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Psalms 120-121

Talks for Growing Christians

Promises of Protection for the Believer

Psalms 120-121

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Lesson Number 89

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord will avenge the faithful believer.
  2. The Lord will protect the believer from all evil.

Practical Application

  1. Never take your own revenge!
  2. Praise the Lord when you look at the mountains.

Questions

  1. Psalm 120 begins what subset of psalms?
  2. Explain the view of these psalms involving King Hezekiah.
  3. Give a possible occasion for Psalm 120, if it was written by King Hezekiah.
  4. Is Psalm 121:1 a question or a statement? Explain both options.

Answers

  1. Psalms 120-134 are a group known as the Psalms of Ascent or Degrees. These were psalms that the pilgrims sang as they went up to Jerusalem and up to the Temple of the Lord during the annual feast days in Israel.
  2. These may be called the Psalms of Degrees because King Hezekiah arranged this group of psalms to commemorate the 15 years that God added to his life. In this view, the psalms are structured with the central psalm written by Solomon, then 2 preceding and following by David, and the first and last 5 psalms anonymously written by Hezekiah.
  3. This psalm would have been written after the Lord answered Hezekiah’s prayers for deliverance from the besieging Assyrian army under Sennacherib.
  4. If it is a question, then the thought is that Israel’s God was not one of the pagan mountain gods, but is beyond the mountains. If it is a statement, the pilgrims journeying up to the Temple in mountainous Jerusalem were looking to the Lord whose presence and glory were at the Temple in the midst of His people.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Discuss why we often have such a strong craving to seek our own vengeance. What did the psalmist learn about the Lord’s revenge in Psalm 120? Compare Romans 12:19
  2. Discuss the many ways people seek security in their lives. Psalm 121 teaches us that the source of all security and help is the Lord who made heaven and earth and controls all things.

Challenge

  1. Do you live somewhere in view of the mountains? Do you see them when you travel? Praise the Lord when you look at the mountains.

Key Verses

  • “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” Psalm 121

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