Where Will My Help Come From?
Knowing that “help comes from Yahweh, who made heaven and earth” reassures us. It’s time to tell everyone who is burdened with worries and doubts.
A Righteous Government Will Help All People, Everywhere.
Sometime in the past few months, the world population reached eight billion people, according to the “Worldometer” clock.1 This population clock ticks along relentlessly, raising concerns about war and poverty, refugee crises, and suffering. Even more ominous is the Doomsday Clock,2 which gauges nuclear threat. With midnight representing the time mankind makes the earth uninhabitable, concerned scientists say the Doomsday Clock is at 11:58:30 pm—90 seconds to go.
Both clocks monitor world tensions and leave people wondering who can fix the problems. Who’s in charge? Can think tanks, charitable organizations, and local or national governments provide solutions? Can international organizations, like the United Nations, find a way through?
The strain on all levels of government is palpable. Local communities are plagued by issues brought on by regional tensions, tangled up in national issues driven by international drama. This often results in frustrated citizens spilling into the streets because help seems unavailable. Take, for example, the plight of the world’s 103 million refugees. These people have no streets to spill into, yet their needs are among the most extreme. Displaced from their homes, they are stateless, receiving no protective oversight. So, where do they find help?
The problem of governing for the good of everyone is perplexing. How interesting that Jesus himself chose the word “perplexity” to describe the state of the world in the days before his return. He said there would be “upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity.”3 (Luke 21:25). Nations, even those well governed, are up against the wall. People need solutions.
Searching For Help
If you have ever faced a life-threatening problem, such as a health emergency, you’ll know that finding qualified help can make you feel frantic. Imagine how quickly frustrations turn to despair if the society around you has collapsed and no qualified help exists.
A beautiful expression in the Bible touches on the frantic search for help. My favorite example is in Psalm 121, which begins with the question, “Where will my help come from?”
A Song of Ascents. I will raise my eyes to the mountains; From where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (Psa 121:1-2 NIV).
The Psalmist confidently answers his own question, “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psa 121:2 NIV) The Psalm is probably familiar to you, and the description of God as the Maker of heaven and earth is perhaps also familiar. Maybe because of this familiarity, the impact of the answer is missed. The pattern is clear and straightforward if we slow down and think about it.
knowing that God will help is reassuring
His name, “Yahweh,” is followed by His credentials, “who made heaven and earth.” God’s creative work, “In the beginning,” when He “created the heavens and the earth,” is the seal of proof that He is qualified. He is like the specialist with the seal on the diploma with the essential qualifications. This confident assertion sets the tone for addressing people’s needs today, individually and globally.
Help Comes From the LORD
Psalm 121 is written by a person carrying a lot of specific worries and doubts. There are worries about injury and accidents, the foot that slips (v. 3), exposure to the elements (v. 5-6), and the stress of menacing threats (v. 7). It is written for all travelers on life’s journey who look up while being weighed down under challenging circumstances and are reassured the LORD is watching, protecting, sheltering, and guarding every step of the way, from now and forever (Psa 121:8).
Isaiah 2:2-3, one of my favorite Kingdom vision passages, sounds much like Psalm 121, but with some critical differences.
Both passages describe people ascending the mountain of the LORD. The travelers in Isaiah 2 are ascending as a group in solidarity. They encourage each other about the future. The mood is bouncy and light-hearted. By contrast, the one lonely traveler in Psalm 121 is burdened with worries and uncertainties. Interestingly, the Psalm 121 traveler is from just one nation, the nation of Israel, whereas Isaiah’s crowd comprises people from “all nations.” It is a powerfully positive and universal message of hope. In Christ’s Kingdom, the people will know where help comes from. It will no longer be a question in the pilgrim’s mind.
Everyone Will Learn Righteousness
Education will be a priority in Christ’s Kingdom as people ascend to learn of His ways. It must be a priority now, as Christ commanded just before his ascension. He said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15). Education in the ways of God is a powerful force for good in people’s lives. It is critically important now for our spiritual survival, personally and collectively. It is fundamental to ecclesial growth.
