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Nicholas King Lectio Divina 2

Author: Lisa Cherrett, 21 June 2024

Explore Psalm 121 with this lectio divina using the Bible translated by Nicholas King.

Psalm 121 

(From The Bible translated by Nicholas King)

I lifted up my eyes to the mountains; 

from where shall my help come? 

My help is from the Lord, 

who made heaven and earth. 

Do not allow your foot to be shaken, 

nor let your Guardian slumber. 

Look, he does not slumber nor sleep, 

the Guardian of Israel. 

The Lord will guard you, 

the Lord is your shelter, at your right hand. 

By day the sun shall not burn you up, 

nor the moon by night. 

The Lord will guard you from evil; 

he will guard your soul. 

The Lord will guard your going in and your coming out, 

from now on and for ever.

Reading 

Read this psalm several times over and make a note of any words or phrases that stand out to you. Highlight anything that puzzles you as well as words that encourage you.

Remember that the people of the cultures surrounding Israel thought their gods had similar needs to human beings, including a need for sleep. They also believed that the sun, moon and stars were powerful gods themselves. So the psalmist is telling us that the God of Israel is completely different: he does not have to sleep, and the sun and moon are created by him and under his control.

Meditation

Think more deeply about the words or phrases that you have noted. Why do you think they seemed important to you?  

The word ‘guard’ is repeated several times in the psalm. Does it mean different things in different lines? What emotions does it bring out in you? 

This psalm is one of the ‘Songs of Ascent’, thought to have been sung on pilgrimage up to Jerusalem for special festivals. In what ways is it especially appropriate for a long journey?

Prayer 

Speak and listen to God about how he helps, guards and shelters you in all the comings and goings of life.

As you pray, lift up your eyes – whether to the sky, the ceiling, the mountains or the end of your road. Does this make any difference to the way you communicate with God? Is it helpful or unhelpful?

Contemplation

Relax for a while in the knowledge that God is never ‘caught napping’ but is always attentive to his creation, including us. As you leave your prayer time, stay aware of God’s sheltering presence through the coming day and night.  


The Bible translated by Nicholas King is available in the Bible Society Shop. To help you explore Psalm 121 in this new translation, you can buy and download an audio track featuring the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120—134).


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