Posted by MK | Filed under Bible Study
Psalm 121 reads like this:
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
It’s a vivid description of a God who is active on behalf of His people. The people stumble and trip; the Lord keeps them from falling. The people snooze and doze from exhaustion; the Lord does not slumber but is always wide awake. The people are oblivious to coming trouble and attack; the Lord protects and shelters them though they are not cognizant of His protection.
He’s a busy God. He’s an active God. And we, as the people of God, are the beneficiaries of His activity. But what is the job of the people of God in this psalm? What is our role? What are we to do?
Only one thing in Psalm 121:
We look to the hills. Among the myriad of God’s activity, His people are to look to the hills.
So we do. We find ourselves in the day of trouble, incapable of altering our own situation, so we look to the hills. The question is what do we see there. And the answer is found in a little phrase that’s used to describe the type of psalm this is.
If you read up, before verse one, you’ll see a little annotation before this psalm. It’s among a series of songs that are called songs of ascents. These songs are classified like this because they were intended, on their first use, to be sung by pilgrims as they were traveling to Jerusalem. As they were coming to the city, they would be ascending, for Jerusalem was built on a hill.
Look to the hills, pilgrims. Look to Jerusalem. That’s where the temple is. That’s where the help comes from, for it is said to be the dwelling place of the God of Israel.
But for the Christian, the hill becomes even more specific. When we look to the hills, we don’t just look toward the hill of Jerusalem. We look to another hill that’s outside the city gates. The hill of execution. The place of the skull. We look to the hills, and we see the cross of Jesus Christ.
And when we look to that hill, and when we see the cross, we know that our help has come indeed. Once and for all.