Tag: Psalm 124
Ep.258: Psalm 124: The Big If.
Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
Psalm 124 talks about the Big If. It says,
If the Lord had not been on our side
when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
would have swept us away (vv. 1-5).
That’s the Big If:
If the Lord had not been on our side (vv. 1a, 2a).
Occasionally, the Bible encourages us to imagine a different reality than the one we are experiencing. God did this before the flood, when he saw endless evil in his humans. He regretted he had made them (Gen 6:5). Clearly, he imagined a different reality, a reality where people would love him, honor one another, and respect creation. So God decided to start over with the righteous Noah to see if his imagined reality might become real. Sadly, it didn’t. The sin infection ran just too deep in the human race.
In today’s psalm, the poet imagines a different life than the one he is living. What would have happened if God had not been on the side of his people? What if God had ignored their needs, or sided with their enemies? The poet imagines the disasters that would have come–swallowed alive, like a snake swallowing a mouse. Trapped, like a bird in a snare. Swept away like a tsunami, destroying life and property.
Our father, our lives are haunted by the Big If.
– What if we were born into poverty instead of riches?
– What if we were born to war instead of peace?
– What if we were born to drug addiction and homelessness?
And what if we had made different choices? Choosing
– Despair instead of faith?
– Hatred instead of love?
– Darkness instead of light?
Our father, with the poet we shift our gaze from the things we imagine to the things that are. You have watched over us so that:
We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowler,
Our help is in your name, O Lord,
maker of heaven and earth (vv. 7-8).
Thank you for being our helper and guide, for delivering us from evil that might have occured, for leading us to a place of peace, for promising us a place called home.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.
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