Psalm 121 - I lift up my eyes

Psalm 121 - I lift up my eyes

Read: Psalm 121 vs 1-8

As we saw yesterday Psalms 120-134 were sung by pilgrims making their way each year up to the city of Jerusalem, a place where they would gather for worship. It’s not hard to imagine Psalm 121 being sung in this context. As travellers approached Jerusalem, they would see the mountains that surround the city, mountains which can be seen to this day.

Vs 1 can be read in one of two ways. Lifting your eyes to these mountains you would have seen the ‘high places’ where pagan worship was offered. Seeing this ‘option’ the person of faith reaffirms that their help for life’s journey ‘comes from the LORD the Maker of heaven and earth.’

The other way of vs 1 is to image the traveller lifting up their eyes, fearful that bandits could come down from the mountains and attack those on the road. Seeing these mountains as a place of potential threat the writer of the Psalm takes comfort and courage from an assurance of who God is and how He comes to help His people.

However we read this the message is the same, a promise that God watches over those who rely on Him, and that He ‘neither slumbers nor sleeps’. Different threats come at different moments of the day and different threats come at different times in life (vs 5) but God’s keeping at every stage of that journey for those who trust in Him.

I remember my dad reading this Psalm at his younger brother’s funeral about 20 years ago. The promises of Psalm 121 do not guarantee believing people a carefree journey through life. But the promise of being ‘kept from all harm’ (echoing Psalm 23’s ‘fearing no evil’) is a precious promise that has brought comfort and courage to many people over the years as they have set their hearts on following Christ all the way to the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21). 

Prayer: Father You are the Maker of heaven and earth. This a wonderful truth and to think that you watch over me by day and by night, and that You never sleep, these are wonderful truths. Thank You that you will watch over all my 'comings and goings' to the very end. Please keep on this road of following Jesus. In His Name I pray. Amen.