Tehillim Time

In face of Covid-19, reciting Psalms on the Senate floor

Sen. James Lankford invoked Ketuvim during the debate over the congressional stimulus package

Sen. James Lankford

Sen. James Lankford

Speaking on the Senate floor last week during a debate over the $2 trillion stimulus package, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) recited Psalms chapter 121 to explain why he thought Americans should turn to their faiths, rather than solely depend on the government for relief during the difficult coronavirus pandemic: 

“When the Jews would come in to Jerusalem for the different feasts, they would sing these Psalms of ascent as they came off the eastern hills and would start rising up towards Jerusalem. And the song they would sing, I think, is pertinent for our time right now.”

“Psalm 121 reads, ‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains. Where does my help come from?’ Now remember the mountains here, is the capital city Jerusalem — it’s the seat of government for them and the center of worship, but it’s the seat of government for them. And they would sing, ‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you. The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from harm. He will watch over you. The Lord will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.’”

“It’s interesting to me that the people would come in, marching into Jerusalem, the seat of government, singing the song. ‘I lifted my eyes to the mountain, but where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.’ And of all the things that are going on in Washington D.C. right now, you’ll hear people here repeating over and over again: ‘Our hope is not in government. Our hope is not in how much money we can spend. We understand full well that when we lift up our eyes to the mountain, to this hill, we understand full well from where our help comes from. And it’s not from all the folks in this room. Our help comes from the Lord and we’re grateful that he neither slumbers nor sleeps.”

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