Look Not To The Mountains
Psalm 121, one of the Psalms written for those traveling to the great city of Jerusalem on pilgrimage, invites us to look to the hills.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? Psalm 121:1 (NIV)
Whenever I read this verse, I am drawn to that scene in Sound of Music where the VonTrapp family is hiding in the Abby, waiting for the Germans to leave so they can make their escape. As they make their plans, the mother superior of the Abby quotes this verse, and the camera pans to the majestic Swiss Alps. Later we see the VonTrapps all hiking over the Alps to freedom.
As the pilgrims of the old testament looked up to the hills on their way to Jerusalem, they didn’t see the majesty of the Alps; they saw hills that no doubt were beautiful in their own way. But in these hills, they often saw places of pagan worship built to false gods. They saw the polls erected to the baals, they saw the tents of prostitution, gathering places where the prophets of these pagan religions would go to “wake” their gods and call them into action.
As the psalm writer looks to the hills on his journey, he answers his own question in verse 2.
2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2 (NIV)
He notices that his help comes not from the hills, or those who gather there, or the lofty plans of self-rescue that we design for ourselves. He knows that as we look to the hills in all their majesty, we recognize that our help is from the one who made the hills, the creator of Heaven and Earth.
While this is not news to me, I “know” this. I often fail to live that way, however. While I recognize the power and majesty of God to create everything out of nothing – the God of Genesis one, I often do not give him the credit he deserves for being mindful of my Monday morning. As I sit miles from my home, at my brother's house, surrounded by mountains, I am under the watchful eye and ready care of the Creator 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. Psalm 121:3-8 (NIV)
May I learn to rest in the unresting presence and power of God every moment of each day.