LIFT YOUR EYES TO THE HILLS
“I will lift my eyes to the hills. From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2
Growing up in Colorado Springs, I had the glorious privilege of waking every morning to the majestic view of 14,000 foot Pikes Peak, surrounded by pine covered foot hills, a view of which I never tired. I know some of what King David meant as he exclaimed, “I lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help.” He likely had in mind those hills upon which Jerusalem was built. Here was his help situated in his worship of God and even possibly his birthplace, Bethlehem, nearby among the hills surrounding Jerusalem, which would also, long after, be the birthplace of his seed, his Master and Lord.
But then the hills also bring to mind to the student of Scripture the famous “mounts, hills, mountains” of the Word of God. The sign of God’s covenant promise, the rainbow, was first signified at Mount Ararat, where Noah’s ark came to rest after the flood receded and where an altar was built to worship God in thanksgiving for the miraculous deliverance from the waters that killed all living on the earth, except for Noah and his family. Then there is Mount Moriah, where Abraham was sent to sacrifice his son, Isaac, but God provided a ram substitute for Isaac in the last moment. This was a sacrifice to signify a later perfect substitute for our sin penalty, the Lord Jesus, on Mount Calvary. These two mounts could well have been the exact same location separated by centuries.
Another was Mount Sinai, where Moses met with God and received God’s Law in the form of two stone tablets, carved out with letters by the finger of God. Then there was Mount Carmel where Elijah did battle with the false prophets of Baal and God sent down fire to consume water, altar, and sacrifice. Later, now in the New Testament, there was the Mount of Transfiguration, where the Son of God received the imprimatur of His Father in the presence of Moses and Elijah and His three close disciples. Then there was the mount in Galilee upon which Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount in which He fleshed out the purpose of the Gospel in our lives in the Beatitudes; and then the Mount of Olives on which Jesus prayed prior to His crucifixion, sweating drops of blood; and Mount Calvary where the Son of God was sacrificed for our sin; finally, the Mount of His ascension into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God. All of these mounts are of great significance in the accomplishment of your salvation, intended to be remembered and increase your faith in the God who loves you.
So, lift your eyes to the hills, those mounts from where you draw your strength. What happened there on those “hills” were God’s planned works, bringing to fruition your salvation, a centuries-long foreshadowing of Mount Calvary in these Old Testament foretastes of what was to come (remember Jesus opening the Old Testament Scriptures to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus to reveal Himself in all its pages), and then following His crucifixion on Mount Calvary, His ascension-return to heaven from yet another hill-top. Yes, lift your eyes to “the hills” from which comes your strength. Be reminded of these events pointing down through the centuries to each step of God’s plan to bring about His salvation, and now, today, in the those long centuries beyond Calvary which precede the certain return of His Son from heaven. There are many centuries of saints lifting their eyes to those hills drawing strength from God who ever acts for you to be His. Then, in the end, believers will lift their eyes to view Jesus’ glorious coming on the clouds.
David’s words ring true for those who hang on God’s own words with the same passion in which David wrote them. This is how the Word of God engages you through His Spirit. His Word is so much more than mere stories upon stories and strings of names. It is a woven tapestry ever giving more revelation of fresh understanding to those who are unrelenting students of its pages. The Word of God never grows old or boring. If it does, it is not it that is boring, but its inattentive reader who is. The Word of God is living and dynamic. It is its critic, naysayer, and indifferent ignorer who are really dead. Your prayer should always be for the Spirit of God to open your eyes and ears to behold and appreciate wonderful things from its pages. Your faith rests and is increased on its ever revealing of Jesus, the fellowship of whom you yearn to grow into greater and greater intimacy.
“Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh. Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear, to check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh. Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.”
(4th verse of George Croly’s hymn, “Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart,” 1854)
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