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Psalm 121: God is Our Guardian

I will lift up my eyes to the hills,

from where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip;

He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who guards Israel

shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your guardian;

the Lord is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not harm you during the day,

nor the moon during the night.

The Lord shall protect you from all evil;

He shall preserve your soul.

The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in

from now and for evermore.

This Psalm has been a comfort to me since my childhood. When my Mam-maw would stay with us, she would often recite this to me at bedtime, focusing on the fact that even though I had to go to sleep, God would be watching over me, because God will "neither slumber nor sleep."

I love the change from first to second person in verse three. It makes this passage a perfect musical or liturgical "call and response." More than that, however, it seems like the Psalmist is both seeking and confessing the Lord's help in verses one and two. Then, in the final six verses there is a response of praise from an unidentified voice. Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit speaking to the Psalmist's soul; perhaps it is the voice of an angel proclaiming heavenly confirmation of the Psalmist's trust in the Lord.

Regardless, these verses poetically confirm that those who trust in the Lord and seek God's help will find it -- in things small ("the Lord is your shade at your right hand") and in things great ("the Lord shall protect you from all evil") and until the end of time ("the Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from now and forevermore"),

It is a beautiful and blessed assurance that the creator of all things cares for and watches over each of us.

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