Where Does Your Help Come From?

I love to look at the mountains. Something about them has always inspired a deep sense of awe in me, so much so that I often audibly gasp when I’m watching a beautiful sunrise out our kitchen window, or driving down the hill into the valley where we live, looking out on the majestic range to the west.

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Sunrise out my kitchen window – never gets old!

And whenever I look out on these mountains, I’m reminded of Psalm 121. Verse 1 says:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?

I used to think that David (the Psalm’s author) must have felt the way I do about mountains. That he must also have found them awe-inspiring and breath-taking.

When this verse sprang to my mind, I imagined that David was looking to the mountains as a way to inspire hope, or to boost his morale.

But when we read the rest of the Psalm, that’s not at all what the reference to “mountains” is about…

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 all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

David does not find his encouragement and confidence in the mountains. He is not spurred on by a vague sense of awe and wonder.

No, he is looking to the mountains and not finding his help there. His help comes from God – the one who actually made the mountains!

It’s as if he’s saying, “I looked to the vast and wonderful mountains, but they did nothing to help me. No, my help actually came from God – the One who is bigger than the mountains, the earth and the sky… the One who was powerful and big enough to make them all!”

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I’ll always be a mountain-watcher (and climber!). But I know that the awe I feel when I look at them is nothing compared to the awe I will feel when I stand face to face with God one day. I know that the joy and they wonder they stir up in me, is really joy and wonder at the the beauty and magnitude of God’s creation. And I know that as great as this natural world can be – with it’s mountains, valleys and rich diversity – it all pales in comparison to the greatness and power of the One who made them.

So, with David, I too can say, “I lifted my eyes to the mountains… my help comes from God, the Maker of heaven and earth”.

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