We will begin this lesson by giving the 120th Psalm in metre.

                   THE PSALMS OF DAVID IN METRE

                               PSALM 120

Verse 1.  "In my distress to God I cried, And he gave ear to me. From
          lying lips and guileful tongue, O Lord, my soul set free."
Verse 2.  "What shall be given thee? or what be done to thee, false
          tongue? Ev'n burning coals of juniper, Sharp arrows of the
Verse 3.  "Alas for me, that I abide In Mesech's land so long! That I
          in tabernacles dwell, To Kedar that belong."
Verse 4.  "My soul with him that hateth peace Hath Long a dweller
          been. I am for peace; but when I speak, For battle they are

     We will now begin the verse by verse study of the 120th Psalm.
Psalms 120:1 "{A Song of degrees.} In my distress I cried unto the
LORD, and he heard me."

     The song of degrees is believed by many to be the song that was
sung in front of the ark of the covenant, as it was brought back into
the land. In all of these lessons, we have been looking more at the
meaning of the Scriptures, rather than the history of the Scriptures.
We are attempting to find practical applications of the Scriptures to
our every day life.

     I find that most of mankind does not call on the Lord, until they
have run out of ideas about how to get out of the problem they are in.
It is a desperate cry, then, that calls to the Lord. When you are in
something, it means it surrounds you on every side. Truly the place to
go in such a desperate situation is to the Lord. The most wonderful
statement in the verse above is, He heard me.

     Psalms 120:2 "Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, [and]
from a deceitful tongue."

     We find, now, just exactly what the distress is. To have your
reputation slandered is probably the worst hurt you can have. It does
not just break your bones, it breaks your heart. There is really no
way to get away from this type of attack. If a person came at you with
a physical sword, you could knock it out of their hand, but cutting
you to pieces with their tongue is hard to fight against. Only God
could deal with this type of attack. The tongue is the most evil part
of the body. It can cut you to pieces.

     Psalms 120:3 "What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be
done unto thee, thou false tongue?"

     If Jesus were answering this, He would say cut it out. Get rid of
it. Of course, that is pretty drastic. You could not trade slander for
slander, because that would make you as evil as the slanderer. The
slanderer probably already has a bad reputation, and is trying to
bring the person he is slandering down to his own level. There is
really nothing man can do about this type of attack. The punishment
must be left up to God.

     Psalms 120:4 "Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper."

     There are two ways to look at this little verse. The mighty could
have been speaking of the mighty of this earth. Their lies and slander
against David would have been like sharp arrows shot into David's
heart. Another way one might look at this is if this is the punishment
from God Almighty for the terrible slander brought upon David.  Those
who live by the sword, must die by the sword. The coals of juniper
speak of a hot fire, that burns a long time. It would fit either. My
own personal opinion, is that these were still arrows from the evil

     Psalms 120:5 "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, [that] I dwell
in the tents of Kedar!"

     The psalmist, here, is feeling a very saddened plight for
Meseck and Kedar were similar to Gypsies. They wandered constantly and
were at war with everyone they came into contact with. They even
fought with each other from time to time. There really was nothing
good that could be said of either of them. David is comparing his
living among these liars as being in such an awful place. The word,
sojourn, means that you are passing through. Dwell, however indicates
a somewhat more permanent situation. At any rate, the psalmist feels
that he is caught in the middle of a group of very sinful people.

     Psalms 120:6 "My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth

     It seemed that the psalmist here, {who is probably David}, had
lived among these evil people for a very long time. It reminds me of
the believers in Christ, who are living in a very evil world. We do
not understand the ways of these people, because we are not one of
them. Christians are like an island to themselves. They are sojourners
in an evil land. Thank goodness, we do not fit in with the liars and
thieves around us. These people in the previous verse were said by
historians to have been armed heavily, just looking for a fight to get
into. This would be a terrible place for the peaceful little shepherd
boy to live.

     Psalms 120:7 "I [am for] peace: but when I speak, they [are] for

     David was always for peace, but when he was forced into war, the
Lord was with him in battle. It seemed there was no way to have peace
with these people, who thought of nothing but war. Even while he was
speaking to them, trying to find peaceful solutions to the problems,
they had their weapons drawn ready for war.
     We will continue on by giving chapter 121 in metre.

                             Chapter 121

Verse 1.  "To the hills I'll lift mine eyes, Whence my hopes of succor
          rise; From the Lord comes all my aid, Who the earth and
          heav'n hath made."
Verse 2.  "He will ever be thy guide, And thy foot shall never slide;
          God his Israel that keeps, Never slumbers, never sleeps."
Verse 3.  "God thy keeper still shall stand, As a shade on thy right
          hand; Neither sun by day shall smite, Nor the silent moon by
Verse 4.  "God shall guard from every ill, Keep thy soul in safety
          still; Both without and in thy door, He will keep thee

     We will now begin the verse by verse study of the 121st Psalm.
Psalms 121:1 "{A Song of degrees.} I will lift up mine eyes unto the
hills, from whence cometh my help."

     Sometimes, when we are in the valley of despair, as the psalmist
was in the last chapter, everything looks hopeless. This verse above
is the answer, not only for the psalmist, but for all who are in
trouble. In this life, we go through valleys, but we must always look
up for help, and climb back up to the mountaintop. Do not keep looking
downward in a cast down fashion, look up to the hills, for help is on
its way. Let's look at something Jesus had to say about the very same
thing in the following verses. Luke 21:26 "Men's hearts failing them
for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the
earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." Luke 21:27 "And then
shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great
glory." Luke 21:28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then
look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
This is speaking of a time when trouble is everywhere you look. There
is only one help for the psalmist, or for anyone else, who is
surrounded with problems. Look up and rejoice, God will come to your

     Psalms 121:2 "My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven
and earth."

