Psalm 121

The Word Made Fresh

(A song of ascent.)

1I lift my eyes to the hills and cry out,
“From where is my help to come?”
2My help comes from the LORD
who made heaven and earth.
4The LORD will not let your feet slip,
The One who keeps Israel does not slumber nor sleep.
5The LORD watches over you,
and on your right hand side, protects you.
6The sun will not expose you in the daytime
nor the moon in the nighttime.
7The LORD will protect you from every threat
and will keep you safe.
8The LORD will watch over your every move,
going out and coming in, today and always.


Superscription: the second of the “songs of ascent.”

1-2: We can imagine a group of pilgrims approaching Jerusalem to attend one of the primary annual religious festivals.

3-8: The journey may have been difficult, even hazardous, but the pilgrims trust that God will protect them in their journey. More than that, they are certain that God will watch over them through every journey in life.


Whenever I go on a spiritual retreat up to Lake Junaluska in the mountains of western North Carolina, a sense of peace seems to wash over me as soon as I am surrounded by those hills. That is what I imagine the author of this little psalm is expressing as he approaches Jerusalem. God’s protection and care are as sure as the standing hills, and just visiting the sacred place leaves one with a feeling that all will be well. All of us need a sacred place of peace where we can retreat for even a day, knowing we are in the presence of the Holy Spirit.