Looking for help

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.”

One of the things the Bible tells us is that we are to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).” But the Bible doesn’t leave us there. It gives us reasons for that hope over and over again. One such place is in the words from Psalm 121 above, which begins with “I lift up my eyes to the hills.” Some versions say “I will lift up my eyes to the hills.” In other words, it is an act of his will to look up in times when he needs help. When he faces a difficulty that is greater than his ability to handle, he looks up. It’s the opposite of being downcast, of looking down in despondency. No, the psalmist says “I will look up, up to the hills.” 

But then he anticipates the perhaps mocking questioning of those around him, those who might ask, “What reason do you (or we) have to look up? Don’t you realize how bad things are? What are you looking UP for? As anyone can see, there’s nothing there but the hills.” But then the answer: “It’s not the hills themselves that are the answer! It’s the One who made the hills. In fact, He not only made the hills, He created heaven and earth. I see Him with the eyes of faith. I believe what He’s told me, for I know Him and I trust Him. And I know this about Him: ‘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’” (Psalm 121:3-8).

The psalmist knew that there would always be mockers.  And these mockers could be even one’s closest friends. He knew about Job, who in the midst of his tragedy, was told by his wife, of all people: “Do you STILL hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die (Job 2:9).” And to this Job replied “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” And to his “friends,”who commiserated with him: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

You see, Job, like the psalmist, knew the Creator of the heavens and earth. He didn’t know everything about Him (for no one does), as he would soon find out, but He knew enough about Him that he knew He could trust Him. And then there are these words from another of the psalms. Here, the psalmist doesn’t answer the mockers “out there.” No, here he answers the mocking voices that might rise up within his own heart in times of trial with the following words: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11).  

So, what about you and what about me? In those times of trial when things make no sense whatsoever, will be look down, be downcast, and filled with hopelessness – or will we, like the psalmist, look up, towards those hills, to that which is invisible but much greater than those hills, i.e., the Creator of the hills, and with them all of the heavens and the earth? What a great God we serve. Trust Him!

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