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—
Osbeck, K. W.
- In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye then to my soul, Flee to your mountain as a bird? For lo, the wicked bend their bow, and make ready their arrows upon the string, that they say secretly shoot at them which are upright in heart. For the foundations are cast down, what hath the righteous done? The Lord is in his holy palace; the Lord’s throne is in the heaven; his eyes will consider; his eyelids will try the children of men. The Lord will try the righteous; but the wicked, and him that loveth iniquity, doth his soul hate. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and stormy tempest; this is the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness: his countenance doth behold the just. Psalm 11
- The earth is the Lord’s, and all that therein is; the world and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas; and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord? and who shall stand in his holy place? Even he that hath innocent hands, and a pure heart; which hath not lifted up his mind unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, of them that seek thy face, this is Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? the Lord, strong and mighty, even the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, ye gates, and lift up yourselves ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? the Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. Psalm 24
- I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains, from whence my help shall come. Mine help cometh from the Lord, which hath made the heaven and the earth. He will not suffer thy foot to slip: for he that keepeth thee, will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel, will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shadow at thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall keep thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in from henceforth and forever. Psalm 121
- O Zion, that bringest good things, get thee up into the high mountain: O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength: lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God. Isaiah 40:9
- Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, and bringeth out their armies by number, and calleth them all by names: by the greatness of his power and mighty strength nothing faileth. Isaiah 40:26
- Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not afraid, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, and help thee, and will sustain thee with the right hand of my justice. Isaiah 41:10