Psalm 121 (ESV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore..
Some Christians like to
contrast the “vertical” with the “horizontal” of the cross – the vertical
referring to a direct relationship we have with the Lord and the horizontal
referring to our relationship with our fellow men. This corresponds to the two
great commandments as stated by Christ: love the Lord and love your fellow men.
There is much wisdom in this dichotomy, particularly as we think about transitioning from Sunday morning to Monday morning. The “horizontal” reminds us that the sacrifice Christ made on the cross was as much about love of fellow man as about love of the Lord. Indeed, it was Christ who said that the second commandment, to love one another, was like unto the first commandment, to love the Lord.
With that said, I personally find Psalm 121 a powerful reminder that our help and our guidance ultimately flows from the Lord. Verse 2 says it directly, My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth, and verse 7 recognizes the continuing guidance of the Lord, The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
I don’t think it’s a startling confession to acknowledge that all too often I have none-too-Christian feelings towards those with whom I interact on Monday morning (and even occasionally on Sunday morning). So how am I to deal with, to wrestle with, this fact of life?
Well, we each have our remedy (count to ten; if you can’t say something good, say nothing; etc.) But there is a broader and deeper source of self-mastery, and I can speak from experience that more than once the Lord directly intervened to abate my anger towards someone I found particularly offensive. All I needed to do was open the door to Him.
Lord, Be with us every day of the week, and every hour of every day.