Psalm 121 is another of those known as a “Song of Ascents” (Psalms 120-134). The superscription in the KJV terms it a “Song of Degrees.” These psalms are otherwise known as “Pilgrim Songs,” “Songs of the Steps”, or “the Gradual Songs.” As tradition holds that these psalms were sung by those making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, this one appears to be intended to give reassurance to those making that journey.
Verse one begins with “I lift up my eyes to the hills,” which would fit very well for someone traveling to Jerusalem. The question that follows (“from where does my help come?”) and its answer in verse 2 (“my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”) both are meant to apply to the traveler in his present circumstance, as well as to all of us throughout life. The idea is that we are in good hands with He “who created the heavens and the earth” as our keeper.
In these eight short verses, the reference to God as the “keeper” is made six times. The line in verse 5 (“the Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand”), recalls the words of Psalm 91:1 (“he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty”). Verse 7 (“the Lord will keep you from all evil”) does not mean that He will never allow anything bad to happen to His people. The second part of the verse tells the story of the promise of salvation for His people (“he will keep your life”). As Paul said to the Romans, “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.
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