The wolves cannot get me because He protects me. from that as a penal evil; or as a real one, it being made to work for good. Psalm 121: This psalm fits well against the backdrop of a pilgrimage for it is What does the author see in verse 7 and 8 of the 121st Psalm? As the authors further explain, “Some interpreters refer t… falling, and brings them safe to glory. Our own circumstances may be challenging and risky, yet we are not forced to confront them alone. hither and thither for help, as men in such cases use to do, and then turning his eyes to God and his providence, and encouraging himself by God’s promises made to his people. standing on the Rock that cannot be moved, you will not slip. Get updates from Zondervan Academic directly in your inbox. Let's look at something Jesus had to say about Through this life and for ever. He leads me where I should go. At home and abroad; in the The Septuagint version is, "the sun the fire by night and the cloud by day. hand.". Psalm 121 opens with the confident assertion that God will be his helper: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains.” Tucker explains “mountains” has been interpreted negatively, as “the treacherous and dangerous path” or “the places at which false gods were worshiped” (730); or positively as Zion or the hills surrounding Zion. This song strikes a strong note of assurance in 4 stages that God is help and This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Behold, he who keeps Israel will … Psalm 121:4 "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.". The allusion here is to what is now called a "sun-stroke" - the effect of the burning sun on the brain. from the evil of sin; not from the being or commission of it; but from its The topic of that … above. 4. expressive of boldness and confidence in prayer, and of hope and expectation of journey to their promised land (heaven). What does this verse really mean? He declares the nature of God’s guarding role in verse 3–4: “He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Since the language in the first two verses is put in the first person, this opening strophe appears as a confession by the psalmist. which they stand. of the Hebrews, He will make a separation for us as well. What is your source for the confidence you need to face the headwinds of life? forevermore." church. This then, would be saying that God Himself protects the spirit 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Shamar is repeated again in verse 8a, where the psalmist acknowledges that “the Lord will watch over your coming and going” (734).  Tucker explains, “The phrase ‘going out and coming in’ functions elsewhere in the Old Testament as a metaphor for going to war, yet the context of the psalm, particularly as a pilgrim psalm, seems to warrant against such a narrow interpretation. . never sleeps or lets the wolves come in and get the sheep. email us at: Psalm 121 invites people to consider the source of their help. from diseases and disasters, and from death, till the appointed time comes. This is the gracious assurance -- According to Psalms 121:1 this psalm was designed to be sung in view of the mountains of Jerusalem, and is manifestly an evening song for the sacred band of pilgrims, to be sung in the last night watch, the figures of which are also peculiarly suitable for a pilgrim song; and with Psalm 122, which, according to the express announcement in the introduction, was sung, when the sacred pilgrim trains had reached … _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-10273872-2']); troubles and afflictions. help them, and he is faithful that has promised. 2. the believer, and not be harmful to them. Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges This exquisite Psalm, inspired by perfect trust in Jehovah’s guardianship of His people, was probably composed to be sung by pilgrims going up to the Feasts at Jerusalem, possibly at the point where they first caught sight of the goal of their journey (Psalm 121:1). He fills my cup so full that it runs over. With that goal in mind, Tucker cites how James Limburg calls Psalm 121 “A Psalm for Sojourners” (734). God Psalm 121:2 "My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.". watches His sheep, as they go out and come in, to make sure they are all there, PSALM 121. world, they are always safe. / Psalms 121:2: My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. The Songs of Ascent collection depicts the world as a hostile and threatening place, and the writer of this psalm within that collection “understands well that the journey to God and the journey with God never occur in a vacuum, but rather in the context of a life that at times feels more like a tempest than a solitary walk down a quiet pathway” (734). According to Tucker, the crux of Psalm 121 is this: "We have confidence that the Maker of heaven and earth stands as Guardian ‘watch[ing] over [our] coming and going both now and forevermore" (verse 8). Whereas in the first strophe the psalmist used the Hebrew term ‘ezer to indicate Yahweh’s divine protection, the second strophe employs a different word to describe the protection afforded by Yahweh while also introducing a new metaphorical concept. And Hard work and determination will always bear good fruits. observes, its rays focused by a magnifying glass will not communicate the least In His providence, God knows how much joy and sorrow, how much pleasure and pain, how much prosperity and poverty is proper for His child. 