Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
It’s hard to think of something more stable than a mountain. Years, decades, centuries go by, and they remain unchanged, unshakeable, always visible on the horizon. Psalm 125:1-2 uses this image of mountains to describe our security in God.
First, it says that when we trust in the Lord, we are like a mountain, “which cannot be shaken but endures forever” (Psalm 125:1b).
But how can we be like an unshakeable mountain? Our lives are full of uncertainty, disappointment, chaos, and loss. We often feel grieved, afraid and discouraged. We get hurt, confused, and even angry. Aren’t we pretty shakeable? After all, on our own: “All people are like grass…the grass withers and the flowers fall” (1 Peter 1:24).
But don’t forget, the Psalmist says, “Those who trust in the Lord…” (Psalm 125:1a). We are not on our own, for we have put our trust in God. And we have a new kind of life – “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). We still feel grieved, angry and afraid. We still experience upheaval, depression, and loss. But in the midst of it all, there’s something unshakeable that grounds us. And that something is the presence of God.
You see, Psalm 125 doesn’t just say we are like any mountain. It says we are like Mount Zion. This was the mountain where the temple was, the temple which represented God’s presence. As long as God was with his people, no one could stand against them. And the same is true for us. It is because of God’s presence in us that we have a secure hope (1 Peter 1:3), a joy that endures through trials (James 1:2), and a peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). It is God’s presence with us that allows us to say, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) and “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid” (Heb. 13:6).
Next, Psalm 125 uses a slightly different metaphor – still talking about mountains, and still describing our security in the Lord – but now it is God who is compared to the mountains. “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people…” (Psalm 125:2a). In ancient times, a city surrounded by mountains had a good defense. To get to the city, enemies would first have to bring their armies over the mountains, which was no easy feat. The Psalmist here writes that God guards his people just like mountains guard a city. Although we face trials of many kinds, we do not need to be afraid, because God is with us (Isaiah 41:10). And he will always be with us – “both now and forevermore” (Psalm 125:2b).
Life is not easy and sometimes our foundations are shaken. But there’s something deeper, something unshakeable that grounds us. And that something is the presence of God.
Father, I acknowledge that I need you. Forgive me for turning to so many other things for my strength, comfort and security. You are the only one who is unshakeable! Help me to trust you. In the best and in the worst, I need you to protect me, strengthen me, and keep me faithful to you. Thank you that you live in me through your Holy Spirit. Please keep me firmly rooted in the eternal hope that I have in Jesus. Amen.
– Hannah Carroll Entz