I. What is Psalm 121 about?
It is about a person who is intimidated by the mountains en route Jerusalem gets ready to begin his journey by affirming his security in God (the antecedent for “from where” in verse 1 is not the mountain. Actually, there is no antecedent for “from where.” It is an interrogative pronoun, not a relative pronoun)
II. How many persons are in the psalm?
1. At least two persons are involved:
(a) The person (pilgrim) in verses 1 & 2 is probably intimidated by the journey through the mountains
(b) The person in verses 3-8 appears to be matured in his understanding of the Lord
III. What are the possibilities behind the composition of this psalm?
1. The pilgrim was going to be alone in his journey
2. He had to travel day and night to reach Jerusalem
3. During his journey, the weather through the mountains was probably extreme hot in the day and severely cold at night
4. While being on his journey, the pilgrim would potentially encounter evils like snakes, wild animals, and potentially bandits
IV. What are their understandings of the Lord?
1. The Lord fashioned the mountains (the word for fashion is which has a nuanced difference from)
2. The Lord who fashioned the mountains (who knows the ups and the downs and the dangers and climatic conditions), becomes the pilgrim’s help, (the same word is used for Eve). The psalmist is trusting God to provide to him what he is lacking
3. The Lord will be the pilgrim’s protector or the diligent watch man who does not sleep nor slumber (interestingly, the derivative of “watch over” is the sun. In other words, even in the night when everything is dark around and the pilgrim is susceptible to dangers, the Lord will be there for him)
4. The Lord will be the pilgrim’s divine companion (at your right hand who will stand between the pilgrim and the potential threat)
5. The Lord will be the pilgrim’s personal security
V. Essence of the Psalm
The pilgrim’s journey need not be based on the conditions on ground, but it needs to be conditioned by the pilgrim’s relationship with the Lord
VI. What does this psalm teach us today?
1. Those of us who are already on a journey (lonely) or about to face the unexpected future, we need the Lord and put our future in His safe Hands
(a) Fear of future is real
(b) Threat and possible attack in our life journey is real
(c) Where is our protection? Job security, friendship, money, education, etc.? (we protect them and they cannot protect us)
VII. Jesus sends His disciples with the Great Commission purely on the basis of two provisions (Matthew 28:19-20)
1. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore”
2. “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
VIII. Take Away
1. Begin your journey with God as your companion
2. Remove all your false securities