Wednesday Word: Psalm 121

When I was in college I got a chance to spend three weeks in Israel taking a class at Jerusalem University. We got to see some amazing sights as we traveled from Dan to Beersheba (at least most of the way) and from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Exploring the old city of Jerusalem is one of my favorite memories of the trip. On one occassion we were in the southern part of the old city and my professor took out his Bible and read the beginning of Psalm 121:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from?”

He then told us to look up. All around us on every side were hills, which was perhaps the inspiration for this particular verse. To live in Jerusalem during the writing of Psalm 121 was to be under fairly constant threat of marauding enemies. And if those enemies decided to attack the city, what would be the first indication of their plans? They would be streaming down the hills and heading for the fortified walls. What a horrifying sight to behold. So where does help come from in those terrifying moments? The psalmist answers:

“My help comes from the Lord…”

Why is it encouraging to remember the Lord when our enemies are barreling down the hills to attack our city? Because the Lord made the hills. He is the One “who made heaven and earth.” The very dirt on which they run was spoken into existence by our God. And as the Maker of heaven and earth, our God never sleeps or slumbers (v. 3-4). He never grows tired of protecting us (v. 5-6). He never leaves us or forsakes us (v. 7-8). When your help comes from the Creator, then nothing in all of creation should cause you to fear.

Hundreds of years later, the son of a Jewish carpenter would be dragged up one of those hills and nailed to a tree for the sins of the world. He would suffer under the righteous wrath of God that my rebellion deserved. And He would breathe His last in that place. But before He died, He would proclaim: “It is finished!” And all my enemies were slain. The justice I deserved for my sin was satisfied by His sacrifice. I know this because He came back from the grave three days later.

On this side of Calvary, I can say with the psalmist that my help comes from the Lord because of what He did on one of those hills outside of Jerusalem. The Maker of heaven and earth has redeemed my soul through the sending of His Son. My Keeper is my Redeemer. My Helper is my Creator, from this time forth and forevermore.



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