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.
WHEN WE’RE IN TROUBLE, WE HAVE A DANGEROUS TENDENCY TO LOOK FOR HELP IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES. Although human sources of help — those “real” kinds of security — have disappointed us time and time again, we still seem to prefer them when any serious problem comes up. But David’s trust was different. “From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” It was not to the lowlands of human help that David looked. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills.”
The thought is not that God lives in the mountains rather than the plains. It is simply that the mountains symbolize the steadfastness and immovability of God — in contrast to many things that are less permanent. We are speaking the same language when we use the expression “old as the hills.” In this world, mountains are as permanent as anything can be. They are the “oldest” of all: many things have come and gone since the mountains were lifted up. And so we look to the “hills” for God’s help. He will be there to help when all other helps have had their day and disappeared.
I believe there is a clue here as to why mountains have such a powerful effect on us. It’s a rare person who can go to the mountains and not have his perspective restored. In contrast to even the most “permanent” of man’s makings (the Egyptian pyramids, for example), a mountain is durable. Given enough time, of course, even a mountain would erode away, but the mountains are solid enough that they seem to be unchanged even after many lives of men. The mountains are constant. And since they are, they remind us of the God who is eternal. “Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me” (Henry F. Lyte).
Few are the human beings who do not crave security. We all want to be sure that we’ll have what we need. But in truth, there is no security in this world. Only in the God who made the world is there any confidence that our needs will be provided. And if that is true of the here and now, it is even more true of the hereafter.
“In God’s faithfulness lies eternal security” (Corrie ten Boom).