Take Life’s Journey with the Lord
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - May 6, 2012
*One of the best trips Mary and I ever took was in the summer of 1976.
We went all the way from Florida to Canada, living in a pup tent.
Our vacation budget was $10 a day.
One night we really splurged and got a room at the “Space Motel” in Niagara Falls.
Mary put the receipt in the scrapbook she made.
Total for the room: $16.85!
We didn’t have a lot of money, but it was a great trip.
*Let me ask you: If your life is a trip, how is it going?
Are you going forward or backwards?
-- Maybe you feel like you are broken down on the side of the road.
But God wants to help you move forward.
God wants us to move onward and upward in life.
And with Jesus Christ we can.
*Psalm 121 can help us on our life journey, because it is a Psalm for travelers.
We learn this from the title, which calls Psalm 121 a song of “degrees” or “ascents”.
The original word means “a journey to a higher place,” and that’s the way people thought about going to Jerusalem.
*The Jewish people always thought of going UP to Jerusalem, in part, because the city was higher geographically.
For example, the 17-mile road from Jericho to Jerusalem goes up 3,500 feet.
But travelers mostly thought of going UP to Jerusalem, because the Temple was the spiritual mountaintop for the Jews.
*When the Jews went up to Jerusalem for the feasts, they had special songs to sing, and this Psalm was one of those songs.
-When Jesus was a little boy, He went up to the Passover Feast with His family.
-And they probably sang this song along the way.
*This is a Traveler’s Psalm.
And it reminds us that the best way to travel in life is to travel with the Lord.
Travel with the Lord, because He will help you like no one else can.
1. First: Jesus wants to give us the strongest help.
*This song reminds us of the Lord’s strength in vs. 1&2.
And all Christians can sing:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help.
2. My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
*The Jews traveling up to Jerusalem needed that kind of help.
The trips were long and dangerous for most people.
Scholars estimate that during Jesus’ earthly ministry, there were at least 12,000 thieves in the wilderness around Jerusalem.
They roamed the countryside like packs of wild dogs attacking innocent victims.
That road from Jericho to Jerusalem was so dangerous in those days that it was called “the way of blood.”
*Travelers were in real danger.
There were no interstates to travel on, or tow trucks to call with their cell phones.
They had reason to fear.
And they wanted to feel the same sense of security you and I want today.
*So, those travelers would sing this song about our strongest source of help: “My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”
You will never have stronger help than from “the Lord who made heaven and earth!”
*And the Lord they sang about in Psalm 121 is the Lord Jesus Christ.
HE is the One who made heaven and earth.
The Book of John put it this way:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2. He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
That was the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
(John 1:1-4 & 9-12)
*In 2004, scientists pointed the Hubble telescope at a blank-looking patch of sky near the Orion Constellation.
The Hubble stayed focused on that spot for 400 orbits over 11 days.
The patch of sky they were looking at is no bigger than a grain of sand held out at arm’s length.
And in that tiny patch of sky, they discovered over 10,000 galaxies!
*Not too long ago, astronomers thought that there were 100 billion galaxies in the universe.
Then the number jumped to 200 billion galaxies.
Today scientists think that our universe may have as many as 500 billion galaxies.
-Each of those galaxies has hundreds of millions of stars.
-And Jesus made them all!
*Listen to part of the praise from Psalm 89:
6. . .
Who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord?
7. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those who are around Him.
8. O Lord God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O Lord?
Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.
The north and the south, You have created them; (Mount) Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name.
You have a mighty arm; Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand.
*If Jesus Christ was strong enough to create the whole universe, then He is surely strong enough to take care of us! -- And He will.
-Jesus wants to give you the strongest help.
2. And He wants to give you His steady help.
*We see the Lord’s steady help in vs. 3-4:
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
4. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
*That word “keeps” is the picture of a guard carefully keeping watch over His people.
That’s how the Lord wants to watch over you.
And nobody can watch over you better than the Lord!
*He gives us steady help.
First in vs. 3, the Lord steadies us: “He will not allow your foot to be moved. .
-Now this must be talking about our eternal destiny as believers, rather than our everyday destiny, because all of us have stumbled (certainly physically).
*I remember one cold winter night back in the 1980s.
I hit a patch of ice on the sidewalk, and both of my feet flew out from under me.
It was kind of like a Road Runner cartoon.
I was hanging in the air for what felt like 3 seconds.
*All of us have stumbled both physically and spiritually.
But if we know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, God will never let us fall, because we are standing on the Rock of Ages!
*Jesus Christ is always able to steady us, because He is always steady.
In vs. 3&4:
3. . . .
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.