Here’s a favorite psalm of so many…I hope it becomes a favorite for you too. Jesus got to know this psalm from the time when he was twelve years old. From that age, Jewish boys became young men and went along on the sacred journeys to Jerusalem a few times a year. They sang this song.
Walk with them and picture the mountains in the distance. Lots of people look to mountains as sacred places where God is. They’re right, but it’s not only from there. Mountains far away are just that: far away! But God is like a bodyguard, who walks with us, protecting us from harm.
English translations use synonyms for one single Hebrew word used in verses 3,4,5,7,8. It’s the word shamar. It feels like a person’s name, doesn’t it? Let me introduce you!
The New Living Translation, translates this one the word four different ways. First it means how God “watches over” you (used four times!). Second the word tells of God as your “protective shade,” third, God “is keeping you from evil,” and fourth, God “preserves” your life.
Shamar has a sweet sound to it…like breathing a sigh that comes from the feeling of safety when we know that God is so close to us. Take some time to be quiet and just breathe out that word and believe that God is giving you all the protection that you need.
On Wednesdays we read one psalm each week, usually one after another. In Lent we take some special psalms together—this year numbers 120 to 124. These are songs that the people sang while on special trips each year to the holy city of Jerusalem.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.