The Uniqueness of God“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”(Deuteronomy 6:4) These words are at the very core of the Law of Moses and the faith of God’s chosen people. To this day, they are repeated by practicing Jews every morning. Yet throughout the Old Testament, over and over, we see God’s people—and, all too often, their kings—being seduced by despicable rituals as a means for solving their problems. They abandon their faith in the God of heaven to go after idols of stone or wood made by human hands.
We all go through situations that tempt us to stray. Even people who have known the Lord for many years encounter circumstances in which their faith is tested. Our convictions are always at risk of being attacked. We are always in danger of being stripped of the treasures of our faith. As Jesus warned His disciples, “The thief[that is, Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
So it is not remarkable if on our journey to the New Jerusalem we sometimes ask ourselves questions such as these: Is the Bible truly God’s Word? What about those passages that seem to contradict one another? Am I really in the truth? Could my family or my friends who practice a different religion be right? What if it turns out that after I die everything just ends there? In addition to accepting Christ as my Savior, do I have to become a member of a church and get involved in activities that take up so much time? Can’t I live a “normal” life like everyone else and still go to heaven? Questions like these test our courage and our commitment as Jesus’ disciples.
The world is full of pagan altars at which many worship: the altar of daily toil, where people focus their priorities on what to eat and drink and wear; the altar of worldly pleasures, where people engage in the worst excesses and debauchery; the altar of fame and fortune, where people seek satisfaction through pride and ambition and security in temporal riches; the altar of a permissive religion, where each one decides what to believe, what is good and what is bad. From all these altars, voices call to us like the Sirens of ancient Greek mythology, whose beautiful songs lured sailors into danger, causing their ships to crash on the reefs and sink. They seek to seduce us with sweet melodies which turn to discord and ultimate disappointment. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the
Have you ever felt surrounded by so many problems that they seemed like mountains? In Israel, many pilgrims who went to worship God in the Temple in Jerusalem were in danger of being assaulted and even killed while traveling on mountain roads to get to the city. This was a formidable test of their courage and commitment. The writer of Psalm 121 seems to have been one of those pilgrims whose convictions were tested. He apparently felt anxious when he was traveling through those mountains, perhaps thinking of stories he had heard about travelers being attacked and imagining that the same thing could happen to him. Would anyone come to his aid? “I lift up my eyes to the mountains,” he wrote. “Where does my help come from” (Psalm 121:1)? His answer to that question has been a source of hope for countless believers throughout the centuries: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).