“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
It is essential to know where help comes from. Who is able to remedy your problem? Who can aid you in your desperation? These are questions to answer before seeking help. We don’t always put it in such grave of terms, but we ask such questions to our preschool children. They are taught to know that one goes to a doctor when ill, one goes to a policeman when lost. These are the proper people because they can help.
But what if those who are trained can’t deliver aid? To whom can you turn? You see that very situation with the Canaanite Woman. As Jesus was in the district of
The recognition of Jesus’ ability is alluded to by the title that the woman uses: “Lord, Son of David.” She admits that Jesus is the Christ, the promised descendant of King David whom the Israelites had long awaited. And her plea, “Lord, help me!” places her at the mercy of Jesus. She can look to the hills of
The faith of the Canaanite Woman and her acts based upon that faith do not go unnoticed by Jesus. You heard His remarks: “O woman, great is your faith!” You heard how Jesus reacts to her prayer, the prayer of total humility and desperation: “Be it done for you as you desire.” As the woman’s prayer was answered by “the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” the Gospel Writer tells us: “Her daughter was healed instantly.”
The Psalmist gives a detailed description of everything the Lord God does for His people. He guards them round-the-clock: “He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps
It is great that the Lord God acts this way for His people. So you can see why people turn to Him for aid. This is why He wants His people to use His name in their prayers, to call upon Him in every trouble. The Canaanite Woman is a great example of this. But it must be recognized that this is a great privilege, not an inherent right. That you can address the Lord God and request His aid is a privilege extended to you; it is an aspect of being His people.
The wrestling that Jacob did with the Lord God helps to illustrate this. As Jacob was alone at the
Jacob recognizes that what took place through that night should not have. In the presence of the Lord God, he should have died. But the mercy of God permits the event to take place with the final end of blessing, not death. Likewise, in the event with Jesus in
You heard how the Psalmist describes what the Lord God does for His people. All of it is what the Lord God extends to you as a privilege. Today’s prayer will mention the truth: “of ourselves we have no strength.” But where you lack ability and where you lack worthiness, there the Lord God makes Himself present for your benefit, for your help. It is an act of grace and mercy, not an exchange of services for your goods or a response to your demanding your rights.
And just how does this grace and mercy fully manifest itself? It isn’t in wrestling with God and it isn’t begging for His aid. Instead, that grace and mercy is fully shown when and where you didn’t act at all: in the events of God’s making Himself human and then dying and rising from death. “[Your] help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” but who also became part of His creation in order to redeem it.
The Maker of heaven and earth permitted Himself to be wrestled with and to be beaten, crucified, and buried. Man prevailed against Him, as He allowed it on that day. But He also rose victorious, and now nothing can ever prevail against Him. And through this the Lord God truly became your help for what incessantly plagues you, what neither you nor any man could remedy: sin, death, and Satan. So now you are privileged to call upon Him for aid—to beg and be answered, to be in His presence and be given life. For the Lord God has made it so for you, His people: “The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” So He does for you, even through the grave and to life everlasting on the Last Day.
T In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.