No petition here, this is a responsive hymn celebrating the protection of Jehovah. Palestine is a hilly land, and any route toward Zion meant looking at ridges and mountains until you saw the Temple itself, visible from quite a distance in most directions. But the symbol of the first line is someone who is clearly in a valley of trouble. Looking for help meant scanning the high horizon. From which direction is rescue coming? It comes from the Lord who made heaven above and all of the earth below. Indeed, it’s a hard to escape Him.
Our Lord gives us a solid, firm path to follow. There’s no slipping on the road to Zion because God wants to see us. And He’s never asleep; His truly God who does not rest. How else could He protect Israel all these centuries? He never takes a break.
Have you ever been exposed to a merciless sun in dry terrain? Then you’ll understand what a relief it is to come under a cool shade. That’s our God; He makes life worth living. Not just the sun, but He prevents us being moonstruck as well. Because He never closes His eyes, we can handle whatever comes our way.
And He is a shield against all afflictions, showing His clear intent to keep us alive and healthy for His glory. The business of “going out and coming in” is a Hebrew phrase that covers just about everything we do as humans. It doesn’t matter what life demands of us, He’s there making it happen. He stands watch over us beyond the end of this life, too.