A Prayer For Help

A mother and her little four-year-old daughter were preparing to retire for the night. The child was afraid of the dark, and the mother, on this occasion alone with the child, felt fearful also. When the ... More


Psalm 120 is the first of a series of fifteen “Pilgrim Psalms” which were sung by those journeying to the Jewish Temple for the annual feasts (Passover, Pentecost, etc.). Each of these psalms is a “step” along the journey. Psalm 120 is not a happy song, beginning with distress and ending with war. It has been suggested that this was written by David when king Saul was trying to find and kill him, when David had to live among pagan peoples in a foreign land. We can sense the ache in his voice as he laments his situation. Arrows and fire are images of the enemy’s lying words. The psalmist was confident that God would punish the enemy with their own weapons. When we are slandered and lied about, we must leave the matter with the Lord and trust Him to work. Meshech and Kedar (v.5) were powerful, warlike peoples located to the North and South of Palestine. They took pride in their military strength and economic power and enjoyed attacking and devouring weaker nations. The psalmist, by contrast, was a peacemaker (v. 7).  

Psalm 121 expresses assurance and hope in God’s protection day and night. He is all powerful, but He is also personal as He watches over us. The Lord looks after you as a shepherd looks after his sheep. He does not sleep; he never lets you go and never lets your foot slip (v. 3). The Lord is your keeper (v. 5). He never rests, he never leaves his post, he never goes off duty, just as he never goes to sleep. We are safe. We never outgrow our need for God’s uniting watch over our lives. The Lord walks with pilgrims on the hot sunny side of the road to keep them cool in His shade (v. 5). The Lord will keep you from evil. He is the Creator of the whole cosmos, and as such will keep your life (body, soul, and spirit), guarding you against all that can kill the soul. You can forget your superstitious worries and fears. He who gave you “journeying mercies” on your road here, and who keeps your soul, will surely never let any harm befall you in days to come (v. 8). 


God is my protector and provider. He will defend me, care for me, and comfort me in his own time. I know that God is protecting me even when I am not aware of it.

Psalms 120:1-8 (English Standard Version)

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