I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
At the time the Psalmist wrote these words, lots of people in his culture believed their help came from the hills. The worshippers of Ba’al build their altars on hilltops and “high places” and made their sacrifices there. Asherah poles, which were used in worship of the goddess Asherah, were also erected on hilltops. The sacred prostitutes of the fertility goddess Ashterath were found there as well.
When I read the first two verses of this Psalm, I hear them to music, much like people must have 3,000 years ago. But I hear them to the music of a currently popular Christian pop song. And I confess that listening to the song I think of the singer looking up to the hills to see God. But in fact the Psalmist is saying just the opposite. He looks to the hills, sees the idols and false religions of his day, and asks where his help comes from.
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
It’s easy and natural to look to the hills for help. And while we don’t have altars to Ba’al, Asherah and Ashterath on American hilltops, we certainly have plenty of false idols to worship.
May I remember where my help comes from. And where it doesn’t come from.