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Where Does My Help Come From?


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.

— Psalm 121:1-2

When I read this psalm of David, these opening lines paint a picture in my mind of a warrior in battle. He is weary, beleaguered by foes. His allies are slain or wounded; his enemies are numerous and ferocious, out for his blood. He fights bitterly, barely holding his ground, and having spent his last ounce of valor to buy a fleeting moment of rest, he surveys the scene around him and realizes—the battle is lost. Lost, that is, if his eyes are to be believed. There are none left fit to fight, no strength left on his side of the battle lines to oppose the onslaught of the opposition. What can he do? What could anyone do, in such a plight?

Help must come from outside the perimeter of the battle! It may be, the warrior thinks in desperation, that some friendly forces have got wind of the conflict and have answered the call to join his cause in that dismal valley. Maybe, just maybe, alliances have been honored, old friendships have been remembered, and help is on the way. And so, before the next wave of foes sweeps furiously over his position, his eyes stray upward to the surrounding hilltops, searching, hoping to see the glint of sun on polished helm that announces the arrival of aid...

When we're in this kind of trouble, what do we do? Where do we look? Where do we place our hope?

We might pray prayers of "please let this car start" or "may the doctors have wisdom to correctly diagnose this disease" or "may our governor see the error of his ways and cease these corrupt mandates." And God hears us, praise his holy Name! But we must recognize that all of the earthly means that we lift our eyes to are ultimately powerless toward our deliverance. It is God who saves.

The magic is not found in the sunlight dancing on the hilltops or in the band of warriors that come running down to my aid. The secret sauce of salvation lies in the intention of God toward his people for good. It is his love, expressed fundamentally in the covenant of Jesus' blood, that has already decided that salvation is on the way. Yes, and it has already routed the enemy and transported the weary warrior to a place of rest and peace.

God intended for an explosion of worship to take place in our time of need. This worship happens when my heart acknowledges the reality that whether God sends the reinforcements from the over the mountains or strengthens my hand to fight alone in the valley, it is He who does it, and He alone that can make such means successful for my deliverance.

Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

— Psalm 50:15

Soli Deo Gloria!

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.

— Psalm 121


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