What Could Happen If . . .?

What Could Happen If . . .?

I guess we’ve all had “close calls” in life. Certainly, David did, and Psalm 124 is a thoughtful meditation full of praise to God for seeing him through them. Psalm 124 could well be called, “A Power Psalm” or “Omnipotence as Our Guardian” because it beautifully focuses on the truth of Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” There are very troubling occasions in life when we may share the view of Jacob in Genesis 42:36, “. . .all these things are against me.” We are overwhelmed and have just about had all we can stand. How we need to remember the message of Psalm 124! In verses one and two he repeats the theme, “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side.” The people of God need to know that the Lord is on our side and that this makes all the difference! The answer to “what could happen if . . .?” is “the Lord is on our side and this makes all the difference.” 

“WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?” (124:1-5). Just like Romans 8 and its context, Psalm 124 indicates that there may seem to be much against us. “Men rose up against us” (vs. 2). It should surprise no one that enemies and circumstances arise today against the people and program of our great God. Attacks come – and sometimes they are “angry” attacks (see vs. 3). The imagery used to describe these attacks is remarkable. Were it not for our Lord, enemies and circumstances would have (1) “swallowed us alive” (vs. 3), (2) “engulfed us” (vs. 4), and (3) “swept over our soul” (vv. 4-5). David’s difficulties are likened to a fierce military attack, or possibly a devastating earthquake, and a torrential, raging flood. Have you ever felt like that about your troubles? We may feel like the proverbial “weight of the world is on our shoulders” – and it’s true, there are “many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). Especially “the adversary – the Devil” (1 Peter 5:8). We would be eaten alive – swallowed and swept away “had it not been the Lord who was on our side.” 

“IF GOD BE FOR US” (124:6-8). “Blessed be the Lord” is how Psalm124:6 begins and this must NOT be overlooked. David invokes the name of the Lord in worship and heart-felt praise. How grateful we ought to be to have “Omnipotence as Our Guardian.” His presence and power sustain us during times of heartache and trial. As Paul would later say, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil” (2 Thessalonians 3:3). When David was at war with the Philistines, he once exclaimed, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters” (2 Samuel 5:20). Nehemiah would exhort the people as they were rebuilding the wall, “Our God will fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:20). We must responsibly and lovingly act in faith, looking to the One who is with us. We simply must not lose sight of this glorious truth. Just as the first section of this Psalm utilized vivid imagery to describe what the enemies could have accomplished, so this part of the Psalm utilizes powerful imagery in emphasizing what God has done in providing escape from the difficulties. First, the Lord “has not given us to be torn by their teeth” (vs. 6). He’s with us, and our enemies won’t devour us. Second, the Lord has enabled us to escape “as a bird out of the snare of the trapper” (vs. 7). Third, the Lord has caused the snare to be “broken and we have escaped” (vs. 7). The Lord frustrates our enemies and delivers us. Verse 8 reveals the sufficiency of our help. “Our help is in the name of the Lord.” His presence, power and promise STILL abide. The one “who made heaven and earth” is the One Who STILL watches over us. Mike Vestal 


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