PSALMS OF ASCENT – week 2 – PSALM 121- Part 2

Come to Him as a little child!

Come to Him as a ChildTranslation of Hebrew in picture:

Our Father in Heaven! Thank you for everything!
I will praise Your Name forever!

In reference to verses 1-4, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch approaches them as a question. In essence, “To whom, or what, do I look to for help in my times of need or despair?” He answers, “I will NOT lift my eyes to any earthly power [whose intent is not for my personal good but has only selfish motives in all that is done]. I will gladly forego the favor and assistance which these powers deny me. There is One Who is higher still and surer, and it is to Him that I look for help.”*

All the forces that men employ are nothing more than physical and mechanical protection. They are powerful only on a superficial level and seem to provide security but they are limited and do not safeguard a man’s deeper moral course of life, which matters for eternity. While we definitely trust the Lord for the external elements of life – even our daily bread – it is in the matters of the soul that we more deeply trust that He is our Help and protector. With all our inherent weaknesses and imperfections, no person is immune to sin or error. We need constantly to be looking to G-d for guidance; trusting for His enabling and protection to keep walking in the way He has set and in doing what is pleasing to Him. He then assures us that, in His deep and tender love for each one, He never slumbers nor sleeps but is watching over us faithfully at all times.

verses 5-6  The shade of His Presence covers all that we do when it is for the sake of His Name and in love. Rabbi Hirsch compares the brightness of the sun to the “glitter of good fortune.” In other words, the time when all is going well and prospering financially. Then the Lord will shade you from being ‘dazzled’ by it and becoming arrogant in your own power and accomplishments. Also, during the dark times of “misfortune” His Presence will steadily shine, as the gentle light of the moon, to brighten the darkness of the night and to give hope that, in harmony with His plan and purpose, the sun will again rise with the birth of a new day.

Again, verses 7 – 8 assure us that His protection is not limited. He is with us every moment, through every circumstance good or bad, and He will keep us and bring us through as the keeper and guardian of our soul.

No evil aimed against you will harm your spirit and its purity for, dedicated to Him, it is in His powerful hands and tender care. Thus, Hirsch happily concludes, “You may go out confidently, even into the midst of a world that is opposed to you and cheerfully complete your journeys therein…and, one day, when you have been steeled and refined by the trials and experiences of your life on earth, He will lead you back to your own true home”… to the now incomprehensible blessing and glory of His Presence for all eternity.

~Keren Hannah

* Samson Raphael Hirsch, The Hirsch Psalms, Psalm 121

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