Psalms 122 & 124 – Day 1

A Question Worth Asking.

“What if the Lord had not been on our side?” – Psalm 124:1a NLT

What if the Lord had not been on our side? What if He had not answered our prayers? What if He had refused to rescue us? What if He had not sent His Son to die in our place? These are all sobering questions that require us to consider NOT the consequences if our God ever failed to come through, but the reality that He always does. He is always faithful and true. He is always on our side. It may not appear like it at times, but His very nature, His character assures us that He is on our side.

These two Psalms are part of what were called the Songs of Ascent. They were sung by the pilgrims making their annual journey to Jerusalem for Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles, both celebrations associated with the Passover. These songs were sung along the way, reminding the travelers of their destination and the One to whom they were making this long arduous journey to worship. They were going to Jerusalem “to give thanks to the name of the Lord, as the law requires of Israel” (Psalm 122:4b NLT). The name of the Lord was synonymous with His reputation. He was El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty), El Elyon (The Most High God), Adonai (Lord, Master), Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner), Jehovah-Raah (The Lord My Shephard), Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals), Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There), Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness), Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You), El Olam (The Everlasting God), Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide), Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace), and Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord Of Hosts). God’s names were a picture of who He was and all that He had done for the people of Israel. So they went up each year to celebrate His activity in their lives and in the life of their nation.

But they also celebrated the reality that, without God, they would have no hope. Had God not been on their side, “The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us” (Psalm 124:4 NLT). They recognized that life without God would have been no life at all. They understood that their help was from the Lord, the same Creator God who had made heaven and earth. This all-powerful God had chosen to have a personal relationship with them and provide them with His protection, provision and ongoing presence. But rather than take this fact for granted, they people of Israel reminded themselves what life would be like if things were different. They asked the sobering question, “What if the Lord had not been on our side?” We could probably stand to do the same thing. Without Him, our lives would be bleak indeed.

Father, my life is nothing without You. My future would be hopeless without You. My life would have no meaning without You. But because of who You are, I know I have help, hope, and healing at my disposal. I have a relationship with the God of the universe. Thank You. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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