WHERE DOES OUR HELP COME FROM?

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?” – Psalm 121:1

One of the mistakes people make while traveling is not asking for directions. There have been many intensive negotiations between married couples on trips, mainly because the husband would not stop and ask for directions. Fortunately, we now have the technology to help us via our smart phones or GPS. You just punch in the information of your destination and then click start and the device gives you step by step directions guiding you to your destination.

Similarly, we learn from this Psalm that a weary sojourner wisely looks for help. But where will his help come from as he looks up to the mountains? Eventually he will look to the Lord as his ultimate source for help as he can see in the distance the hills of Zion, the place that the Lord, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, loves more than “…all the other dwelling places of Jacob.” (Psalm 87:2).

Psalm 121 is part of a collection of Psalms (120-134) called “The Psalms of Ascent.” They were given this title as they were selected to aid the worshipping Israelite on his pilgrimage toward God as they went up to Jerusalem for the three annual festivals. This Psalm directs the thoughts of the pilgrim to God as his source of help. Giving him the assurance that Israel’s Keeper will maintain vigilant oversight to protect His people.

There is always risk in traveling. Even today there are the risks of weather, mechanical failure, terrorists, health, and thieves etc. This pilgrim takes the initial step as he looks up to the hills towards Jerusalem and proposes the important question, “Who is going to help me safely journey to my destination?” The pilgrim thus looks beyond the hills and looks to the Lord who created the hills as he writes, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2)

This proposes a very important question. As you sojourn through this life, with all its dangers that come along the way, what help do you seek? Do you seek help from the hills or from the One who made the hills? Eventually, when the pilgrims journeyed and could see Jerusalem up ahead on a hill, they knew this was by God’s design. They could see His sanctuary which would provide the help they needed in life. I pray that you will look to the Lord as the One true source for help. He is your Creator. His Word is your spiritual compass to point you in the right direction. His Spirit is your guide. His Son is your hope of salvation. Your help comes from the Lord.

“Prayer for the Homesick Soul”

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.” Psalm 120.1

What is homesickness? It is defined as “a feeling of longing for one’s home during a period of absence from it.” If you recall your own childhood, you might have been homesick once while visiting a relative, friend, or even a camp. Below are a couple of examples of parents who received homesick letters from their children who were at camp. (Spelling reflects the child’s grammar).

“Dear Mom and Dad,
Camp is terrible. I am homesick almost every minnut. I tried evrything, and nothing works. I need to come home rite now! Please, please, please come and get me today!” Love, Chuck

“Dear Mom and Dad,
This camp stinks! The cownsillers are all mean and so are the kids. All I want to do is come home. If you don’t come pick me up, I’m going to run away. I swayr. I hate this place!” Your son, Brandon

I remember when I was about six years old. I was overcome with homesickness while visiting my cousin for my first sleepover. Everything was fine throughout the day until bedtime. I guess it had not hit me until then that I would not be near my parents, even though my Aunt and Uncle were nearby. I remember making such a fuss that my dad had to come pick me up and take me home because I would not go to bed.

Psalm 120 is a psalm for a burdened believer who is far from his spiritual homeland and is living among ungodly people who are only for war. In this Psalm, the writer cries out to the Lord in prayer like a child would by writing or calling home from camp. He cries out to the Lord because he depends on no one else but God (vv. 1-2). He seeks deliverance from God from the deceitful tongues that harass him (vv. 3-4). Therefore, he tells God all about his troubles. He is honest about what troubles him, yet he also confesses his sin and repents of his journey with those who hate peace (vv. 5-6). Then, finally, he leaves his burden behind and seeks the peace of God and proclaims it (v. 7).

Being at peace with God means to completely trust in all that He does and says. It’s knowing He is the Great Shepherd who is always there to provide and protect (Psalm. 23). It means letting His peace rule your heart (Colossians. 3:15). It also means to live at peace with all people (Romans. 12:18) and not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:7).

Trusting in the Lord is the sure cure for anxiousness and fear while waiting to go home to be with Him. Therefore, be dependent on the Lord through prayer. Be patient. Be steadfast. Be a peacemaker and be excellent in your behavior. Remember, Christians are sojourners in this world. We are just passing through. Make the best of it and trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).