Psalm 121 – One of the Songs of Ascent – A Psalm of Trust

by Becky Burt

Have you ever been on a road, a path, a life experience where you just felt you were in the dark and not sure what to expect? These life chapters can arise in the form of a crisis like the pandemic we are currently experiencing together, or perhaps an illness or a death that wrecks your ship or leads you on a path you had not planned with no specific guidebook or roadmap and where life, jobs, school, family lifestyle and your community are all redefined.

Many scholars believe the Psalms of Ascent are a compilation of 15 Psalms, Psalm 120-134, and were sung by the Children of Israel on their journey to Jerusalem, worshipping on their way. Maybe these songs were the music of their hearts on their return from Babylonian captivity. Whatever their journey, the path held a variety of experiences and emotions.

I noted in my Bible that at some point I had named these Psalms – 120 – Psalm of Deliverance, 121 – Psalm of Trust, 122 – Psalm of Gladness, 123 – Psalm of Relief and 126 – Psalm of Restoration, to name a few. You can already see God was writing songs for the ups and downs of our journey! When we looked at Psalm 1 – the Gateway Psalm – we learned God knows the way of the righteous. We are known by Him and all our ways are known by Him! Now in Psalm 121 we get a clear picture of how He watches over us and how He keeps us. I read at least 6 times the word “keep” and noted another character of God “Keeper.” Through the Psalms we are given words for our deepest emotions and experiences and fears. That gives me an overwhelming comfort that my Lord watches so closely over my path and I can sing back these words to Him in affirmation and trust.

This week try singing back to Him a Psalm from the pathway you are on. Here’s one from my heart: I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? It comes from You, my Father, my Lord, my Savior, my Keeper, Maker of heaven and earth, God of steadfast and faithful love. You hold me fast. You are upholding me and protecting me in ways my eyes cannot see. Thank You! You watch over me constantly – never falling asleep. Lord, it always seems in the watches of the night, worries and fears grow bigger, but in peace I will lay down and sleep, for You alone make me dwell in safety. (Ps 4:8) You watch over me at all times Lord – there is never a moment when I am not on Your mind. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? (Ps 139)

Wow, just wow! You protect me on all sides and from in front and behind. You hem me in and protect my comings and goings. Thank you that You are my Protector and Keeper at all times and especially right now. I am safe and secure under Your wings and in that shelter I will sing of my trust in You.