This topic if for lesson ideas and resources for teaching Psalm 121 to children (and perhaps youth).
You're the God of the Hills and Valleys (and I am not alone)
A short musical devotion for at-home or fellowship.
Neil MacQueen originally wrote this devotion for at-home use during the "hills and valleys" of the 2020-21 pandemic, but like the psalm itself, the message and song are timeless.
"Hills and Valleys" is a great description of the kind of challenges we face in life and the godly perspective that is our saving grace.
In this short devotion, you'll open with a question, then share the music video and discuss some of its lyrics, then share one or both of the powerful psalms.
Psalm 23: "even in the darkest valley..." Lyrics: "and I am not alone"
Psalm 121: "I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?" Lyrics: "on the mountain I will bow my life."
The Song and Songwriter:
Tauren Wells is a phenomenal singer, songwriter, and worship leader. His 2017 debut album and scripturally inspired lyrics won four Grammy nominations. Among them, his song "Hills and Valleys" has inspired many to hold on and persevere whether they were faced with hills or valleys in their life. The music video featured below is terrifc and talkable.
- Valleys: Valleys in the Bible can be bad places like "death valley" or good places like a place of cool water and green grass. What good and bad "valleys" have you experienced in life? What "dreams" or plans have you had that have been "broken" or delayed?
- Hills: Hills in the Bible can be difficult climbs and obstacles, or they can be places that you've conquered and can see beautiful vistas atop. Name a good and bad "hill" you've experienced in your life.
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/8iDuZv_5MQk (full version)
YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/p4rRCjrAyCs (piano-only version)
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the One who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there
When I'm standing on the mountain, I didn't get there on my own
When I'm walking through the valley I know I am not alone
You're God of the hills and valleys
Hills and valleys
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone
Questions to ask after the video:
- What was your favorite phrase or word in the lyrics? ..the one that spoke to you?
- What does Taurence Wells tell us about BOTH hills and valleys? (God is in both places, the good, the bad, the desolate, the cool, the obstacles, and the vistas.) What does this say to us about God's character and love for us?
Read Psalm 23
What does it say about valleys and God's presence?
Read Psalm 121
What does it say about hills and God's care for us?
Play this game: After watching the video once, ask everyone to say how many times will Tauren Wells sings "and I am not alone." Watch the video a second time and count them to see who came close.
- Why do you think "and I am not alone" is so important to remember?
- How are we helping each other "get through" (not be alone) our stresses and troubles these days? To be supportive to others?
- Who or What helps you feel closer to God?
Conclude if you wish by reading Psalm 139: 7-12...
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139's words are very similar to the tone of Well's song and Psalms 23 and 121. How does the song and psalms make you feel about the hills and valleys in your life? Tell God in a silent prayer.
Written by Neil MacQueen, member of the Rotation.org Writing Team