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Bible Commentaries

The Church Pulpit Commentary

Psalms 121

Verse 1


‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.’

Psalms 121:1

In these first words of one of the greatest Psalms of David, the nobleness which we immediately feel seems to lie in this, that David will seek help only from the highest source. Nothing less than God’s help can really meet his needs. He will not peer into the valleys, he will not turn to fellow-men, to nature, to work, to pleasure, as if they had the relief he needed. ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth.’ It is the duty of every man to seek help from the Highest in every department of his life.

I. Take, first, the everlasting struggle with temptation.—How perfectly clear it is that any man who undertakes that struggle may look either to the valleys or to the hills for help, may call the lower or the higher powers to his aid. The fear of pain, the fear of disgrace, the fear of discomfort, and the shame that comes with the loftiest companionship—we may have to appeal to them all in the hours, which come so often in our lives, when we are very weak. But, after all, the appeal to these helpers is not the final cry of the soul. Obedience to God is the only final and infallible help of the soul in its struggle with temptation.

II. Not merely in temptation, but in sorrow, a man may seek the assistance of the Highest or of some other power which is far lower.—The real relief, the only final comfort, is God; and He relieves the soul always in its suffering, not from its suffering; nay, He relieves the soul by its suffering, by the new knowledge and possession of Himself which would come only through that atmosphere of pain.

III. Our truth is nowhere more true than in the region of doubt and perplexity of mind.

IV. The text is true with reference to man’s escape from sin. The best spiritual ambition seeks directly holiness.—It seeks pardon as a means to holiness. So it lifts its eyes up at once to the very highest hills.

—Bishop Phillips Brooks.

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Psalms 121". The Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.