Lift Up Your Eyes – Our Daily Bread ODB Devotional + Insight: 11 January 2021
Lift Up Your Eyes
By Glenn Packiam for ODB
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Read: Psalm 121
Bible in a Year: Genesis 27–28; Matthew 8:18–34
The clouds hung low, blocking the horizon and limiting visibility to only a few hundred yards. The minutes dragged on. The effect on my mood was noticeable. But then, as afternoon approached, the clouds began to break, and I saw it: beautiful Pikes Peak, the most recognizable landmark of my city, flanked on each side by the mountain range. A smile broke over my face. I considered that even our physical perspective—our literal line of sight—can affect our spiritual vision. And I was reminded of the psalmist singing, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains” (Psalm 121:1). Sometimes we simply need to lift our eyes a bit higher!
The psalmist pondered where his help came from, maybe because the hilltops around Israel were dotted with altars to pagan gods and often contained robbers. Or it could have been because the psalmist looked up beyond the hills to Mount Zion where the temple stood and remembered that the Maker of heaven and earth was his covenant God (v. 2). Either way, to worship we must look up. We have to lift our eyes higher than our circumstances, higher than our troubles and trials, higher than the empty promises of the false gods of our day. Then we can see the Creator and Redeemer, the One who calls us by name. He’s the One who will “watch over your coming and going” today and forevermore (v. 8).
Reflect and Pray
How can you “look up” today—beyond your circumstances—to see God? What would it look like to call upon Him for the help you really need?
Psalm 121 is the second of the fifteen “songs of ascent” (Psalms 120–134) which were sung by Jewish pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem for the three great festivals each year (Deuteronomy 16:16): Unleavened Bread (Passover), Weeks (Firstfruits), and Tabernacles. As such, it isn’t surprising that they trust themselves to God’s protection from the dangers and difficulties of the road. Since most traveling was done on foot, Psalm 121:3 anticipates God’s protection from stumbling along the way. Since most journeys by foot took several days, the people had confidence that while they slept along roads that could be dangerous (wild animals, highway robbers), their God didn’t sleep but was alert to their needs (v. 3). They sang of God’s around-the-clock protection: “the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night” (v. 6). This was the God they trusted in and would worship upon arriving in Jerusalem.
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