Psalm 121:1-2 - 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.
We can imagine the psalmist sitting alone, gazing off into the distance, looking at the hills lining the horizon. Lost in thought, he is considering an important question: where does my help come? It may be that, at times, you have also gazed off into the distance, not really seeing what's before you, and asked the same sort of question. When you are in trouble, or worried, sick or fearful, where will you find help? God has made available to us many possible helpers—friends, family members, pastors, teachers and, as needed, first responders, counselors, or trained medical professionals. All of these people can all be of help to us, and it is right to call on them, depending on the circumstances we find ourselves in. But the psalmist is wondering about another source of help, a lasting, ever-present help.
This psalm is one of the "songs of ascents" sung by Jewish pilgrims as they literally "went up" to Jerusalem, a city set in the hills of southern Israel. Perhaps looking to the hills around Jerusalem, the psalmist, inspired by the Spirit of God, knows the answer to his question: "My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth." God is always present with him. The God who keeps him is never asleep on the job. Wherever he goes, day or night, God goes with him. His life is held securely in God's hand, now and forever.
The answer given to the psalmist's question is our answer, too. We may at times feel lost and alone, not knowing where to turn. We find ourselves wondering, "Who will help me?" Whatever our worries, fears and questions, the answer remains the same: "My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth." Just as the psalmist gazed off into the distance, we gaze back in time through the pages of holy Scripture and turn our eyes to the hills, or rather to one hill outside of Jerusalem, a place called Golgotha. It was on this mountain, the prophet Isaiah said, that God would "swallow up death forever" and "wipe away tears from all faces" (see Isaiah 25:8).
Wondering, questioning, we look back by faith to that distant hill on which Jesus died. On that hill, and in an empty tomb nearby, we find the sure and certain answer to the question, "From where does my help come?" Through Jesus' death and resurrection, death and sin were swallowed up forever. By God's grace, through faith in Jesus, we have forgiveness for our sins and the promise of eternal life. From where does our help come? Our help comes from the Lord! Day and night, going out and coming in, wherever we go, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, our Lord and Savior will keep us safe in His care, "from this time forth and forevermore" (Psalm 121:8b).
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, when I wonder who will help me, when I feel lost and alone, remind me through Your Word of Your ever-present help. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Are you a person that others look to for help when things are difficult for them? How did you get to be that person?
2. How do you approach God to come and help you?
3. Do you have any favorite outdoor spaces where you go to make a connection with God?
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