Psalm 124

Psalm 124

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Our Help Is in the Name of the Lord

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

124   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 people rose up against us,
  then they would have swallowed us up alive,
    when their anger was kindled against us;
  then the flood would have swept us away,
    the torrent would have gone over us;
  then over us would have gone
    the raging waters.
  Blessed be the LORD,
    who has not given us
    as prey to their teeth!
  We have escaped like 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.


Psalm 124 Commentary

by Hank Workman

There is truth to the statement:  God is either for us or against us.

For those whom God is with, His presence and leading is every present.  He strengthens His people to follow.  He brings about a peace that makes no sense in the midst of turmoil.  He guides our steps and leads us forward.  Whether at times we recognize all of His protection and involvement in our lives, these aspects are always marked by His peace.  The Holy Spirit emboldens and strengthens with each step.

For those whom God is opposed their lives are filled with turmoil.  They act within their human nature, embracing rage and pride.  There is no peace.  They operate in ways that lead to more hardship created by their own hand.  Only the Holy Spirit can open their eyes to opposition of God.

As David called for Israel to recognize God’s help was always there leading.  Through the battles, through the victories, through the discipline, He was there.  God was actively at work for the sake of His people and His great Name.

In an interesting reality, the phrase, “had been on our side” is past tense of the word Immanuel.  This word means “God is with us.”  This phrase was prophesied of the the Messiah.  This was confirmed in the birth of Jesus.  The promise fulfilled in the presence of Jesus being with His people. What David is stating and what we must remember, is for those who follow hard after their God, He has been with them in their past history and will continue to be with them.

When we are walking with our God, there can never be an uncertainty whether or not Jesus is with us.  Through His incarnation, life, death, and resurrection He has taken His place right beside us.  This is as long as we keep on His path and walk in the ways of which He instructs.  This is the key.  We must be obedient in our steps and walk.  Our walking alongside is absolutely essential to God’s involvement, protection, and blessing.

As David called Israel to remember God’s faithfulness, we are to as well.  Think about where God has provided.  Consider how He has brought protection in the past.  Recount the ways of His leading that was measured by peace.  Peace even in the midst of such turmoil and strife.  Thank Him for His involvement and ever watchful care of you.  Renew your position of faith and trust.  Lean into His arms and let His strength embolden you.

Psalm 124 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The storms that God allows only further serves to reveal His power and glory within. When we are faced with opposition, we clench tightly to the anchor that we know and trust. In those moments, we realize how much He has already been working. We are able to reflect back and see what would have happened had He not been on our side.

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.

Psalms 124:6-8 HCSB

Those who oppose God are hell-bent on destruction and turmoil. The fruit of their lives is clearly seen. As the psalmist has written many other times, his enemies respond by spewing hatred from their lips and refusing to repent. He describes them as ravenous beasts and raging waters. The writers of the NT give us practical guidelines for identifying such enemies of God within the church.

But you have had the Holy Spirit poured out on you by Christ, and so all of you know the truth. 21 I write you, then, not because you do not know the truth; instead, it is because you do know it, and you also know that no lie ever comes from the truth.

1 John 2:20-21 GNB

Those filled with the Spirit will not only be cautioned against the work of the enemy, but they will also cling more tightly to the truth of who God is during the storm. This draws a clear line between those who know Christ and those who do not. The storm serves to bring discernment and truth to all those who cling to Christ!

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Please give some background on the translation of the past tense of Immanuel in this Psalm