WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 2, 2021
TOPIC: WHERE DOES YOUR HELP COME FROM?
BY T. O. BANSO
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help?” (Psalm 121:1 New King James Version).
Psalm 121 is one of the Songs of Ascent which comprises Psalms 120-134. Also called Pilgrim Songs or Gradual Psalms, this group of psalms is believed to have been used by pilgrims on their journey to Jerusalem to worship God during any of the three main annual national Jewish festivals of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. They sang these songs on the ascent to the city of Jerusalem. Probably they also sang the songs as they approached the temple after arriving in the city.
Four of these psalms (Psalms 122; 124; 131; 133) are attributed to David and Psalm 127 to Solomon while the remaining ones are anonymous. Each of these psalms has the title “A Song of Ascents”. Psalm 121 opens with a question: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills — from whence comes my help?” (Verse 1 New King James Version). And immediately in the next verse, the psalmist answers the question himself. “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth” (verse 2 New King James Version).
Perhaps the writer, on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, looked at all the hills/mountains surrounding Jerusalem, considered the pagan worship of their false gods on hills/mountains, and asked if his help came from there. But he declared that his help came from the LORD who made heaven and earth. By reference to God as the Maker of heaven and earth, he, probably, was also indirectly referring to the hills as part of God’s creation. Thus, he was saying that his help came from the Creator, not what He created.
The New Living Translation renders Psalm 121:1-2 thus: “I look up to the mountains — does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth!” It is also presented in the New International Version this way: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
People look to different things and people whom God created for their help, neglecting the Maker of everything. But the psalmist said his help came from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, not any hill or mountain that He made. Jeremiah 3:23 says, “Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly, in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel” (New King James Version).
Who are you looking to for help? Your parents, relations, boss, neighbours, or pastor? Who exactly? Somebody could have helped you in the past or promised to help you. Don’t make that person your helper. God can use anyone to help you but the person must not become the god whom you worship or look to and neglect God who made heaven and earth. You must differentiate between the Source and a channel.
Those who look to men or the gods to help them often get disappointed eventually. They get bitter when someone they have lifted up their eyes to fail them. Probably the person sincerely wants to help but he is handicapped. Or the person had no intention of helping but deceived them.
Also, those who lift up their eyes to the gods are foolish. “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:22-23 New King James Version).
Psalm 135:15-18 says, “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them” (New King James Version).
The gods are not God! Psalm 96:5 says all the gods of the peoples are idols but the LORD made the heavens. Psalm 97:7 says, “Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods” (New King James Version). Idolatry is foolishness; there is no help for anyone from the gods or idols (Psalm 115:4-8; Isaiah 42:17; 44:9-11; Habakkuk 2:18-19; Jeremiah 51:17-19)
As you previously read in Jeremiah 3:23, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills and the multitude of mountains; truly, in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel. David said, “I have hated those who regard useless idols; but I trust in the LORD” (Psalm 31:6 New King James Version).
Don’t trust in chariots or horses for your help (Psalm 20:7). Trust in the Lord. Don’t trust any man for your help. It’s not that human beings cannot help you but don’t make anyone your helper. Ultimately, your help comes from the Lord and He can use anybody to help you but you don’t know the person. And because God used someone in the past does not mean that He will use the person again.
Stop running after human beings for help and getting bitter when they don’t help you. They may not be the persons God wants to use. This is why you should lift up your eyes to God, not to relations, friends, or mortals. And when God uses anyone to help you, thank God and be grateful to the person. But don’t make him/her your god.
Make a decision today never to look up to any human being but God. Make God your help or helper. Let Him use anyone He wants to use. Let God lead you to the person who will help you or lead the person to you. If many people will devote the time they spend running after human beings for help to seeking God, their lives would be better.
David cried, “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless” (Psalm 60:11; 108:12 New King James Version). Make God your helper today. Put your trust in Him. Lift up your eyes to Him. If God doesn’t help you, nobody can really give you useful help.
God wants to help you. He has promised to help you. But you must trust in Him and cry to Him for help. “For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13 New King James Version). This is powerful. In verse 14, God says again He will help. I like the way the New International Version puts the verse
It says, “‘Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you.’ declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Jacob (Israel) is described as a worm, which means that they were insignificant, powerless, or vulnerable. But God promised to help them. Take note of the emphasis conveyed in the phrase “I myself will help you.” It’s not just “I will help you” but “I myself will help you.” God, Himself, will help you. Look to Him.
Put your trust in Him. Stop looking here and there. Psalm 34:5 says they looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. Where does your help come from? David said, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8 New King James Version). Is your help in the name of the Lord? I will rather trust God who made heaven and earth, the unlimited God, for help than His creature who is limited.
Where does your help come from? “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3 New King James Version).
Where does your help come from? When some people are in trouble, they only call God as a last resort, after all the human help has failed. Some people don’t even call Him at all. But the writer of Psalm 120 says in his distress, he cried to the LORD and He heard Him (verse 1). Put your trust in Him and call Him if you’re in trouble. He will help you.
Where does your help come from? Make God your helper and boldly say, “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of not making You my Helper. From today, I put my trust in You to help me. I will not look to any hill, mountain, or person but You, my Helper. My help comes from You; help me, Father. I will look to You and I will not be put to shame in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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