“The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever” (121:5-8).
I once read a study in which the authors had interviewed many men and women, asking them to rank, on a scale, the least to most powerful emotions they had experienced. The men? I’m not sure, but it had to do with something related to happiness, you know, experiencing happiness at getting stuff you want. The women? Relief. Think about it. You might be expecting the worst of news only to receive good news. How overwhelmingly joyful is the relief at hearing that news!
David testified, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side -- let Israel now say -- if it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive” (124:1-3). Israel might have expected to be swept away, to be swallowed up, to be destroyed by her enemies. Rather, David’s and Israel’s testimony was: “Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (124:6-8).
For us, what relief, what joy in discovering that, rather than facing wrath and eternal judgment, in Christ, we have the forgiveness of our sins and life that is abundant and eternal! One moment condemned, another realizing that the Lord is on our side!
Safe beneath his spreading shield
His sons securely rest,
Defy the dangers of the field,
And bear the fearless breast.
Our help is in Jehovah's name,
Who form’d the heav’ns above;
He that supports their wond’rous frame
Can guard his church by love. -- Joel Barlow (18th century)