“You are my helper!” Psalm 63:7 (NLT)
It happened years ago. A ship had sunk. The cargo was lost – but the crew was saved. The insurance company, which had to pay for the loss, took the captain to court. There, he was presented with a probing question, namely: “Why didn’t you radio SOS? Why didn’t you call for help?” There was dead silence in the courtroom. After thinking about it for a while, the captain replied, “We thought we could help ourselves!”
Many people go through life with this attitude: help themselves! Self-confident, they don’t seem to need a helper.
In David’s case, just the opposite seems to have been the case. Not only did he come to the realization that he needed a helper, he also found a helper. With a joyful heart, he looked up and exclaimed with full conviction, “You [God] are my helper!” Indeed, a short but very precise statement.
It is generally believed that, as king, he was on the run from his son Absalom. Far from Jerusalem, in the desert, constantly in mortal danger, he was not sure he would come out alive. And yet he did not give up, did not despair, did not perish, but said: “You are my helper.”
David had an intimate relationship with this helper. He relied on the helper. He trusted Him. And he experienced Him. Regularly.
I remind you of his youth. Too young to serve with his brothers in the army of Israel, he was on his way to visit them. In doing so, he overheard a giant, Goliath the Philistine, scoffing at the God of Israel and challenging the Israelites to a duel. David, who remembered his helper, reported for the duel against Goliath. God was his helper when he killed a lion that wanted to steal a sheep from his flock. And when a bear approached, the Lord also helped him. Consequently, he was able to say to the astonished Israelites, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). And he did. With God’s help, he defeated the giant. It proved true once again, “You are my helper.”
And then came a dark hour. Instead of relying on his helper, he failed completely in temptation. The relationship between him and his helper was destroyed. Sad and broken, he went his way. And yet, even now, he found help again. After a remorseful confession, he found forgiveness and a restored relationship with God. In Psalm 32:5b, he writes, “… and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Again he was able to exclaim, “You are my helper!”
Deep inside – it can’t really be put into words – but deep inside, we all wish for such a helper. We realize that we cannot survive without a helper. That has long since become clear to us. And we don’t wish that.
In Hebrews 13:5-6 it says: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” In connection with our financial situation, the concern about our savings account balance at the bank, the fear whether it will be enough, the Bible text speaks courage to us and gives us the promise that God will not “leave us nor forsake us.” And then, did you notice, he writes: “So we boldly say: the Lord is my helper.” You may appropriate that statement and say it once out loud, “the Lord is my helper.” In every situation. Always. Everywhere.
This would then also mean that the Lord, our helper, is always available and approachable. Again and again, one hears that people in their loneliness long for a counterpart, someone with whom they can talk, to whom they can simply tell everything. This is precisely what the Lord calls us to do. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15). He formally offers Himself as a helper.
The principle that God offers Himself as a helper and wants to be with us and help us runs like a common theme through the entire Bible. It is applicable in every situation and can actually be experienced. Draw your helper into your life, start the day with Him, and let Him accompany you through the day. In this way, you are never alone.
If you do not have this personal relationship with God, let me point out that it is in exactly such matters that God can help. Sins, outstanding debts, broken interpersonal relationships, disordered affairs, etc., He helps to put in order and remove. Psalm 3:8 reads, “Salvation belongs to the Lord.” But only for those who want help.
If everything is in order with God and man, we can look up with a joyful heart in any situation and say with confidence, “You are my helper.” And this helper, according to Psalm 121, is “the Lord…”
•“who made heaven and earth” (2), and further it says,
•“He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (3)
•“Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (4)
•“The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.” (5-6)
•“The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.” (7)
•“The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” (8)
With this helper, we want to courageously continue our journey through life until our “going out and coming in” becomes reality and we are allowed to see our helper face to face.