Question: "Where does my help come from (Psalm 121:1)?"
Answer: The Bible is awash with anguished cries for help from humans in need. While on a grueling, uphill pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the psalmist asked, “Where does my help come from?” (Psalm 121:1). Suffering in desolation and misery, Job wondered, “Does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help?” (Job 30:24, ESV). Job later acknowledged, “I stand up in the assembly and cry for help” (Job 30:28).
“From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,” prayed Jonah from his underwater prison cell inside the belly of a great fish (Jonah 2:2). “Where can I go for help?” and “Where does my help come from?” These are universal appeals for help from within the heart of humanity.
The resounding answer to this widespread plea is, “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). Perhaps better than any other passage in the Bible, Psalm 121 illuminates how God, the all-powerful Creator and ever-present Protector, is the only real and trustworthy source of help for humankind.
This collective human call for help is proof that people need a Savior (Romans 3:23). We are born lost in our sin (Isaiah 59:2). Yet, within the soul of every person, God has placed an awareness of lack, of needing something more—an internal, eternal longing (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Deep inside, we know we cannot save ourselves (Romans 3:10–20; 4:1–12). Our hearts cry out to God, “Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!” (Psalm 44:26, ESV).
When the psalmist proffered the question, “Where does my help come from?” he was not asking from a place of perplexity or doubt. No, he spoke in prayerful expectation. He trusted that God the Creator was tirelessly watching over him, sleeplessly protecting him. He knew the help he longed for would come from the Lord: “He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:3–4).
Sadly, the human tendency is to look for help in all the wrong places. We try to solve our problems in our own strength or according to the wisdom of the world. We phone our parents when we need someone to bail us out. We look to friends for companionship or a spouse to satisfy the longing in our souls. We seek success and self-esteem from our careers. We turn to drugs and alcohol to fill the emptiness inside. We attempt to find happiness or even just ways to cope by experimenting with everything this world offers. But all these solutions fall short. What we need most is to cry out, “Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love” (Psalm 109:26).
Like the prophet Isaiah, we can stand firm knowing where our help comes from, or better Whom it comes from: “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame” (Isaiah 50:7, NLT).
The psalmist affirmed, “The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night” (Psalm 121:5–6). No matter what we face, day or night, the Lord stands over us as a protective shield. Through every trial and storm, God is our constant shelter and refuge (Psalm 46:1; 91:1; Proverbs 18:10). Our good and loving Lord will protect us from every evil (Psalm 121:7).
If a believer should ask you, “Where does my help come from?” You can offer them this remarkable assurance: At all times, no matter where you go, and for as long as you live, the Bible declares, “Your help comes from the Lord!” (Psalm 121:8).