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Psalm 121:1

ESV I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
NIV A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
NASB I will raise my eyes to the mountains; From where will my help come?
CSB A song of ascents. I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from?
NLT I look up to the mountains — does my help come from there?
KJV A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
NKJV {A Song of Ascents.} I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?

What does Psalm 121:1 mean?

In this verse the psalmist looks up at the hills around Jerusalem as he journeys to the Holy City (Jerusalem) to observe an annual festival (Exodus 23:14–17). Perhaps the psalmist and his fellow travelers were about to spend the night camped in the hill country. This would have been a common part of making a many-day journey. Spending the night in the hills could be dangerous. Animals and other natural risks were present. More concerning would be possible bandits or other people looking to attack vulnerable travelers. It is not surprising that the psalmist would wonder about protection.

Occasionally believers today find themselves in dangerous situations and wonder how they will be protected. The world can be a frightening place. At times, crime escalates, sickness and disease spread, rogue nations threaten the peace, random shootings occur, and terrorists strike the innocent. Even in the best of situations, there is no assurance that the medical community or police officers or firefighters can keep us safe. We may ask, as the psalmist did, from where will we receive protection and safety?

The answer, seen in the rest of the chapter, comes in the typical style of the book of Psalms. Trust in God is key to feeling confident and secure (Psalm 121:2).
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