I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
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.
Psalm 121 is a song that pilgrims sang on the long walk up the mount to Jerusalem. It’s fitting that it begins with mountain imagery. The terrain approaching Jerusalem is rocky, arid, and difficult—and it makes for a sweaty climb. It is easy for your foot to slip, easy to be exposed mercilessly to the hot, Middle Eastern sun.
But Jerusalem is where the temple stood. For God’s people, it was the place where God’s presence could be found. So when the psalmist looks to the mountains, he is looking toward God’s presence.
You, too, are on a pilgrimage. When life surprises you with pitfalls, or you stumble on the trail, or relentless trials beat down upon you like the hot sun, you can sing this psalm. You can ask God to invigorate your faith, as you remember where your help comes from— from the God of the universe who made everything you see, hear, touch, and experience.
Look up! See the sky. Sing to the Lord as you ascend, and know that he will protect, guide, and strengthen you today.
Reflect & Pray
What verse in Psalm 121 resonates most with you? Why does that particular verse encourage you today?
Lord, teach me to sing a song of ascent as I look to you today. Thank you for watching over me, sheltering me from harm. I am grateful for your kindhearted affection and protection. Amen.
Drawn from the NIV Radiant Virtues Bible.