“I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
In the times of the Old Testament, gods were often made and placed in high places like the mountains or the hills of a city. They were also elevated through the use of a wooden post or pole referred to as an asherah, named after the goddess Asherah. Even the position of these false gods above the people was not a self-made one but the hands of the people that formed the god had also positioned it in a place to which the people could look up to it. The hilltops were then places of worship for these gods and the people looked to these high places when calling out for assistance.
Psalm 121 is a psalm of ascent and emphasizes the character of God as a Protector. The psalmist makes a distinction between the false gods of his day and that of the true and living God of Israel. After looking toward the mountains, he asks, “Where will my help come from?” It is a familiar question and one that I have asked many times in my life. I don’t know how long it took him or his scribe to record the next verse but there is no discussion of the other gods. There is no evidence of deliberation but the psalmist says in the next verse, “My help comes from the Lord.” He does not have to look to a high place but serves the God who made the high places, “the maker of heaven and earth.” God protects the psalmist no matter where He is and does not need a high place to assist in His ability to see the psalmist and do so.
Race is a god that we have formed with our lips and that we have elevated to the high places of our society. Many of us, Christians included, look to race for social favor and believe that race can help us. We look to the social coloring of a person’s skin to determine their ability to aid us, to discern their use to the world. But, don’t look to race or to the high place of skin but turn your eyes toward God, the maker of humanity, for help. God will help you and God will protect you from race.