By James Johnson
I need somebody, Help, not just anybody, Help, you know I need someone, Help!”
was written by one of the Beatles, John Lennon, 50 years ago. In an interview, he said that he had found it
hard to cope with the meteoric rise in popularity of the boy band. He
recognised for the first time that he needed help from a source outside of
I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody’s help in any
But now these days are gone, I am
not so SELF assured, Now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened
up the doors.”
When we were born, we needed the help of
our parents to feed us, clean us up, and do everything for us. But as we get older, we want to be
independent. We want to be able to say
that we are capable of looking after ourselves.
We are the Captain of our universe, or so we want to think. But a crisis comes along and we cry out for
help, and we are not so SELF assured. The sentiment of the song resonates with
people everywhere, unbeliever, and at times, the believer alike.
John Lennon did not discover the answer to
his quest. It is a cry of despair and
hopelessness. The answer is not found in
drugs or mind control. But where could he look?
Here are the next lines of his song:
Help me, if you can, I’m
Help me if YOU can. That means another human being to help him
with his FEELINGS.
And I do appreciate you being ‘round. Help me get my feet back on the ground,
you please, please help me?
Again, he is looking to someone else to
help him, and they need to be with him all the time.
And now my life has changed in oh so
My independence seems to vanish in
But every now and then I feel so
I know that I just need you like, I’ve
never done before.
Yes, there was a temporary respite but
soon he is back on his feelings. The
psalmist in Psalm 121 had no such doubts or hopelessness. He KNEW Who there was to help him. Turn with me to Psalm 121, reading from the
am lifting my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?
My help is from Yahweh, Maker of the
heavens and earth.”
This psalm is called a song of
ascents. It is a song for pilgrims on
their way to Jerusalem for the holy days.
It is praise for the true God, not a useless idol. He asked the question, but it is a rhetorical
question, he answers it immediately. “My
help is from Yahweh.” There is no sense
of hopelessness here. No despair.
Continue in Psalm 121:
He shall certainly not allow your
foot to slip; Your Guardian shall
certainly not slumber.
Behold He is neither slumbering nor
sleeping, The Guardian of Israel.
Yahweh is your Guardian; Yahweh is
your Protecting Shade at your right hand.
By day the sun shall not smite you,
Nor the moon by night.
Yahweh Himself shall guard you from
all evil; He shall guard your soul.
Yahweh Himself shall guard your
going forth and your coming in, Henceforth and unto the eon.
The Creator of the universe does not
slumber or sleep, unlike the false gods.
He is ‘on our case’, day and night.
on Mount Carmel (as recorded in 1 Kings 18:27) taunted the false prophets with
the words, “Shout louder, perhaps Baal is asleep and needs to be awakened.”
The God of Israel watches over His
people. He is their Keeper and Protector
(as the KJV calls Him). He preserves
their soul - their whole being. Not just now, but for the eons.
Does that mean that as a believer, as a
member of the body of Christ, we shall have no problems? Our foot will not slip, the sun shall not
smite us by day nor the moon by night?
Of course not, the experience of true believers denies that. So what does
it mean? Does it just apply to faithful
Israelites? Does the Apostle Paul have a
different teaching for us Gentiles today?
Throughout the Greek Scriptures, not just
in Paul’s letter, it is clear that trials and tribulations are
common and inevitable.
In Romans 5:3, Paul explains why
tribulations come. They are there to
produce patience. We need patience. God doesn’t always
get us out of a problem immediately.
Whatever our loving Father God does is for our good. Patience produces experience, experience,
hope. We are then not ashamed. Not ashamed?
Ashamed of what? Ashamed of our
sinful life, because we are looking to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We are looking to the hills, looking above to
God. Looking to the world to rescue us
from sin is useless. The answer isn’t
there. Why is the answer in God?
Continuing in Romans chapter 5, verse 8 -
“Yet God is
commending this love of His to us, seeing that, while we are still sinners,
Christ died for our sakes. Much rather,
then, being now justified in His blood, we shall be saved from indignation,
through Him. For if, being enemies, we
were conciliated to God through the death of His Son, much rather, being
conciliated, we shall be saved in His life.”
Unbelievable! Just think, if we were conciliated when we
were God’s enemies, how much more confident should we be now that we are no
longer His enemies!!
God is the Creator of the Universe. We have a powerful, loving God who cares for
us and knows our every need - physical, spiritual, mental and emotional. An idol made of wood, metal or stone, or the
idols of the mind like lusting inordinately for fame and power, hasn’t
the love, wisdom or power of our faithful God.
The cover of the Help! record had the four
Beatles positioned to spell out a word with semaphore flags. Many assumed that the letters spelt out HELP. They certainly started out with that
intention, but it was later decided that that arrangement didn't look
good. There were two final designs. They spell out either N U J V or N V U
J. So even the jacket design shows a
So far I have concentrated on looking to
the true God of the Universe for help.
But God uses different means to help us in our time of need. Yes, there is God’s
Word, and His spirit, but there are also fellow human beings, even flawed human
The Apostle Paul had the same problem that
we have today. He recognized that when
he died that the evangel must continue to go out AND NOT DIE OUT WITH HIM. He told Timothy, in 2 Timothy 2:2 -
things you hear from me through many witnesses, these commit to faithful men
[literally, humans], who
shall be competent to teach others also.”
John Lennon would have benefitted by
having a good mentor. Not a guru by the
name of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
It is not just mature believers who should mentor ‘babes in Christ’. We all need mentors, and not
necessarily those who are older and long time believers. It doesn't have to be a formal relationship.
It may only be a hint, a suggestion, not even words sometimes, just a person’s
You may have noticed, I changed a word in
2 Timothy 2:2. The Concordant Version
shows that the word ‘man’ is literally ‘humans’. Not just another man, and not just between
women and children.
It bears repeating that if someone thinks
he has all the answers, all the correct doctrines, Paul warns, he knows
nothing. God can and does communicate
with us through fellowship with fellow believers including ‘babes
Even though “My help comes
from Yahweh, Maker of the heavens and the earth,” it doesn't mean He can’t use human
beings. If God can get His message
through to people by a talking ass, He can certainly use me and you!!
The importance of mentoring or setting a
good example is not just to help believers today, it is our heritage to future
generations. John Lennon has an excuse,
his mind was not opened to understand where his real help came from. The beautiful thing about looking to God for
help is that all parties, the mentor and the mentored learn so much. Mentors learn to care enough about people
that they want to see them
succeed. Those being mentored learn the
value of being vulnerable, open, honest and willing to learn.
One day, John Lennon will have the answer
to his plea. Perhaps in the resurrection
he will sang a new song.
“Help! I need somebody. Help, not just anybody. I need Yahweh, Maker of the heavens and the
May God speed that day!