UNTO THE HILLS AROUND DO I LIFT UP
John D. S. Campbell, 1845–1914
I will lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1, 2)
The more we pursue God’s majesty and greatness, the greater becomes our strength to live victoriously. Each day we need to take time to look away from ourselves and our petty complaints and focus our attention on our Creator God. Someone has observed that it is usually not so much the greatness of our troubles as the littleness of our spirit that makes us disgruntled complainers. A worthy starting point is to find inspiration from some part of God’s creation. For the psalmist, it was looking at the hills all around him, reminders of God’s power and authority. In another portion the psalmist reminds us that in time of need we should flee like a bird to our mountain and there find rest and security (Psalm 11:1). Yet the instruction is clear that though we receive inspiration from observing the majesty of creation, our real source of help must ultimately come from a personal relationship with God Himself, “the Lord, who heav’n and earth hath made.”
The author of this text, John Douglas S. Campbell, was a well-known English personality of his day. He was a member of Parliament and the Governor General of Canada. Campbell was also a noted writer and a devoted Christian. The hymn first appeared in 1877. These inspiring words can still be a source of much comfort for any believer today:
Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes; O whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise? From God, the Lord, doth come my certain aid, from God, the Lord, who heav’n and earth hath made.
He will not suffer that thy foot be moved: Safe shalt thou be. No careless slumber shall His eyelids close, who keepeth thee. Behold, our God, the Lord, He slumbereth ne’er, who keepeth Israel in His holy care.
Jehovah is Himself thy keeper true, thy changeless shade; Jehovah thy defense on thy right hand Himself hath made. And thee no sun by day shall ever smite; no moon shall harm thee in the silent night.
From ev’ry evil shall He keep thy soul, from ev’ry sin; Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in. Above thee watching, He whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth, yea, forevermore.
For Today: Psalm 11; 24; 121; Isaiah 40:9, 26; 41:10
Enjoy the majesty of some particular part of God’s creation—a mountain, sunrise, sunset. Breathe a prayer of gratitude to the One who has made this possible. Determine to rely on Him more fully throughout this day. Carry this musical truth with you—