let Israel now say—
2 if it had not been the Lord who was on our side
when people rose up against us,
3 then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us;
4 then the flood would have swept us away,
the torrent would have gone over us;
5 then over us would have gone
the raging waters.
6 Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth!
7 We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped!
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
[Theme] If the Lord had not been on our side
This ascending poem clearly depicts the dangers faced by a person who ascends to the heights of the Holy Temple to worship God in Jerusalem. From the entire history of the Israelites, or the single example of David, we can glean that the people of Israel often needed to confront the encroachment of the surrounding nations – like ferocious beasts that swallow them or like rivers that drown them. However, in the end, the people of Israel were able to win!
The Psalmist is willing to remind the people of Israel that all this comes from God’s help. Because of God, they have the opportunity to be free from adversity and escape from the snare of the enemy. The people of God must remember: “If the Lord had not been on our side; if the Lord had not been on our side; our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.“ (Psalm 124)
Through this psalm, we can clearly realize:
- The people of God may encounter great difficulties anddangers;
- God has the power to help us, because He is the Lord who made the heavens and theearth;
- We must take the initiative to draw near to Him.
Let us count the grace of God and reflect back on the difficulties we once had in our lives. Indeed, if the Lord had not been on our side, what would have been the consequences? Let us all be grateful for His grace and take this opportunity to offer our gratitude and praise to God! Let us continue to entrust our whole being in the hands of the Almighty God!
Lord, you are the maker of heaven and earth! I don’t need to be afraid of any challenge, even it is a life-threatening one. I want to draw near to you, under your mighty arm, and offer my thanks to your salvation and all your grace in my life.
Psalm 124:8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.