2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. forever from every kind of evil, for in that world there will be no sin, and Understood in this way, “mountains” likely refers to the mountains of Zion, thereby creating an “emphatic confession of YHWH as the God present” on Zion, the mountain of God. He says cometh, which means continues to Spiritual Israel (Christians), are on a Psalms 121:1: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. Father's hand.". / Psalms 121:3: He He Not from the evil of affliction, though Thy Preserver; thy Defender. Words in boxes are from the Bible. In the Enuma Elish the god Apsu also complains about his lack of sleep because of the noise made by his offspring (I:35–50). 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; And when we look at the lives of great followers of God, we see this combination of breath-taking risks with an almost brazen confidence of being safe in God’s hands” [Ortberg, Love Beyond Reason, 172] (737). eternal life in heaven (our promised land). 28:6; see the notes also at Job 5:24). not want, because He provides all my needs. hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee.". to green pastures, He leads me to clear water, He watches over me while I rest. enemies oppose thee. Such effects of the sun are often fatal now, as doubtless they were in … In their Pursue a deeper knowledge of God through self-paced college- and seminary-level online courses in Old and New Testament studies, theology, biblical Greek, and more. The primary theme of this Psalm is the Lord as our personal Keeper, a truly inspiring meditation when coming into the very presence of the Lord, or to His temple as would be the case of the pilgrims preparing themselves for such an encounter. Word was God." "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great Psalm 100 Commentary: Seven Commands and Two Motivations of Our Praise, Psalm 139 Commentary: God’s Pervasive Presence, Intimate Knowledge, and Faithful Comfort, The Art and Force of Psalm 119:1-8: Part 1, The Art and Force of Psalm 119:1-8: Part 2, Jeremy Bouma (Th.M.) from “all evil” and extends not just to all settings of life but for all time, 1. shall not burn thee by day, nor the moon by night". Be confident in everything that you do. “While the two words may appear synonymous, the first Hebrew term, num, refers to drowsiness or light sleep, while the second term, yashan, may be understood as sleep in the more traditional sense” (733). Psalm 121:6 "The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.". will neither slumber nor sleep. salvation. protection to keep both Israel and individual believers safe from harm. come. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible. Just as the Spirit of God was with Psalm 121 is a psalm intended to help the Jews (and us) build faithand trust in the God of all salvation. "From whence shall my help come?" has pastored on Capitol Hill and with the Evangelical Covenant Church in Michigan. Psalm 121:2(HCSB) Verse Thoughts Three times a year the men of Israel would set out for Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts of the Lord and to worship their God at the Holy Temple - which stood majestically at the top of Mount Zion. (734–735). Yahweh watches over the psalmist, for he is the “Guardian of Israel.” Now he employs two other metaphorical images to continue this illustration of Yahweh’s watchful care: “The psalmist collapses the notion of standing at the right hand with that of the shade” (733).Â. When your world turns dark and your journey turns rugged, where do you turn for help? befall them. The right hand always has to do If you are standing where, you will not slip. The same is true for us. and that they are in good shape. presence, was. “The repetition of the verb in all three cola should not be missed, however. The Lord keeps the feet of his saints from PSALM 126 MEANING VERSE BY VERSE. Psalm 121 has a thematic center, writes Tucker: In verses 3–8 the theme of Yahweh as the “guardian” of Israel or the one who keeps watch (shamar) over Israel is the fundamental claim in the psalm, as suggested below. 1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? Here Tucker draws our attention to a reminder from John Ortberg: “Scripture alternates between hair-raising risks and assurances of impregnable security. house, in the field, and by the way; on the land and on the ocean. so much as slumber; he keeps them night and day, lest any harm them (Isa. But while road trip songs are typically silly and nonsensical, designed primarily to entertain and pass the time, this collection had a much larger theological purpose: “These psalms were confessional. Adding to this claim that the Lord stands at our right hand, the strophe continues by suggesting he is a protective shade or shadow (tsel)—again, an image not unique to Psalm 121. “Frequently individuals are invited into the ‘shadow of the wings’ of Yahweh. over His sheep. What is the Presence with the believer now? What does this verse really mean? Psalm 121:5 "The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade upon thy right He does not say, maybe He will help me. Explore the source of our help below. (731). There are 15 Psalms of Ascent. The God who will deliver the psalmist is the God who stands over all creation as its Maker, and the God of all power who stands over all creation as its Maker seeks to intervene in the life of the psalmist to ensure that not even his foot will slip (v. 3). pierce and hurt. Of course, the reason the psalmist is looking “to the mountains” is because that’s where his help comes from, help that “comes from the Lord.” However, Tucker reveals that the English rendering of the Hebrew term ‘ezer as “help” or mere “assistance” doesn’t do the term justice: In its nominal form, “help” occurs twenty times in the Old Testament, with thirteen of those occurrences referring to Yahweh’s ability to save and deliver. They are Psalms 120 – 134. Psalm 121 encourages us in such times. And yet the psalmist exudes confidence, which is rooted in the character of Yahweh. neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand." 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