In Psalm 121:1-2, the Psalmist writes:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The Psalmist is describing the encounter he had with God as he looked up towards the mountains. It is likely, however, that this is no ordinary mountain range – its focus is Mount Moriah and the Psalmist is on a pilgrimage to visit the temple. This mountain was where Abraham was spared from sacrificing his son, where God instead supplied the sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-14). In other words it has a long history of God-encounters. This place, at the time the Psalmist is writing, is the location of Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 3:1), and was the place God appeared to King David (1 Chronicles 21:25-26). So as the Psalmist looked upwards he became immediately connected with the history of his people, being reminded of their identity in God, and most importantly a very real source of strength. As Charles Spurgeon wrote about this Psalm: “Help comes to saints only from above, they look elsewhere in vain: let us lift up our eyes with hope, expectancy, desire and confidence.”
We, however, aren’t in the same position as the Psalmist, we aren’t able to look to the Lord’s holy temple. Even if we were able to travel to Jerusalem the temple is no longer there, having been razed to the ground by the Romans in 70AD. Our Church buildings remain closed (for now), and God doesn’t specifically dwell there anyway. But we can still feel left with the question, ‘Where do I go to find God?’ So what do we do? I love Spurgeon’s quote, but I would like to make one humble amendment. We don’t need only to look UP and find God, as Christians we can also now look IN – not in the sense of finding our inner strength, as if only greater focus and awareness is all we need.
But thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells in each of us as Christians (1 Corinthians 6:19). The same God who dwelt in the temple now lives and works within us. Travelling is still good. Pilgrimage is good also. But if we’re looking for God this morning, He’s already found us and is with us, even within us, ready and able to offer us the help that we need. Let’s turn to Him again in worship.