1 If the Lord had not been on our side—let Israel say—
2 If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us,
3 then they would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger against us.
4 Then the waters would have engulfed us; the torrent would have swept over us;
5 the raging waters would have swept over us.
6 Praise the Lord, who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth.
7 We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s net; the net is torn, and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth. - Psalm 124
I’m convinced that had it not been for God’s presence and power my life would be hopeless. You may not agree with me but that’s my conviction. Other’s might agree with me but it doesn’t necessarily translate into their daily lives. It’s a belief of mine that I sometimes fail to translate into my daily life as well … although it is my desire. I love the old gospel song that points out how hopeless life would be if the Lord wasn’t walking by my side.
I don’t know just what I’d do If the Lord wasn’t walking by my side.
I was drifting on the sea of a despair,
And I was wandering in this old world of care.
Then Jesus found me in my sinful plight,
He heard me praying on my knees at night.
Now I’m singing a glad new song,
Because I’m happy as I go along.
And I don’t know (I don’t know) just what I’d do
If the Lord wasn’t walking by my side
What would I do when a tear fills my eyes?
What would I do when it’s my time to die?
Well I’d be lonely, discouraged Burdened on the way
If the Lord wasn’t walking by my side every day.
I’d be so friendless, all alone and blue.
And I’d be helpless, wouldn’t know what to do.
And I don’t know just what I’d do
If the Lord wasn’t walking by my side.
Well, that’s the question that the psalmist is asking here at the beginning of this 124th Psalm. He’s thinking about the hand of God, the intervention of God in his life.
Let’s pretend for a moment that God had never intervened in our lives. Imagine for a moment, if God hadn’t stepped into our lives the way that He did, imagine that we were left to our own desires, and to our own initiative, and to our own resources, and our own wisdom. Then where would you be? What would you be doing? What condition do you think you would be in, if it hadn’t been for God stepping into your life?
This is what the Psalmist is wondering: “Had it not been for the Lord who was on our side…”
So, imagine with me, where would you be if God hadn’t intervened? Imagine the problems that could have happened. Imagine the situations that could have come about, if God hadn’t intervened. That’s what the psalmist is asking, If God hadn’t been working all things together for the good of those that love Him. If our God had not extended His covenant of grace to bring you safe all the way to glory. Imagine where you’d be. Imagine the darkness of it; imagine the horror of it; imagine the pain of it; imagine the anxiety of it, if God hadn’t been on our sides; if you haven’t known again and again the ministry of Almighty God in your life.
Some don’t have to imagine because they don’t want God to intervene and be on their side. I personally can’t understand that but it’s their prerogative. As believer, I know I can’t even walk without Him holding my hand (Another good old gospel song). I want my life to be a testimony of God’s power, and God’s initiative, and God’s work.
God is on the side of those who profess the name of the Lord; those who cry to the Lord in all of their distress; those who look to Him for grace and mercy. It’s a wonderful thing to have God on our side because we know that if God be for us, who is against us?
No wonder, he can say as he does in verse 6: “Blessed be the Lord.” Praise God that at every step of the way, He never leaves; He never abandons; He never forsakes.
Kyle Blanton is pastor, Pee Dee Baptist Church