Today we went on a moto day trip outside of Phnom Penh. It was a perfect time to go because the Phnom Penh roads were quite clear. It was like Phnom Penh turned into a sleepy suburban town. We didn't have too much difficulty finding our hill/mountain that we were looking for. On top of this mountain is Prasat Phnom Reap, a local Buddhist temple. It was an interesting feeling being on top of that hill, with those temples, on the day I go to church and the weekend of Easter. I had just last night and this morning read two chapters from a book on the life of Jesus covering Gethsemane and Calvary. So thinking on those things and being in a place that was celebrating Khmer New Year with special religious ceremonies was sobering.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a sermon by David Asscherick (this one I think), an American pastor in Brisbane, Australia and he was talking about how the Israelites kept give up on God and worshiping at the holy places of Baal and the other neighboring gods. The places of worship were on a hill, they were all the highest places. Just like in all the other religious places left in Greece, Rome and surrounding countries, the holy places are the highest places in the area. However, the God of Israel is a god of the valley. His people were in the valley and he didn't even have a permanent temple, which didn't mater because he was with his people there, where they were.
This arvo I remembered all that and then I remembered Psalms 121:
I look up to the mountains--
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.
Psalms 121I don't need to look to these high temples, these places with the reclining Buddha, sitting Buddha or any other place of offerings. I can look to the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth and he will hear me and my cries for help are enough. Because our cries are enough, he will hear any of us. While Jesus was on his way to the cross he thought of us and prayed for me, you and each person who worships on a hill.
It was a sobering realization this afternoon and a beautiful thing as well.
Take a minute and read through those two chapters, Psalms 121 and share with me what you think.
I'm thankful for all that Jesus has done for me in my life.