What Is Your Hill?

By Single Sisters in University

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

Like many, I have read the above verse times without number and can even recite the whole chapter in my sleep. If you asked me a few years back the context of the psalm, I would have responded that the author is looking up to Mount Moriah where the temple was located and thus, felt comforted that the presence of the Lord was there. Not knowing the actual context of this familiar psalm concealed the revelations contained in it. This is a major lesson for all: Always learn about the historical context of each biblical passage rather than relying on your or someone’s own understanding.

Psalm 121 is part of the songs of ascents that go from Psalms 120-134 which were sung by the pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem for the annual Passover celebration. The road to Jerusalem was dangerous, pilgrims needed protection due to thieves hiding in the hills to prey on them (EasyEnglish.bible). Hence, when the writer of Psalm 121 says: “I lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help?” This is actually an intense call for help. In fact, some Bible translations add an ellipsis after the word “hills” to indicate a cry of desperation. The pilgrims are looking at the hills and are filled with terror, knowing that their adversaries wait there to ‘devour’ them. Yet, faced with this tormenting thought, the psalmist takes courage that the God of all gods and the Almighty One will rescue him against all odds. He goes on to mention that this God neither sleeps nor slumbers (v.3); so even as he is embarking on night journeys, God is with him. The same God will protect him from dangers known and unknown (v.7) and from all kinds of perils at day and night (v.6). Moreover, it is essential to note that Psalm 121 does not imply that God will keep dangers ‘away’ from us, rather when they ‘do’ come, He will fight on our behalf. He will provide strength and salvation during trying times if we keep our confidence in Him.
What is your hill today? What journey or endeavor lies ahead of you that seems dangerous? You are looking up to the hills and your heart melts with fear and defeat. Faced with the ‘giants’ before you, be strengthened that God will carry you through; you may face strong and cruel oppositions and even some losses, yet God promises that He will deliver you. 

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


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