“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2, KJV)
Psalm 121 is one of my personal favorites. It encourages me to depend on God and to recognize Him as my helper, provider, and guardian. It is one of fifteen psalms grouped together (120 through 134) known as the Songs of Ascent or Pilgrim Psalms. Traditionally they were sung by Jewish pilgrims, who journeyed to the Temple in Jerusalem for the required feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16). The feasts were usually joyous times, but the journey up into the hills of Jerusalem could be challenging. They had to tolerate hot days, rocky terrain, and the threat of thieves and wild animals. Aware of the danger, the psalmist looked up to the hills, and then turned his attention to the Creator of those hills and knew his help would come from God.
Psalm 121:3-8 tells of God’s vigilant watch over the pilgrims throughout their journey. The psalmist assures them that God never sleeps and will not allow their feet to slip; He will guard them from the sun’s scorching heat and the dangers that lurk in the night. The psalmist affirms that the Great Guardian will extend His care and protection to them for the rest of their lives.
In our world today, there are many troubles, and the psalmist is not saying that we will never encounter them. Rather, God has promised to strengthen and sustain us through them (Psalm 46:1; Psalm 55:22). The psalmist reminds us that God is bigger than the troubles of the world and the trials we face, and that there is nothing that takes Him by surprise. Psalm 121 invites us to look beyond this world and to trust in the Creator of it all, who has the power to watch over our lives and to keep us in His care.
Heavenly Father, thank You for standing guard over our lives, for being our helper and our provider, and for sustaining us through our trials. In Jesus’ name. Amen.