He Watches Over You

December 13, 2020

David Sorn

Look not to the mountains, but to the One who made the mountains! He is with you every step of your journey!

He Watches Over You

December 13, 2020

David Sorn

Look not to the mountains, but to the One who made the mountains! He is with you every step of your journey!

SERMON TRANSCRIPT | Psalm 121: 1-8


Morning. David Sorn. Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church..

Some of you have already been listening to Christmas music since, sinfully before Thanksgiving…

And maybe, a number of times, already you’ve heard the classic Christmas song, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Emmanuel…is a name given to us for Jesus.

It means “God with Us”

It’s meant to remind us that God is near to us…and with us.

And not only that, but that He sent His Son to be with us.

We’re in the middle of a series called, “Songs from the Heart”

Where we are teaching through a number of different Psalms in the Bible.

The Psalms are songs, that the people of God sang long ago.

And in this crazy, and oftentimes, difficult season of our lives, we need to sing out to God…from our heart…to remember that He is WITH us!... EMMANUEL.

In fact, if you’re having a hard time, and you’re looking for a place to read in the Bible right now, try the Psalms.

Today we’re going to look at one of the Psalms of Ascent…Psalm 121

In the Bible, there are 15 “Psalms of Ascent”

All of the Psalms from 120 to 134 are labeled “A song of ascents”

What does that mean?

Well, to ascent, is to move upward.

And 3 times a year, every Jew was asked to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for 3 annual festivals (like Passover)

And Jerusalem, is situated up in the hills…the mountain.

So, no matter where you were coming from, as you journeyed towards Jerusalem, you were ascending upwards towards the annual festival.

And the Jews would literally sing these Psalms, the Psalms of Ascent as they journeyed towards Jerusalem for Passover, or Pentecost, etc.

Pretty cool.

So, grab a Bible, and let’s take a look at one of these “Psalms of Ascent,” Psalm 121

Or you can always use the Renovation Church app

(Bible – Weekly verses)

I want you to picture the Jews journeying up to Jerusalem as we read our Psalm for this week

(Psalm 121:1-8) – NIV

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.


As you study Psalm 121, you’ll see that there are really four different dangers that the pilgrims are facing on their journey to Jerusalem and back.

And kids…don’t picture like “Pilgrims from Thanksgiving…”

A “pilgrim” is just a person on a spiritual journey

Just like the pilgrims from Thanksgiving left England on a journey to come to America so they could worship Jesus freely

Each danger for these travelers takes up 2 verses in the Psalm

They have a general need of help (verses 1-2)

A person’s foot could slip (verses 3-4)

There are the dangers from the elements (the hot sun, etc.) – (Verses 5-6)

And there’s the danger from harm (or some translate that as evil) (verses 7-8)

That’s the danger of being attacked by robbers or bandits on their journey

And so as they travelled in groups from their villages towards Jerusalem, they literally sang this very song.

To remind themselves of the Lord’s protection.

In fact, I want you to begin to think through the dangers you are facing.

Because they’re different than the songwriters.

You’re not on a scary literal journey across difficult terrain…

But you are on a journey…

A journey of life…

And what are the pitfalls you are fearing right now?

What’s keeping you up at night?

What are you afraid might happen in your life?

Is it the fear of getting sick?

Is it a financial fear of what the future may bring?

Is it the fear of how long you might have to stay isolated from loved ones?

This Psalm is teaching us to speak (or, sing!) truth into our lives.

And specifically, it wants you to “Look not at what may hurt you, but who watches over you!”


Look at the first two verses again:

(Psalm 121:1-2) – NIV

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He’s looking for help…where can He find it?

It’s not coming from the mountains, but from the one who made the mountains!

He is the one who watches over you.

The same Hebrew word that’s translated either as “watches over” or “keeps you from harm,” is used six times in this Psalm.


God is showing you that he’s watching over you at all times…through every part of your journey.

“When you’re awake, when you’re sleeping,” it says.

By day and by night

When you’re coming and going.

In the present and for forevermore

You don’t need to be up all night worrying…my friend…go to sleep

You can rest, because God is watching over you.

Too many of us, myself included some nights…

…are up half the night…like our minds are on some sort of “Guard Duty”

Like it’s our job to think through all of the possible dangers that might befall us…so we better stay away and think through them!


His yoke is easy and his burden is light.


You can sleep because He doesn’t sleep.

Remember what Moses told the people when they felt trapped in by Pharaoh’s army on one side and the Red Sea on the other?

(Exodus 14:14) – NIV

14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

And even if trouble shall come your way, and you enter into a difficult season of life.

