Did you ever notice how there seems to be a product or service for your every need? All you need to do is spend just a little bit of time watching television, infomercials or a shopping channel and you will find something to satisfy desires you didn’t even know you had or problems you didn’t know existed. Then there are all the services that private companies or government agencies are just itching to provide. If you need help of any kind someone, somewhere out there has just what you need. Now I’m not talking about legitimate needs and help, but it seems to me we are being over-sold on all this stuff. This constant bombardment has the effect of making us mentally and emotionally frenetic. We are constantly looking for the next “big thing” that will make our lives right and solve all our problems.
Unfortunately, we approach our spiritual lives much the same way. We look for the next ministry, church, pastor, conference or book to tell us how to fix our Christian walk. In Psalm 121, we read,
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.
As I read this psalm, I think the writer is looking at all the pagan altars on all the hill tops in Israel and asking himself, “Is this where I will find help? From the pagan gods; from this world’s values and resources; from man-made philosophies? ” Too often in Israel’s history, the people strayed from the worship of the True God and looked around at the pagan nations around them for guidance. That is the basis of the question the psalmist asks. Where can I get help? But he immediately recognizes the foolishness of counting on the world’s help and affirms the truth that only in the Lord will we truly receive the help, support, protection that we need. Only the Lord is faithful and trustworthy.
I was reminded of this recently in my own life as I faced an uncertain future in my job. How could I position myself to protect my job? Whose side should I take? What are the correct politics? Who can help me better? Suddenly, like a slap across face, I realized, “What am I doing? I can’t depend on my own schemes or other people to secure my future.” I realized that I was looking to the “hills” for my help – to the world’s way of resolving problems -instead of to the Lord. Once I saw that, I was able to relax and trust that the Lord would keep my “going out” and “my coming in.” What a great place to be! What was there to fret about? Nothing.
So I hope you too will stop looking around for someone or something to get you out of whatever problem, concern or worry you may have. You have a great promise of security if you will stop looking to the world’s “hills” and recognize where your real help comes from – the Maker of heaven and earth.