The “Soccer Psalm”
“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Each Sunday, this truth from Psalm 124 was the call to worship in my childhood church. The corporate affirmation of this verse finds its personal counterpart right across the page in Psalm 121. The psalmist lifts his eyes to the hills and asks, “From where does my help come?” Then he reminds himself, “My help comes from the Lord.” The rest of the psalm rehearses why this is so:
- The Lord will not let your foot be moved.
- The Lord who keeps you will not slumber.
- The Lord who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
- The Lord is your keeper.
- The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
- The Lord will keep you from all evil.
- The Lord will keep your life.
- The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Did you notice the role of God that is repeated here? He is the “keeper.”
Let me tell you something else about my childhood. I grew up in the Netherlands, the land of the great European footballer Johan Cruyff and of the international powerhouse football clubs Ajax and Feyenoord. Girls did not play soccer in those days, but you could not be Dutch and not know at least a little bit about soccer. That is how even I knew that the hardest job on a soccer team was that of the “goalie.” However, the Dutch don’t refer to the goalkeeper as “goalie.” The hardest job is done by the “keeper.”
Do you see why Psalm 121 could be remembered as the “Soccer Psalm”? As on the field, so in the life of the follower of Jesus Christ, the hardest job is done by the Keeper. This Keeper defends your goal with an absolutely perfect record. Nothing gets by him. He holds you steady. He does not sleep. He sees evil coming before you do. He keeps your life. He is your shade in the heat of the battle. He keeps your going out and your coming in. No one can snatch you out of his hand—that is, if you are on his team.
How do you join? Well, that is where the analogy falls short, although we can still employ some soccer language:
- Believe and confess that he calls all the shots.
- Own your misses.
- Find a great coach.
- Show up for practice.
- Exercise at home.
- Talk to other players.
- Never, never, never quit the team.
About the Author
Imported from across the Atlantic, where she learned to love languages, old cities, and a great cup of coffee, Margot has served at Trinity Christian School since 2003. Her awe of God and the work He is doing at TCS increases with each passing year.