God is still with you.

His plan is right.

And even if the worst trouble should fall upon us, our souls are still safe with our Father in heaven.

And we will spend eternity in heaven in His glorious presence.

This Psalm always reminds me of the popular Casting Crowns song from the mid-2000’s…

“Praise You in this Storm”

It’s a song about how God is worthy of praise…even through immense pain.

And the bridge of the song is basically just the first 2 verses of this Psalm

“I lift my eyes unto the hills…where does my help come from…my help comes from the Lord…the maker, of Heaven and earth”

And that song, and this Psalm always reminds of me of a story from really early on in my ministry.

I was just starting in youth ministry…and one of my key volunteer leaders lost his mother-in-law to a sudden heart attack.

One day she was fine, the next, she had a heart attack and died at the age of 53.

Thankfully, she was a believer in Jesus.

And at her funeral, we sang this song.

And the hundreds of believers in the worship center cried out to Jesus…

I mean...CRIED OUT to Jesus…through their tears…that they would still praise Him in this storm of losing their mother, their sister, their friend…at such a young age.

By the way, you haven’t seen “worship,” until you see people praising God at a funeral

But during the first part of the song, the people cried out their pain to God….

And then we got to the bridge of the song…

And we sang…. “Where does my help come from??”


I literally had never even met the woman, and I started to cry.

God had not left us alone.

He was still with us.

Helping us…watching over us.

And was still worthy of our praise.

And he had not left this dear woman either.

Because, in the end, as His followers, our souls are safe with Him, even if everything falls apart around us.

I think it’s important for us to remember that God cares so much more about our hearts & souls than our physical bodies and what’s happening to our earthly, temporary tents.

We focus so much on our physical health, financial situations, and earthly comforts…to the point where we even question God when those things aren’t perfect.

But, remember God is with you even when it appears things aren’t going the way you planned.

His plan is higher than your plan.

Trust in His goodness.

Sing of His goodness.


And keep your eyes on Him.

It is so easy to look at what may hurt you, but not who watches over you

Keep your eyes fixed on your Father in heaven through whatever storm you’re in.

Not that long ago, I was randomly reading a bit about tightrope walkers.

As you might assume, when walking high on a tightrope, tightrope walkers have to constantly adjust their balance.

If an hip goes down here, they have to lower a hip there

If a shoulder raises here, they have to raise a shoulder there

But they don’t keep their balance by looking at their body

And yet every new student…who begins to master the skill of tightrope walking always makes the mistake of looking down at the wire to see if they have the right footing.

But if you watch a professional…and you look at their eyes…

They don’t look at their feet

They don’t look at the wire

And they certainly don’t look at all of the objects way below

They keep their head up, and look at where they’re going

Let me ask you an important question:

What are you looking down on as you walk on the tightrope of 2020?

What are the objects you’re always afraid you’re going to fall on?

Honestly, it might be hard to pick just one thing.

Because the truth is, most of us have overloaded ourselves with information from news, to social media, to other people’s opinions…

And MOST of these things are not creating peace in your life…they’re creating fear…

…and your spending a ton of your mental space thinking about things that you might fall down on…

My friend, I plead with you…make God’s Word the first thing that fills your mind.

We have got to be a church that is grounded first in his Word not the information systems of the day.

And doing this could be as simple as what one of my college friends texted me the other day…he said:

I’ve got this new habit…before I do anything else, “I make a point that the first thing I READ each day…is my Bible. And the first thing I LISTEN to each day…is worship music.”

What He’s doing is he’s fixing his eyes on the right place

He’s fixing his eyes not on the mountains in front of him and all the places his foot might slip…

He’s fixing his eyes not on the mountains…but the one who made the mountains…the one who watches over Him.

SO look at Him

And don’t stop.

Don’t stop.

Even when thing seem bleak.

This reminds me of my favorite scene in all of the Lord of the Rings movies

It comes from the end of the 2nd movie, the Two Towers

Our heroes are corned in the castle of Helm’s deep.

They are losing the battle and it looks like they will be overrun.

So they decide they will all ride out in one last honorable charge

But just as they’re getting ready to charge, they look up to the mountains…

Here comes Gandalph the White…back from the dead…charging down with help…to rescue them all from their enemies

This is the foundation of our faith.

For our God can never be counted out.

He is with you and watching over you RIGHT NOW…even if you’ve started to count Him out…

Friends remember, even when they killed Jesus…He came back.

Look to God this week.

Look to the one who watches over you.

Let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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