     LORD, here, is Jehovah. To add, which made heaven and earth, adds
to the name Jehovah, the Word. John 1:1 "In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:2 "The
same was in the beginning with God." John 1:3 "All things were made by
him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." The spoken
Word of God created the heaven and earth. God said, Let there be, and
it was so. The God that was Creator of everything, including me, would
be the best help a person could have. Notice, there is no doubt in his
statement. He does not say, maybe He will help me. He says cometh,
which means continues to come. My help continues to come from the

     Psalms 121:3 "He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that
keepeth thee will not slumber."

     In Hebrews chapter 13, we read that He will never leave us, or
forsake us. God is a present help. He is always there to help us night
and day. If you are standing on the Rock that cannot be moved, you
will not slip. The Great Shepherd never sleeps or lets the wolves come
in and get the sheep. He is ever watchful over His sheep. The
assurance is, that He will be with us even unto the end of the earth.

     Psalms 121:4 "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither
slumber nor sleep."

     This does not just mean physical Israel, who the presence of God
was continually with on their way to the promised land. Spiritual
Israel {Christians} are on a journey to their promised land {heaven}.
God is with His own every step of the way to make sure our journey is
completed. The presence in the wilderness was the fire by night and
the cloud by day. The presence with the believer, now, is the Holy
Spirit which is our Comforter and our Guide. He will guide us to
eternal life in heaven {our promised land}.

     Psalms 121:5 "The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade
upon thy right hand."

     LORD, here, is Jehovah. The promise is that the evil one can not
snatch you away from God. He is our Keeper. Look, with me, at the
following 2 Scriptures that tell exactly what I want to say here. John
10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,
neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand." John 10:29 "My
Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is
able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand."  The shade, here, means
a protector from harm. The right hand always has to do with the
spirit. This, then, would be saying that God Himself protects the
spirit of His followers.

     Psalms 121:6 "The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon
by night."

     The key word in this is, smite. Smite means to strike you
lightly, or severely. Day and night God is our Protector. The elements
of nature would cooperate with the believer, and not be harmful to
them. Just as the Spirit of God was with physical Israel, He will be
with and protect spiritual Israel {Christians}.

     Psalms 121:7 "The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he
shall preserve thy soul." Psalms 121:8 "The LORD shall preserve thy
going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for

     Evil may be all around you, but the LORD will build a hedge
around you. Psalms 91:7 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten
thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee."  Just
as the LORD made a separation from the firstborn of Egypt and the
firstborn of the Hebrews, He will make a separation for us, as well.
Preserve means keep. The sum total of this is, that he will keep our
soul. When I look at this, I see the 23rd Psalm. He is our Shepherd.
He leads me where I should go. He leads me to green pastures, He leads
me to clear water, He watches over me while I rest. The wolves cannot
get me because He protects me. When the Shepherd is there, I fear no
evil even though I am walking through the shadow of death. He not only
leads me to this green pasture once, but over and over as I need food.
He watches His sheep, as they go out and come in, to make sure they
are all there, and that they are in good shape. If they wander off, He
goes after them. I shall not want, because He provides all my needs.
Notice, that when I am in His presence, He restores my soul. He leads
me in the straight and narrow path of righteousness. He even prepares
a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He fills my cup so
full that it runs over.

     If I belong to the Great Shepherd, surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house
of the Lord forever.

                             Questions 132

1.  In my distress I _____ ______ ___ ____ and He heard me.
2.  What do many believe the song of degrees to be?
3.  We are looking at the ________ rather than at the history of the
4.  When Does most of mankind call on God?
5.  What is the most wonderful statement made in verse 1?
6.  What is the distress the psalmist was in?
7.  Slander does not break your bones, but your _______.
8.  What is the evil weapon used against the psalmist, in verse 2?
9.  What would Jesus say, to do with such an evil tongue?
10. What are the two ways to look at the sharp arrows of verse 4?
11. What do the coals of Juniper speak of?
12. Where did the psalmist sojourn?
13. He dwelled in the tents of _______.
14. These two were similar to _________.
15. What kind of people were these people, that the psalmist lived
16. Verse 6 says, they hated ______.
17. Who is the psalmist in chapter 120, probably?
18. Christians are ______ in this evil land.
19. The psalmist says, he is for _______ in verse 7.
20. Even when he was speaking to them about peace, They had their
    _____ drawn for _____.
21. Quote Psalms chapter 121 verse 1.
22. When we are in the valley of despair, things look ________.
23. Quote Luke chapter 21, verses 26, 27, and 28.
24. My help cometh from the ______.
25. Quote John chapter 1, verses 1, 2, and 3.
26. What would be the best help a person could have?
27. Where, in the Bible, do we read that He will never leave us, or
    forsake us?
28. If you are standing where, you will not slip.
29. What was the presence of God in the wilderness seen by the
    children of Israel?
30. What is the Presence with the believer now?
31. Quote John chapter 10, verses 28, and 29.
32. What is the shade mentioned in verse 5?
33. Quote Psalms chapter 91 verse 7.
34. What does the author see in verse 7 and 8 of the 121st Psalm?