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Summary: Who do you call on for help? Ghostbusters? The cavalry? Call on the one who can really help. God!

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Who Ya Gonna Call?

I know many of you like to travel and many of you travel by car. A trip by car takes longer than a trip by airplane so you have a lot more time to think, visit, sightsee, imagine, and sing. When you travel with children, you have to keep them from getting bored. And when you travel on long trips you may do a lot of singing as one way of keeping them entertained.

I can understand that because I often sing in the car on trips to keep myself entertained, too. There’s just something about singing being conducive to a journey, whether it be by car or a long walk. One thing about kids is they often like to sing the same songs over and over and over again. I know right now Wendy is thinking, “It’s not just little kids that like to sing (or listen) to the same songs over and over.” That’s true, because I’ll pop a CD in and listen to it for a week or two (or three) before changing to another. So I can relate to the Israelites in that respect.

You see, this is a Psalm that Israelites would often sing, probably over and over, while making their yearly pilgrimage to worship in the temple in Jerusalem. For many, this was a long trip. But it was also a treacherous trip. The miles were long and the traveler was vulnerable.

They had no interstate on which to travel or a motor club to call on their cell phones if they were in trouble. They couldn’t charter a bus or a jet to quickly take them to where they were going. They had reason to fear. They wanted to feel the same safety and protection that we still want today.

So, they would sing this song. Psalm 121 was written to remind God’s people of how He protects them in times in danger. We see this in the first two verses, which serve, as an introduction. Will I lift up my eyes to the hills, one asks, where the pagan temples could be seen upon the mountaintops? Where does my help come from? The answer is our theme this morning: “My help comes from the Lord”.

When trouble comes: We must look to the Lord. Our God is vigilant. Our life is in his hands. We must look to the Lord: “I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth”

Do you remember watching those old westerns and how hostile Indians would sometimes surround the wagon train. And it seemed as if all hope was gone for the wagon train. Then they would look off to the distant hills and see a dust cloud rising in the sky and they knew then that there was help on the way.

They knew from the distant dust cloud that the cavalry was on their way to rescue them. Soon they could see the soldiers approaching with their swords drawn and they could hear the sound of the bugler’s trumpet as the soldiers headed for the wagon train.

Help was on the way. The cavalry came to their rescue.

The word for “help” also signifies protection. God is being pictured as our guardian. The dangers before us may not be the same as the ones they faced, but our unchanging God still protects us from danger. The writer of Psalm 121 helps us to understand that when trouble comes we must not look to anything or anyone for ultimate protection, except God!


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Fr Mund Cargill Thompson

commented on Sep 22, 2010

Really good explanation of the original context of this Psalm, and application of that context to our context today

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