Israel does not keep himself. We are kept by our God and Savior. And he who keeps us never slumbers. He never sleeps. The Lord is our Keeper. He shades us from the heat of adversity. He preserves us from all evil. He preserves us when we go out in the morning and when we come in at night. And he will do so forever!
In all times, in all circumstances, though we may be weak and fainting, “He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness before him” (1 Sam. 2:9). His grace is sufficient. He is our Strength. O that we might have grace to confidently trust him!