I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
—Psalm 121:1-2 NKJV

When visiting New England, you will experience gentle mountain ranges that crescendo into the awe-inspiring Mount Washington found in the iconic Presidential Range of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, not to mention the Appalachian’s grand finale, Mount Katahdin, in Baxter State Park Maine. They are the reasons New England draws tourists from around the world who love to climb them or simply gaze at their beauty.

The Psalmist in today’s verses lifted his eyes to the hills and then asked a pivotal question: “Where does my help come from?” In his day, before the technology of our days, the high places were often places of worship, sanctuary, and protection against the enemy. They were a destination of choice and a place to go for help.

So why the question? The Psalmist was not so much asking a question as he was making a declaration that he knew where his help came from. It would not come from all those things that he could have so easily looked to around him that would never meet his spiritual heart need.

Today, we too have places we might be tempted to look to for help: Military capability, “Peace Through Strength,” or having just the right strong leader in office might give a sense of national security in the face of today’s worldwide unrest. Material possessions, a cushy bank account, and a very well-stocked cupboard might look pretty good in the face of a threatened economy and growing shortages. We all likely have our “if only we had—or didn’t have—then all would be well” stuff. But like the Psalmist of old, none of these will ever meet our heart need.

So what did the psalmist find? He found that the hills drew his eyes upward to where his help came from: the LORD, Jehovah God, the self-existent, eternal God who created Heaven and earth.

The New King James Study Bible notes call this psalm a “song for the road,” a fitting name for those who sang it—along with the fourteen other “Psalms of Ascent”—as they made their way up the hill to Jerusalem and up the Temple steps for the great feasts. A fitting name not only for them but also for us as we travel the steep, rugged, rough road of life stretched out in front of us. God gives us a song for the road. The song begins above and here is the rest:

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.
—Psalm 121:3-8 NKJV

The Psalmist’s example is a life lesson for me that when I am stressed, overwhelmed, fearful. When my date book gets too full and sleep comes too little. When I’m deeply feeling the loss of those no longer with me. When I’m overwhelmed with grief and frustration over my inability to do what I used to be able to do. When world news is just too much. When I grow out of sorts and downright grumpy. When the tsunami waves of the troubles of life slam over and over again … then I can lift my eyes and fix them on The One that the Apostle Paul reminds us to fix our eyes on: “Christ in us, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27b).

In this Advent season, we are reminded that two thousand-plus years ago a little baby was born into the humblest of circumstances so that He might draw all eyes upward to the God who saves. His cold cries in the night rang out to call all to gather to worship God, the All-Powerful, All-Sufficient, KING of kings, LORD of lords, and Prince of Peace, who brings Peace, and who is coming again!

Father, thank You for the wonderful promise and encouragement that in the midst of the difficult stuff, big and small, and even in the mundane, we have You. You are the One our help comes from and from nowhere else. Help us to look up to You alone, the One who always was, always is, and always will be more than enough. We love You, Lord!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east, beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.
(17th Century English carol)

Safe in His care,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Fowler
    December 19, 2022 8:05 pm

    Thanks Donna, I appreciate your thoughts on this Psalm, one that I learned by memory as a child, and one of the few that I still remember! I have used it often and found comfort there.

    • Thank you so much. I don’t even want to think about how much remembered Scripture I’ve forgotten. I’m so glad Good had His Love Letter written down for us❤️

  • Donna I have loved this psalm since I found it in Anne Frank’s book as a young girl before I met the Lord. I forget the composer but someone set these words to beautiful music: “He watching over Israel slumbers not nor sleeps. Last year at this time my brother lay in a hospital bed from which he rose only when the Lord called him home. As I went to bed I would sing those words as a reminder that God would be watching over him all night so I could sleep.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  • Donna,
    “a song for the road”. I like it. The journey is rough, fraught with grief, frustration and the inability to control the circumstances that drag us down. He who is my hope and my salvation will not allow my foot to be moved. He is not asleep or on vacation or indifferent to all that overwhelms me. He is my keeper and the preserver of my soul for today and forevermore. Praise his name!

  • Donna Perkins
    January 5, 2023 1:22 am

    Amen!!! What would we do without Him?


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