Psalm Wednesday January 3, 2018

Who do you trust to help when troubles inevitably come?  We need to know before troubles and sorrows come, because as surely as the sun rises in the morning and the moon lights the night sky, trials and tribulations will eventually touch our lives. The first psalm of this new feature called Psalm Wednesday highlights the need for a deliverer who is able and willing to assist us in difficult times. Psalm 124 is a thanksgiving psalm, examining what might have happened if the Lord had not intervened on behalf of David and his people.

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,” Let Israel now say—“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul; then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.” Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; The snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

David wanted readers to understand that if the Lord had not been on the side of David and his people, they would have been defeated. David knew that had they put their trust in anyone or anything other than God, they would have felt the full wrath of the opposing armies, and the outcome would have been physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and death. Today, it seems that people put their trust in other humans, or their jobs, or their wealth and property, but all of these things are useless when troubles arise.

David learned through the many trials and sorrows of his life as a shepherd boy, as the enemy of King Saul, and as a king to place his trust and faith in God, so much so that God testified that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:22). Due to a close relationship with God, David knew that God could and would deliver those who trust in Him and seek Him with their whole heart.  But even more important, David understood the futility of trusting in anyone or anything else.

In 1 Chronicles 16: 7-36, David sung a song of praise to God, and in verses 23-27, it states, “ Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.

In Psalm 124 David teaches us that the Maker of heaven and earth is the help that we need to call on when troubles come,  for God has promised to be faithful and watch over us in times of trouble. We can be encouraged and reassured through the words in Isaiah 43:2 (NLT), which states, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,  you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

We have many witnesses in the Old and New Testament who can testify that God makes a way out of no way. Daniel would tell us, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, the lions would have eaten me up” (Daniel 6:19-23). The woman with the issue of blood for twelve years would tell us, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, I would have eventually died from my condition” (Luke 8:43-480. And, blind Bartimaeus would remind us, “If the Lord had not been on my side, I would have remained blind and a beggar on the side of the road” (Mark 10:46-53). These are only a few of the witnesses to God’s grace and mercy.

Today, whatever the trials and sorrows you or a loved one are experiencing, be encouraged and hopeful knowing if you give the situation to God in prayer,  He will work it our for you, according to His will and in His time. I have tried Him, and, like David, I can say that if it had not been for the Lord on my side, I would not have made it through the fires of domestic violence, or the rising floodwaters of poverty and unemployment, or the earthquake of cancer.

I try to always remember before panic sets in that the One who made the heavens and the earth and filled them with life and who instructs the sun and the moon each day is more than capable of helping me and that He wants me to call Him for help. The words in Jeremiah 32:27 reassures us, “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” I know that sometimes it seems that the answers take a while to come, but keep holding on until God frees you from the enemy’s snare or trap, and then rest knowing that whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Then, like David, let us testify loudly and proudly of God’s mighty acts in your lives.

The songwriter, Margaret Douroux (1980) wrote, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, tell me where would I be, where would I be? He kept my enemies away. He let the sun shine through a cloudy day. He rocked me in the cradle of his arm, when He knew that I had been battered and scorned. He never left me alone. He gave me peace and joy I’ve never known. He answered when I knelt to Him in prayer, and in victory, the Lord brought me this way, so if it had not been for the Lord on my side, tell me where would I be, where would I be?”

David’s testimony in Psalm 124 today should give us comfort and peace, knowing that the Maker of heaven and earth still delivers His people. There is no trouble so great that God cannot change the situation for the better. Remember that God is our fortress, rock, and deliverer. May God bless you all!

 Dear Father In Heaven,

We come before your throne of mercy and grace, thankful for new and tender mercies every day.  Thank you for being there with us when we go through the waters and the fires of difficult times. We praise You for your goodness, compassion, and unfailing love. Thank you for the helper, the Holy Spirit, who speaks to you in a language you understand when we are so bound by trials and sorrows that we do not know what to pray for. All we have to say is “Jesus.” Where would I be without you? Buried and in my grave. Thank you for every new day. It’s like a bonus. To You be honor, glory, and majesty. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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