Education is key to reformation in the Age to come. It will be a powerful force for good when Christ returns to reign on earth. “He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths” is not pointless rote learning but active learning that results in positive behavior: walking and marking measurable progress. It will bring the long-awaited “Peace and goodwill on earth.”
At that time, global education initiatives will effect changes in national policies that will ultimately bring good results for everyone.
Isaiah 26 takes up this stunning note of hopefulness on the vital role of divine education:
Isaiah envisions a time when the public policy agenda on education is, “The people will learn righteousness!” What could be more beneficial to each person on the earth than this?
Education is fundamental to the success of civil society. A derelict education system, whether in Afghanistan, Haiti, or inner-city Baltimore, is a bellwether of the future. Our brothers and sisters who are teachers experience firsthand mismanagement (or worse) in the education system: gun violence, aggressive social agendas, and curricula discrediting godly values. Where does help come from?
Help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth with righteous enforcement. The Bible tells us clearly that educating the world’s people will bring the solution. Education for excellence is one of the most transformational roles of divine government.
They Will Learn War No More
One aspect of education in Christ’s Kingdom is actually a rehabilitation program. It is not only about what will be taught but also about what will be untaught.
In his commentary on Isaiah 2:4, Professor Robert Alter says:
“God’s teaching from Zion, then, is to have the effect of inaugurating a reign of universal peace. There is an imaginative boldness, or perhaps rather the courage of desperation, in this vision.”4
Upholding Christ’s standard of peaceful conduct now is not a passive stance and puts us in the minority. In a desperately hostile world, where swords and spears have been replaced with Long-Range Strike Bombers and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, upholding Christ’s standards takes great courage.
With the weapons hype comes feelings of national pride—an emotion not to be underestimated. Our young people today can be drawn into military fervor or arms industry jobs if they are not grounded now in “learning righteousness.” It takes courage and confidence to know where the real help comes from. Views and emotions that align with patriotism put us at odds with the charter of the One who will inaugurate the reign of universal peace.
Gun ownership is another example of an issue that puts us at odds with Christ’s Kingdom charter. Just as the weapons industry perversely flaunts itself as the solution to global conflict. So the escalation of gun violence in the United States has the chilling effect of making people believe that carrying a gun is the solution.
Self-defense is a mainstream view that flies in the face of Jesus’ teaching not to resist evil but to “turn the other cheek.” (Matt 5:39 NIV). It may be naïve sounding to the majority. Still, it is what guided Christ, and it is the law that will go forth from Zion when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation.” Self-defense was a temptation for Christ, but he resisted, and so must we as the days grow more violent.5
We know where our help comes from. Just as we need to live the role of Kingdom educators now by striving to teach people God’s ways, we need to live the role of Kingdom peace now by aligning with peace in our lives.
Worldometer and Doomsday Clocks are imaginary, but they do inform the eight billion people alive today that time is running out. With threats increasing, knowing that God will help is reassuring. He has appointed His Son, who on a designated day will shoulder the government (Isa 9:6).
God is now proclaiming to mankind that all people everywhere are to repent, because He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all people by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:30-31 NASB).
Knowing that “help comes from Yahweh, who made heaven and earth” reassures us. It’s time to tell everyone who is burdened with worries and doubts. Knowing where help comes from teaches us to trust Him. It keeps us from the emotional sway of popular but harmful ideas. Trusting in the Almighty will put a spring in our step as we ascend the mountain. One day soon, everyone will go up to the LORD’s mountain to learn righteousness. I really want to be in that crowd—with you.
Baltimore Ecclesia, MD
- All Scriptural quotations are taken from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
- Alter, Robert, The Hebrew Bible, Prophets. Note for Isaiah 2:4, page 627.
- Badger, Nathan. Guns, Self-protection, and Faith. Tidings Vol. 86, Number 3 March 2023, page 7.