Read Psalm 121
“Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed . . .” (Dt. 16:16).
As the Israelites traveled up to Jerusalem in obedience to God, they would sing certain Psalms, the Psalms of Ascent. Psalm 121 is one such song they would use to worship Him as they scaled the incline, thighs burning, breath quickening.
I wonder if, as they sang this particular song, sometimes the Israelites lost sight of the reason for the climb. Did they sometimes lose their focus in the path’s unsure footing and forget why they even started the climb?
“I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where does my help come from” (v1)?
Did the Israelites find themselves searching the tops of those mountains for the hope they needed in order to keep up the pace? Did their eyes naturally wander over the hilltops as they sang the words?
“My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (v2).
Did they need to remember the One they would worship, the One to whom they would offer their sacrifices, was the very One who’d created the path they climbed to get there?
“He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber” (v3).
Did they worry about their footing? Was the rugged terrain sometimes too much for those ancient sandals? Did they need to remember He saw every step?
“The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night” (v6).
Did the Israelites get so hot that they’d worry about sunburn? Heat stroke? Did they need a reminder that God held the sun and the moon and lit the path they were on?
What about you? Do you sometimes lose sight of the hope God has called you to? The reason for the path you walk? I do.
Sometimes my path feels so rugged I’m not sure I can take another step without slipping and falling and getting all dirty and scraped up. There are times the sun feels so hot I can’t think to grab the only kind of water that will quench my soul’s thirst — the Living Water that is Jesus Christ.
Still, His promise stands firm. God will not let your foot slip. The Maker of heaven and earth will protect you, shield you, and never fall asleep doing it. In fact, He created the path.
He leads us on this path to worship Him just like He led the Israelites up those mountains all those years ago. He is worth the worship. He is worth the climb.