1 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121:1-8
As another year comes to a close, we will inevitably take some time to look back at the joys, the heartaches, the victories, and the challenges of the last year. We can learn from our mistakes, build on our successes, and plan what we might like to do differently in the future. Some memories will stick out like mile markers; their events shaping our lives for years to come.
When David wrote this Psalm, he was perhaps doing something similar, taking stock of the events of his life that led to him now being the anointed King of Israel. The poetic language of “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,” (Psalm 121:1, 2) wasn’t David saying he could see God coming down from those hills to rescue him. No, God doesn’t live in those hills, and at this point of David’s life he was secure in his rulership and needed no deliverance.
It was perhaps that when David lifted his eyes up to the hills, he didn’t just see a beautiful view. He saw his past playing out before his eyes. He remembered sneaking from one hill to another, one cave to another, hiding in the back of a cave while his enemy, King Saul, slept in the front. Then he worked his way around one side of the mountain while the king and his army marched around the other side. When David looked at those hills, he saw despair, grief, darkness, and hopelessness.
But when he looked at those hills, he also saw something more. He saw protection. He saw deliverance. In those hills, in those days of trials and depravation, David could now see the hand of God working to guide him and keep him safe.
David had undoubtedly spent time in the hills shepherding flocks when he was younger. Now he could look back and see that God had, in turn, shepherded him through those hills.
Perspective can work that way. When we walk with God, sometimes in the moment, it can be hard to see Him there with us, to understand His purpose and believe there is a greater plan. But, we can often look back at those times later and see that God was at work, guiding and protecting us along the way.
As you look back, perhaps this last year had some challenging times for you, as well. Certainly, in the past few years, we have all had times where we felt alone, isolated, and afraid. Looking back now, can you see how God has guided you through? When you look back at your own “time hiding out in the hills,” can you see that your help came from the Lord? Or perhaps today you are in the midst of one of those challenging chapters of your life. You can take comfort in the assurance that “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.” (Psalm 121:5, 6) God is there with you right now, shielding you from what could expose you to more harm or grief.
As we close another year, let’s look back and see the hand of God in our lives. Let’s be blessed in the assurance that, “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 121:7, 8)
Prayer for Today:
Father, I thank You for Your loving care for me. Even though I may not always see it in the moment, I know You are always there guiding me and protecting me from harm. Jesus, I look to the hill of Calvary where You suffered and died to win my salvation. My truest help has come from You. By Your Holy Spirit, build a faith in me that can trust You when I feel the most alone, and eyes to see Your favor upon me when I am delivered safely though times of hardship. Be with me in the new year, that I may be a witness of Your mercy and grace in my life. Amen.