I’ve not walked the road from Jericho to Jerusalem, but I’ve driven it many times. You start in Jericho, the lowest city on earth at 864 feet below sea level (!) and over the course of ascend to Jerusalem, 3800 feet above sea level! It is only 25 km – about 32 along the old Roman road – but it is up, up, up, and it would have been both tiring and treacherous in Jesus’ day – which is why he set the Parable of the Good Samaritan along this very road. Psalm 121 was a hymn to be sung while on this journey – as you read it, imagine the long, hot, steep road ahead.
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Prayer – of course, the classic Psalm 121 hymn!