The individuals of ancient times viewed the mountains in many ways. There were bandits hiding in the mountains; ancient pagan religions built their shrines on mountains; and for Israel, Jerusalem was built on the mountains; Jerusalem the “Holy City”.
The traveler’s reflections quickly turn from the mountains to God, whom he acknowledges is the only one who can provide protection everywhere. The traveler therefore places his trust in God.
He then goes on to state that God’s protection is even in the smallest of things: “He will not let your foot slip.” This protection is constant as God never sleeps; here the reflection speaks to the pagans who thought their “gods” often dozed off.
In verse four the traveler moves the idea of the protection to Israel, that is, to God’s people. What is first ex-pressed in individual terms now turns to the fellowship of believers. Here we also see again a strong emphasis on God’s protection, as expressed with the word “watch” being repeated three times in verses 3, 4, and 5. Finally, the Psalm closes by moving into the future: God’s protection will always be present.
As Christians, the reading of this Psalm should provide an assurance that God is with us in all our circumstances of life. While it is not a guarantee that nothing will harm us, it is an assurance that in those difficult situations of life, “God is with us.” As Christians, in reading this Psalm, we can affirm that God’s grace and love are present in countless ways. Ultimately, His protection extends to all of life so that we do not succumb to the seduction of Satan.
- George Faul
Union Church, Community in Christ, East Westmoreland, a new church start, and their pastor Donna Gage
First Baptist Church, Exeter and their pastor Dee Swilling
Rich Warren, First Vice-President, ABC/VNH