Psalm 121

The Lord keeps us. He is our strength past, present, and future
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Text
Explanation
This well-loved psalm was written by David when in the Wilderness of Paran after Samuel's death. For "Paran" see map.
.1 ¶ <<A Song of degrees.>> I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
 2  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
 The phrase that ends verse 1 is better understood as a question. Some worshiped in high places (on hilltops). The psalm writer didn't. He worshiped the creator of the hills ps09002. We see the concept in the confession at the end of Jeremiah 3 je0323.
 3  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
 The psalm is divided according to its literary structure. Verse 3 includes the lighter type.
  The foot being moved is walking away from the path of righteousness. Notice that we change from the first person to the second from "I" to "you."
 he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
.4  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
.5  The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
  What a powerful concept! I love this God who is always ready to help us.
   The Lord keeps us if we continue to place our full trust in Him jude24.
 the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
 6  The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
  We don't think of the moon as causing damage. The psalmist may be considering the powers of darkness of the forces of Satan.
 7  The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
 8  The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
  The Lord will be our protection from the sun (v6) which may be used by Him as a curse on sun worshippers.
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Literary pattern, past, present, future

    Source of help - backward to creation (1, 2)
       Foot (behavior), keeping power (3a)
            Keeper of Israel - present readiness (3b, 4, 5a)
        Hand (power for victory): not struck (5b, 6)
    Preserving power - forward forever (7, 8)

Choral reading

A 1a  I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
B 1b from whence cometh my help [?].
C 2  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

D 3  He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:

 Chorus  he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
 Chorus and audience 4  Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
 Chorus  5  The LORD is thy keeper:

E the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
    6  The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

F 7  The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil:
G 7b he shall preserve thy soul.
H 8  The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Suggestions:
*    ABC and E could be 4 women/girls (B to say the phrase as a question)
*    D and FGH could be 4 men/boys
*    Chorus could be all except the audience, or it could be another group or all 3 lines could be the audience. The pace might be slowed for the audience.
*    Position on platform (as seen by the audience) ABC  D - E  FGH. D could set the pace for the audience and chorus or another person could.
*    Timing: ABC and FGH should speak without breaks between as a single person would speak. Pauses would come as shown by the blank lines above.
*    Preparation: The participants, except the audience, should practice ahead of time. The whole thing should be explained to the audience before it starts. Participants should speak with expression and, if possible, memorize their parts.
*    Meaning. In order to not lose the sacred meaning of the text, selected participants could say a few words about the their part. Or a sermon could discuss it. Appropriate dress or choir robes would be good.
*    Other: The NIV or NKJV could be used. Everyone will enjoy this activity and it could be done twice in a row.
 
 
 

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