2 Timothy 1; Jeremiah 5-6; Psalm 121
The Psalms of Ascents were recited by Jews traveling to the Temple to worship. They were meant to get the heart prepared for an encounter with God. In Psalm 121 the author speaks of heading into Jerusalem and looking up at the hills. Throughout Israel’s and Judah’s history, the hills had been places of pagan worship. You see the good kings destroying the high places of worship, while the bad kings left them in place or actually participated in that idol worship. In this Psalm as the author looks at the hills, they reflect on God’s help. “A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the hills– From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2) Help doesn’t come from the hills. For the follower of God, help comes from God! We can admire the beauty of His creation, but never should we make the creation an object of worship. The people of the land had worshiped that way before the Israelites came and led them to this false worship. The trip to the Temple reminded the Israelites that they were to worship the one, true God. How often do we glance at the objects of false worship in our society – perhaps with the idea that we might follow them. Some still worship nature. Others worship money or power. There are other things people place before God that we could think of. As we worship daily we can remind ourselves of how things used to be in our lives and then be grateful that God has delivered us from those idols into His presence through Jesus Christ. No longer do we depend on the charms of this world; we depend on the God who made heaven and earth.
Dear Lord, Your creation is magnificent! There are many wonderful and beautiful things in this world. There are many things that draw us away from You. Help me to see that as great as any of those things might be, You alone are my Helper. You alone are my Hope. Let me glance back at the temptations only to be reminded of Your great love.