I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2
This is one of the best-known and best-loved of all the psalms. The answer to the psalmist’s question is a resounding: ”No!” The mountains might look strong and confident, however our help certainly doesn’t come from them, but from the Lord. It’s impossible to know what exactly was in the mind of the psalmist when he referred to the mountains. He might simply have been reflecting on their impressive grandeur and strength. But it is quite likely that he was thinking of the fact that people often went to high places like mountains to worship false gods such as Baal. The psalmist wanted to make it absolutely clear that only God himself is able to meet our needs.
Our God is always on the job. He never slumbers or sleeps. He is continually watching over us. Our family and friends may well be wonderfully supportive and caring. They would do anything for us, but sooner or later they get tired and need to get some sleep. Their support is great but it’s well short of 100 per cent. But God is different. He can be relied upon to be there to support us night and day.
The mountains might look impressive but they are absolutely useless when it comes to caring for us. They look like a source of strength but when it comes down to it they are powerless to help us. What the psalmist is saying is that we need to make sure that we are looking in the right place for our help. Doctors, therapists, counsellors, psychologists and mentors can enrich our lives in many ways, but ultimately they are human and limited. They cannot do what God can do, and we should never expect them to do so.
This psalm challenges us all to look hard at our lives and ensure we are looking in the right direction for the help that really matters. We need to look to the Lord himself who made heaven and earth.
Where do you get your help from?
Loving God, I thank you for being my constant help and strength. Help me to lean on you today. Amen