Psalm 121 is one of the pilgrimage psalms sung by ancient sojourners (Israelites) travelling to the hills of Jerusalem. They looked forward to arriving at the their destination with hope, believing in God’s watchful care. This particular psalm offers us steadfast hope in the One who watches over us with love.
Let’s look at the promises in Psalm 121.
‘I lift my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.’ (verses 1-2)
As you go through your day, where do you look? This statement—my help comes from the Lord-– is one of faith and trust. It’s a good reminder of where to point our eyes. Instead of looking at problems around you, look to the Lord for His presence, comfort and strength.
‘He will not let my foot slip–He who watches over you will not slumber; Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.’ (vs.3-4)
As the Israelites travelled they knew the journey was dangerous and needed protection. The promise here is for safety and security.
The term meaning ‘to keep watch’ or ‘persevere’ is stated six times in this passage. God watches us as our keeper. While the thought of God’s watchfulness may seem intimidating, it is also comforting to know that no matter what you are going through, the Lord knows about it. God is not watching as a harsh sentinel or critical judge. Neither is He a sleeping guard. The Lord is the attentive, loving creator. Even when it seems that He is quiet, He is there, working His purposes in His time.
God promises that He sees us.
When my first grandchild was born, I travelled to my son’s to help them with their newborn. I arrived late in the evening, when the baby was already asleep. I couldn’t wait til morning to see him.
Quietly I opened the door to his room to peek at him. Standing by the bassinet I smiled with love as I watched him gently breathe in sweet sleep. It wasn’t a hasty glance, but a loving look. This is a hint of how God watches us, tenderly with compassion.
‘The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you be day, nor the moon by night.’ (vs. 5-6)
Even in the heat of trials, or the loneliness of night, the Lord is there, watching over you with tender love. He is Emmanuel, the ‘God who is with us.’ The Creator watches over the creation because of His love for us.
‘The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.’ (vs. 7-8)
This strong promise of protection for daily living brings peace of mind. He knows where our steps will lead us.
All these promises begin when we look to the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. We are secure in His attentive care.
He sees you and loves you.
*excerpt from The Grace Impact