Summary: This is about allowing the Lord to have his way with you.
“May I help you?” That is a familiar greeting when we walk into a store. Anyone who has ever worked in a retail environment knows that question well. When we were in Haiti, we went to an open market to look at some souvenirs. The merchants were most eager to help us with purchasing pottery, painting, and pencil holders. Merchants claimed to be more reputable and cheaper than their competitor next to them. Each one claimed to have made or painted each item themselves. They were most eager to “bargain” for a good price. It was quite overwhelming to an American who is used to walking into Wal-Mart and picking something up and going and paying a set price.
We need help most of the places we go. If we go out to eat someone may help us find a table. They take our order. Someone else even cooks the food. I remember the days when gas stations attendants would fill ‘er up. There were times when grocery stores employed bag boys to carry your groceries out to the car.
When you think about it, we are all dependent on someone for something. We all need someone’s help. The problem occurs when others let us down. Even if something has a lifetime warranty, it is useless if the one who gave you the warranty goes out of business. People will fail us, but there is Someone to whom we can turn for help that is reliable.
Turn with me to Psalm 121.
Read Psalm 121.
To me this is one of the most comforting passages of scripture. Some scholars have labeled this Psalm the “travelers psalm.” You will notice at the very beginning is a notation that says, “A song of ascents.” This is a song that the people of Israel would sing as they made their way to the Temple for worship. It must have been a great source of comfort for weary travelers to be reminded of God’s protection on them as they traveled. As we look at this, I can hear God saying, “May I help you?”
I. God is GREATER than anything.
People and things will let us down. There will always be someone who doesn’t come through for us. As many of you know, I am a baseball fan. There are always some players that are called “clutch players.” They are the ones who make the perfect pitch or get the timely hit at a key spot in the game. When the game is on the line he is the one you want on the mound or in the batter’s box. Not everyone is perfect though. The best pitchers give us home runs. The best hitters strike out a key moments. Even the best “clutch player” fails from time to time.
God never lets us down. God is the “Clutch Player” who always bats 1.000. He doesn’t strike out.
A. Look NOWHERE else.
Verse 1 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?” In that time the “hills” were associated with pagan worship. Hills were often used as centers of worship of gods other than the true God. The writer is saying that when he looks to these other gods there is no help.
We snicker at the notion of people bowing down to a pole or the sun and worshipping that as their god. The truth is that we often look for help from sources other than the true God.
We make seek to find help from many different things. It’s not just alcohol, drugs and sex that I’m talking about. So often we can allow our job to become our source of help. We look to our family for help. We look to the Church for help. We look to Oprah for help or Dr. Phil. We look to things that are temporary and unable to truly help us.
God is greater than any of that stuff. Our help doesn’t come from anything other than God.
B. God CREATED all.
Verse 2 gives us the answer, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
You see God created all the stuff we depend on. God created the Church. God created the family. God created the universe. I think it is a better idea to go to the source.
Back at the turn of the 20th century there was an inventor who invented a new machine. He built several of these machines. One factory bought a machine. After a while they had a problem with it, and it quit working. Engineers from the company looked at it and tried to figure out what was wrong with it. No one could figure out what was wrong. Finally the owner of the factory called the inventor. He came out. He looked at it for a couple minutes, and then he got out a tool and tinkered on it for a couple minutes. He turned to the owner and said, “Well, your problem is solved.” The inventor handed the owner a bill for $100. Now remember this was over 100 years ago and $100 was a lot of money then. The owner exclaimed, “$100! You were only tinkered around for a few minutes.” The inventor replied, “$10 for tinkering and $90 for knowing where to tinker.”