Daily Family Worship

Psalm 121: The Traveler’s Hymn

by | Jun 29, 2024

psalm 121

In the margin of our old Bibles, this first verse is read by way of question: “Shall I lift up mine eyes to the hills? Whence should my help come?” And if the verse is read in this way of inquiry, the answer is given in another verse of Scripture: “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel” (Jer. 3:23). But although this would be a beautiful method of inquiry, and a delightful answer to a seeking soul, to prompt the heart to rest upon the Savior; yet it seems that this Psalm has an even more pointed direction to the Lord Jesus. It is well-known that the Temple was built upon the holy hill of Zion. And inside the Holy of holies in the Temple, there was the Ark of the Covenant – which was an eminent picture of Christ! Therefore, we may consider this verse as the pious resolution of an Old Testament saint, who saw the day of Christ afar off and was glad, and who therefore was looking to the promised Messiah as his help and his rock and his Savior. When we look at this verse in this point of view, it is very sweet and precious indeed!

But, dear reader, is there not an even higher view of these words if we read them as the words of Christ Himself? Looking unto Jesus in His human nature, as the sinner’s Surety and Husband and Representative, Who voluntarily stood up for the redemption of His people; the Lamb of God cries out, “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help!” In order to carry Himself through His vast undertaking, He rested Himself upon His Father’s Covenant-promises – which, like the strong mountains and everlasting hills, abide forever. Is it not to Jesus that this Scripture is spoken: “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee”? (Isa. 54:10) Surely this view makes the Psalm more beautiful to read!

Brother or sister! While thus making Jesus the sum and substance of this Divine Psalm, do not forget that it is as the Head of His Church and people that He thus appears. All the promises which are here made to Him are – in Him – made to His people also! The Lord, in Christ, is the Keeper of all His redeemed ones. He is their Shade and their Helper. He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness before Him (1 Sam. 2:9). In all the afflictions of His faithful ones – whether in their going out or coming home – Jesus will go before them, and the God of Israel will be their reward. O the blessedness of the people of the Lord! How amazing is the glory, grace, and love of the God of Israel!

Lord Jehovah, we thank You for being “the Keeper of Israel,” for no form of unconsciousness ever steals over You – neither deep slumber nor slight sleep. Thank You for the assurance that You never fail to watch over the houses and the hearts of Your people! Amen.

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