Psalms 121

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“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)

June 3, 2016

Why did the psalmist look to the “hills” for help? No doubt he referred to the hills of Mount Zion upon which stood the Temple in Jerusalem. Psalm 121 is the second of fifteen “Psalms of Ascent” (Psalms 120-134). These psalms became known as such because of their use by Hebrew pilgrims making the three annual treks to Jerusalem for the required festivals. The pilgrims would sing these songs as they ascended to the temple mount in preparation for worship. During Jesus’ time there were fifteen steps to the Herodian Temple that approached the Double Gate. These psalms were sung on these steps before entering the gates to the temple. Today, the gates are sealed, but the steps remain. It’s good to start worshiping before one enters God’s house. And it’s good to remember, as the psalmist did, that our help doesn’t actually come from the “hills” where the church building stands. Rather, our help “comes from the Lord,” who made not only the “hills,” but also everything else in “heaven and earth.”

“The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade” (Psalm 121:5 NLT)

June 3, 2014

Psalm 121 is the second of 15 “Psalms of Ascent” (Psalms 120-134). These psalms became known as such because of their use by Hebrew pilgrims making the three annual treks to Jerusalem for the required festivals. The pilgrims would sing these songs as they ascended to the temple mount in preparation for worship. During Jesus’ time there were 15 steps to the Herodian Temple that approached the Double Gate. These psalms were sung on these steps before entering the gates to the temple. Today, the gates are sealed, but the steps remain. It’s good to get your praise on before coming to worship. And this reminder from Psalm 121 that it is the “Lord himself” that is with you, watching over you to protect you is especially encouraging.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2)

December 2, 2013

This is one of the 15 “Psalms of Ascent.” Psalms 120 through 134 were written for pilgrims to sing as they ascended towards the holy city, Jerusalem and the temple mount. Today, many pilgrims, both Jew and Christian alike, read these psalms on the Southern steps approaching the Huldah or Triple Gate to the temple mount. But we don’t have to go to Israel to be inspired and encouraged by these psalms. Who will help me climb out of this valley? Who will answer my cry and need? My Helper is the Creator. He is the Lord!