If the Lord had not been on our side—
let Israel say—
if the Lord had not been on our side
when people attacked us…
The people of Israel experienced God’s hand of protection and many times forgot to acknowledge it. But David here reminds himself, the people of Israel and us, that it is God’s hands that protects us. He protected Israel (and David specifically) against their enemies – ‘when the people rose up against us’ (verse 2).
He uses the metaphor of natural disasters to show how easily the enemies could have destroyed them. ‘Flood’, ‘torrent’, ‘raging waters’ (verse 5 and 6). These natural events happen very quickly and wash away everything in their path.
It is a picture of God’s hand of protection upon us. Whether it is natural disasters or enemies trying to destroy us, God is on our side if we are one of His children. Why does that matter? Because He is the one ‘who made heaven and earth’ (verse 8). He is the Creator God. He is the one (as we have heard in the sermon series on the Attributes of God) who is sovereign and in control. He is all-powerful (omnipotent) and no one can stop Him. As Romans 8:31 and 32 says, ‘If God is for is, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?’
When I read these words of Psalm 124 it causes me to reflect on how many times I probably should have said, “If it was not for the Lord”. How many stupid mistakes would I have made, if it was not for the Lord restraining me? How many accidents would have I been in, if it was not for the Lord’s timing and protection? How many enemies would have destroyed me, if it was not for the Lord’s hand of protection?
Prayer: Thank you Lord for Your hand of protection. Please forgive me because I often take it for granted. Please help me to remember You are the almighty, all-powerful One who is watching over me everyday in everything I do. Help me to take comfort in that knowledge. AMEN.