Song of Ascents – Psalm 121


Two weeks ago I began my journey (a slow one) through the songs of ascent (Psalm 120-134). Today I have finished the second Psalm in the series, Psalm 121.

John MacArthur offers a very simple and helpful outline of this short 8 verse Psalm:
I. God is Our Helper (Psalm 121:1-2)
II. God is Our Keeper (Psalm 121:3-4)
III. God is Our Protector (Psalm 121:5-6)
IV. God is Our Preserver (Psalm 121:7-8)

After looking at this Psalm through this outline, I found something even more striking. That would be the way it directly relates to Psalm 120. Psalm 120 is a song of distress by a sojourner in a foreign land. And Psalm 121 seemingly resembles the assurance given after the cry to the Lord is made by the sojourner.

If you get an opportunity read through Psalm 120 and then Psalm 121. And then go back and read it again comparing verse 120:1 with 121:1 , 120:2 with 121:2, 120:3 with 121:3, 120:4=121:4, 120:5=121:5-6, 120:6=121:7, and lastly 120:7=121:8.

We read in Psalm 120:1, “in my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.” However, the psalmist never tells us how the Lord answered. But it seems in the midst of the distress (Psalm 120) the Lord answered with a reassurance of who he was to the sojourner (Psalm 121.) And all this is very cool as you read through it.

Finally, I want you to see the eight promises I gleaned from Psalm 121 about who the Lord is to the believer:

1. The LORD is our helper (v.2)

2. The LORD will not let your feet be moved (v.3)

3. The LORD is your keeper (v.5)

4. The LORD will not slumber but will remain faithful to keep you. (v. 3-4)

5. The LORD is your shade. (v.5)

6. The LORD will keep you from all evil. (v.7)

7. The LORD will keep your life (v.7)

8. The LORD will keep your going out and coming in forever. (v.8)

Praise be to God for who he is to us. Even though, as it says in the hymn, “Prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” He is faithful beyond faithful to us.

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