“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.” Psalm 121:1-8
I don’t know about you, but during these past several months I’ve found myself ‘looking to the hills’ - a lot. Psalm 121 has been a comfort and a steadfast reminder of our sovereign God, who never forsakes us, is always with us, and protects us from all evil. There are many comforting thoughts to ponder in this Psalm - here are only a few:
What a comfort knowing where our help comes from - the Lord!
The Lord holds us steady - will not let us slip.
The Lord does not take a break and is always constantly keeping us.
The Lord protects us from all - especially evil.
Our life is in the palm of His hand - He keeps our Life.
And forevermore, He is with us and keeps us as we come and go.
The author of this Psalm, David, knew this well because he lived it as he trusted the Lord with his own life, while he was evading Saul who was trying to kill him. “And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand.” 1 Samuel 23:14. Later as King David, he was able to reflect as he lifted his eyes to the hills, the Lord was with him.
As a leader King David took the time to reflect and write about his journey. I can only imagine the terror and fear he may have felt living in the hills, hiding in caves, and trying to escape the grip of Saul who sought to kill him. It is interesting to reflect on his writing Psalm 121, with this in mind; David must have felt terror and fear from the experience - as his life must have flashed before his eyes on many occasions. But he could see beyond the suffering, the pain, and the journey included hope, deliverance, and safekeeping as he was in the very presence of the Lord.
We too have been on a journey. We might not have been hiding for our lives in a cave, but it may have seemed like that at times. The past several months have been like none other, to be sure. It is easy to see the frustration, pain, and even suffering that has occurred, and as we together reflect and ‘look to the hills’, let us remember like David, where our help comes from -- the Lord. A God who cares so deeply for His people that He gave His only Son, Jesus (Jn. 3:16), will never leave or forsake us. “The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” Amen.
We pray: Gracious and merciful Lord, it is easy for us to become short sighted, focusing only on our suffering and pain. Forgive us as we fall into sin daily. Thank you for keeping us focused on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Your only Son, who died for our salvation. Help us to share about Your great love daily with those who don’t know. Thank you for keeping us as we come and go forth serving You, reminding us daily to lift our eyes to the cross, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jeffrey S. Beavers, Executive Director | CEO
Crean Lutheran High School, Irvine, CA