A SONG OF ASCENTS. OF DAVID.
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side- let Israel now say- 2 if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us, 3 then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; 4 then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; 5 then over us would have gone the raging waters. 6 Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! 7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! 8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
A few thoughts for meditation:
1) As the pilgrim worshipers gathered together from different places, they shared their personal stories of deliverance. They helped each other see how the Lord had been with them through their various trials and troubles and gave praise to God for being on their side. They recognized that without the Lord’s help they would have been defeated and destroyed by forces much bigger than themselves. Notice the pictures he used to describe the enemy. He is large enough to swallow you whole. He is wide and swift enough like a flood to drown you or sweep you away. He is like a snare that catches the bird and won’t let go. That is too often the case. A Christian lives in a fallen world surrounded by dangers much stronger than he is from men, nature, and spiritual forces of evil. But with the Lord on his side, he can overcome and endure such dangers.
2) This fact led the worshiper to rejoice. He acknowledged that it is the Lord alone who has granted him ultimate protection against the schemes of his enemies. The Lord pulls us from the mouth of the adversary and the overwhelming flood. He breaks the snare which the enemy was so confident in. Why? Because he is the “Maker of heaven and earth”. He is sovereign over all that he has made, and exercises his power and plan for the good of his people. This does not mean we don’t have trials and troubles. The psalm would be much different if that were the case. The dangers we face are very real and often painful, but they are are turned by God to further accomplish his purpose and plan of redemption for us. This is so important to keep in mind when we face trouble. The Lord is “on our side”. Being on our side does not mean we avoid any trouble. Instead, it means God will help us through it. No matter what he allows to happen, he will not let it ultimately destroy us. Even the threat of death has lost it’s sting for the Christian because it ushers him into ultimate victory and safety with the Lord in glory. He is our “help” and is always “on our side” even when it seems like the world is in chaos and confusion to us.