For a man who lives by a code, so to speak, it felt like a major failure. What’d I do? Well, I fell asleep. Our kids have a curfew to meet when they’re out for the evening. They’re good kids, but my practice is to wait up until I hear their hands turn the front doorknob. I want to know they’re home safe. I don’t have to do this: I choose to. But one night I awoke to my daughter saying through a smile, “Dad, I’m safe. You should go to bed.” Despite our best intentions, sometimes fathers fall asleep at their posts. It was very humbling, and also very human.
But that never happens with God. Psalm 121 is a reassuring song about Him as guardian and protector of His children. The psalmist declares that God who watches over us “will not slumber” (v. 3). And for emphasis, he repeats that truth in verse 4: He “will neither slumber nor sleep.”
Can you even imagine? God never falls asleep at His post. He is always keeping watch over us—the sons and daughters and aunts and uncles and mothers, and even fathers. It’s not so much that He has to do this, but rather that, out of His great love, He chooses to. That promise is definitely something to sing about.
In what ways do you sense God’s presence? When you don’t, what truths can you depend upon?
Psalm 121 is a song of ascent that would have been sung by worshipers on their annual journey to Jerusalem. The assurance that God “watches over” His people is repeated five times (vv. 3, 4, 5, 7, 8). The psalm is structured poetically into four couplets, each with a different theme, but all pertaining in some way to God’s protection. Verses 1 and 2 reverently declare that help comes from the “Maker of heaven and earth.” Verses 3–4 emphasize that He never slumbers as He watches over His people. Verses 5 and 6 proclaim His protection over Israel both day and night. And verses 7 and 8 point out God’s eternal protection both “now and forevermore.”