By Rev. Doug Rokke American Lutheran Church
Four Psalms for May: Psalm 121 “I lift up my eyes to the hills.”
Psalm 121 is part of a group of Psalms called “Psalms of Ascent.” Many believe that these were used by people as they made their pilgrimage to Jerusalem. If that case as they approached Jerusalem they would look up to see Mount Zion ahead of them. On top of the hill would be the Temple which would remind them of the Lord. And so as they looked up to the hills they would be reminded how God helps them in their journey and in their life. The Psalm then captures this by reflecting on different ways the Lord helps them on pilgrimage, and also throughout their journey of life.
For people in our day, “lifting our eyes to the hills” may not refer so much to Mt. Zion as it does to looking at the hills or mountains in nature. Many would interpret looking to the hills or mountains where they are also reminded of their Creator, “the one who made the heaven and earth.” Not only are they reminded of their Creator but they are also reminded of how God continues to help his people in their lives.
In either case the Psalm is a good Psalm for our pilgrimage of life and our journey on earth. For as we read and pray this Psalm we hear the good news that our God is with us on our journey. He watches all the steps we make in life. Neither does he take leave of his people. As it says, “God doesn’t slumber or sleep,” but day and night watches over us. It continues with other descriptions of how the Lord keeps us from evil and keeps our life. Finally it concludes with the statement that says wherever you go (going out or coming in) the Lord will take care of you and watch over you forever.
I hope that as you read Psalm 121 this month it will be a Psalm of confidence and hope for you on your journey of life.