Psalm 121:1-2 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From whence shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth? Lord, it seems that I am always in need of help, And I often look for help in the wrong places. I look to find immediate comfort and satisfaction— But it doesn’t last long. Lord show me how to look for you. Give me a growing desire to find you And show me where you are. And after I find you Let me not look for you in any other place. Lord, I look to you for all my needs, For all my help. My help comes from you alone. Who else can satisfy the needs of my soul? Who else can give me the help I long for? Lord, you dwell in the heavens And in the mountains— And you are in my heart.
This is often referred to as “The Traveler’s Psalm.” The words “keep” and “keeper” appear six times, confirming the theme of the song. As we read it, we can picture the Israelites traveling to Jerusalem. They look expectantly to the Lord for protection and will not be disappointed. He preserves His people by night and by day, and will bring them safely to their destination. We, too, can be assured that He will keep us “from this time forth, and even for evermore” (v. 8).
A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,…. Not to the hills and mountains in Judea, looking about to see if the inhabitants of them, or any bodies of men, appeared upon them to his help in distress; rather to the hills of Moriah and Zion, where the ark of God, the symbol of his presence, was, and to whom he looked for assistance and deliverance: or to heaven, the holy hill of the Lord, and to him that dwelleth there; see Psalm 3:2. The lifting up of the eyes is a prayer gesture, John 11:41; and is expressive of boldness and confidence in prayer, and of hope and expectation of help and salvation, Job 11:15; when, on the contrary, persons abashed and ashamed, hopeless and helpless, cannot look up, or lift up their eyes or face to God, Ezra 9:6. Some read the words, “I will lift up mine eyes upon the hills” (f); standing there and looking up to the heavens, and God in the heavens; who is the most High over all the earth, higher than the highest, and above all gods. Others render them interrogatively, “shall I lift up mine eyes to the hills?” (g) to the idols worshipped on hills and mountains, and pray unto them, and expect help from them? No, I will not; salvation is not to be had from them, Jeremiah 3:23; or to the kings of the nations, as R. Obadiah interprets it; and to powerful kingdoms and states he was in alliance with, comparable to mountains and hills, Psalm 46:2? No, I will not; “it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes”, Psalm 118:9. And so the following clause may be read, from whence shall my help come? (h) not from hills and mountains; not from men, for vain is the help of man; not from kings and princes, the great men of the earth, nor from the most powerful nations; but from the Lord, as in Psalm 121:2, which may be an answer to this.
(f) “super montes”, Vatablus, Amama; so Kimchi. (g) “attollerem oculos meos ad illos montes?” Junius & Tremellius; “attollamne”, &c. Piscator; so Gejerus and Ainsworth. (h) So Musculus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. Who helps his people out of the hands of all their enemies, and out of all their troubles and afflictions; he helps them in the performance of duty, in the exercise of grace, in bearing the cross, in fighting the Lord’s battles, and on in their journey; he helps them to all blessings, temporal and spiritual; to all needful supplies of grace here, and glory hereafter; and this help he gives is quick and present, suitable and seasonable, is sufficient, and sometimes with, and sometimes without means; and they have great encouragement to expect it from him, since he is able to give it, being the Maker of heaven and earth; for what is it that he cannot do, who has made both them? And besides, he has promised to help them, and he is faithful that has promised; he has laid help on Christ for them, and set up a throne of grace, where they may hope to find grace and mercy, to help them in time of need; and they have had past experiences of his help and salvation. Arama connects this with the preceding psalm, and interprets this help of help from an evil tongue.