I lift up my eyes to the mountains

Yesterday in the car, I heard a Christian artist introduce his (wonderful) song by quoting this opening line from Ps. 121. The artist then adds that his help doesn’t come from mountains.

He has the gist of the Psalm correct:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from? (Ps. 121:1 NIV)

The Psalmist was probably referring to the various temples located on the mountaintops. Scripture usually calls these “high places.” The Psalmist was asking from where does he get his help. Was it from Ba’al Hadad, the god who brings rain? Was it Dagon, the god that makes crops grow? Was it Kathirat, the goddess who brings children to marriage? How about Resheph who heals or Mot who controls death? From where did his help come? He decides:

My help comes from Yahweh (the Lord),
the Maker of heaven and earth. (Ps. 121:2 NIV)

We smile condescendingly at those ancients and their silly beliefs. Okay, but today, where do you look for help when you need children, healing or face death? Americans often turn to technology. In fact, some American Christians leave God out of most of life’s challenges. When we have exhausted all the options of technology, then we sigh and say, “I guess all we can do is pray.” God becomes our last hope instead of our first prayer.

I’m not degrading technology. I’m not arguing Christians should stay home from the doctor. I’m a cancer survivor and grateful for robotic surgery. The issue is whether I am treating God as my backup plan once technology lets me down.

When the challenges of life come, where do you turn first for help? The Psalm is still relevant:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?

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