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.
It Glorifies God to Ask for His Help.
My daughter, Ada, is in a very cute stage of life as a 3-year old. She is sweet, kind, and very independent. But regularly she struggles with doing certain things like opening the bathroom door or cutting her food or putting on her shoes. It’s then when she says, “Papa, please help me.” On one hand, it is good to teach her to do things by herself. But on the other hand, it is honoring for me as her father to help her. It honors me because she is coming to me for help. She believes I can help her and that I will help her. Unfortunately, I am not as capable or consistent as our heavenly Father. But in the same way, it glorifies Him when we come to Him for help; He is a God who loves to help His children.
Our Hope: God Will Help Us.
The psalmist feels exposed. He is a pilgrim, wandering a lonely countryside. Animals or thieves or enemies could descend upon him. How does he comfort himself? He looks up to the hills and reminds himself that his help comes from the very God who made the hills. Furthermore, He has made heaven and earth! The psalmist places his hope in the protection and care of his God. If God establishes His foot somewhere, it will not be moved (121:3). And we can sleep, knowing that God never sleeps (121:4). We need not lay awake worried about what might happen because our Creator is watching over us. He keeps us as a good shepherd keeps His sheep. He protects us from all evil (121:7). He protects our coming and going (121:8). The point is to say that God’s protection and help cover all of our existence. It is like when Jesus said not one hair on our heads would perish (Luke 21:18). God’s help for us is comprehensive.
It is all too easy to look at our circumstances and despair. But do we not know that our help comes from the Lord, the One who made heaven and earth? Do we know that not one thing can enter our lives without being approved by the sovereign will of our Father? Do we not know that even what others intend for evil, God intends for our good? If the Lord is on our side, why should we worry and fear? Look up, dear child of God. If you belong to Christ, you are safe in His hand. No matter how bleak the situation looks, help is on the way. Hope in that reality.
Our Confidence: God Has Helped Us in Jesus Christ.
Much of what the psalmist hopes for is unseen. He reminds himself of God’s character and His greatness, but he has not received this hope yet. Although this is enough, we live on the other side of the cross. We need no other proof that God will help His people than what we celebrate at Christmas. Christmas reminds us that God has provided help for us in the person of Jesus Christ. In the ultimate sense of “coming,” God’s help came to us in human form. He lived a perfect life, suffered for our sins, and conquered the grave. Truly, help has come for our helplessness!
It is often said, “God helps those who help themselves,” but nothing could be further from the truth. Christmas is proof that God has chosen to help those who could not help themselves. He has come and done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He has helped you in Christ and He will help you in Christ in the most comprehensive way possible. He will come and make all things new. Our help will be consummated, our hope fulfilled, and our brokenness healed. Choose to hope. Hope in your sovereign God, the Helper to the helpless.
Our Prayer: God, Help Us!
As much as this psalm is a song, it is also a prayer. Far be it from us to think that we are any less desperate than the psalmist. And far be it from us to think we are in less need of desperate prayer either. When was the last time you actually fell on your knees and prayed to God that He would help you? Do not think that knowing biblical truths or having a lot of life experience makes you any less in need of crying out to Him. God is glorified when you come to Him for help.
Spend some time reflecting on Psalm 121. Where in your life do you need God’s help? Pray to Him, bring your needs to Him, and listen for what His Spirit may want to say to you. Pray for His help but also remind yourself of His character and greatness. Take some time to remember the help that God has already provided to you, both in the work of Jesus through His death, burial, and resurrection, and in your own life experiences. Thank and worship Him. He has helped you. He will help you. It is who He is. He loves to help His people.