“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 ESV)

Why did the psalmist look to the “hills” for help? No doubt he referred to the hills of Mount Zion upon which stood the Temple in Jerusalem. Psalm 121 is the second of fifteen “Psalms of Ascent” (Psalms 120-134). These psalms became known as such because of their use by Hebrew pilgrims making the three annual treks to Jerusalem for the required festivals. The pilgrims would sing these songs as they ascended to the temple mount in preparation for worship. During Jesus’ time there were fifteen steps to the Herodian Temple that approached the Double Gate. These psalms were sung on these steps before entering the gates to the temple. Today, the gates are sealed, but the steps remain. It’s good to start worshiping before one enters God’s house. And it’s good to remember, as the psalmist did, that our help doesn’t actually come from the “hills” where the church building stands. Rather, our help “comes from the Lord,” who made not only the “hills,” but also everything else in “heaven and earth.”