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Our Help Is From the Lord (Psalm 121)

Our Hope and Help is from the Lord

We recently worked through Psalm 121 for our monthly #LetterforHisGlory challenge. It has so much comfort packed into eight short verses! Take a quick moment to read through it:

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Your hope and your help is from the Lord, and you have no more sure hiding place than His presence. He is your keeper, your shade on your right hand, and His love for you is faithful and unending. He will never leave you helpless or hopeless. He will never sleep on the job, forget about you, or choose to ignore you on a busy day. He will hold you fast!

If you need a dose of encouragement, spend a few days praying through and meditating on this psalm. Look it up in a study Bible or commentary (BibleStudyTools is a good source), and take the time to understand it a little better. Especially the last few verses, which are often taken out of context (hint: keep you from all evil is about preservation, not prevention). You can also read my reflections on each verse here.

Designing the Artwork

I wanted these pieces to have a cohesive look since they’re all from the same psalm, so I designed a simple color palette and subtle textured background to use for all three, which would allow the text to take center stage. I felt like flowers or other illustrations would detract from the words, so instead I added interest by varying the lettering styles and layouts.

The first piece has a rather lengthy text selection (vs 1-2) so a simpler style worked best. It gave me the feel of a personal journal, so I opted to use a script style that looks more like normal handwriting than anything fancy. Curving the text slightly added visual interest and helped convey the concept of looking up looking up, which is both mentioned in verse 1 and also how the psalm was originally sung — as travelers walked up to Jerusalem.

The second piece (vs 3b-4) let me get more creative with the text. I chose to work with the sleep/slumber idea, and created a wavy text layout that conveyed kind of a dream-like quality. It required a simple sans-serif lettering style that would be really easy to read. That one was a bit harder technically, so I was really happy with how it came out!

The final piece was the shortest of all, so I could get more creative with the lettering–and you can see I chose my own unique mix of print and cursive lettering with some fun serifs and swirls thrown in for visual interest. I opted to do a block style layout that is slightly reminscent of a door, carrying the idea of going out and coming in.

These were fun to design and I think they work really well as a mini-collection! If you’re interested in prints of any of them (or all three!), just let me know. I now offer both digital and physical prints of my artwork.

Do you have a favorite verse from Psalm 121?

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