A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 “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 men rose up against us,
3 Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their wrath was kindled against us;
4 Then the waters would have overwhelmed us,
The stream would have gone over our soul;
5 Then the swollen waters
Would have gone over our soul.”
6 Blessed be the LORD,
Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul has escaped as 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 popular gospel song from a few years ago contained the very words that this psalm begins with, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side….” It is human nature to speculate or imagine scenarios that have not happened. This can be good and bad. It is bad when it leads to paranoia or terror. However, thinking about how powerful our God is and what He does to protect and deliver us is a good aspect of speculation. David here speculates about men rising up, swallowing Israel alive, the nation being overwhelmed and washed away. These thoughts could bring great sorrow by themselves. However, David continues by blessing the Lord and declaring that He did not allow Israel to be a prey to them. Instead, He has broken the snare and delivered the nation from the hands of their enemies. Verses 6 – 8 are some of the most uplifting, triumphant statements found in Scripture. We have escaped! He has broken the snare! Our help is in the name of the Lord!
The lesson for us today? The Lord is greater than our enemies, greater than our problems. He is mighty and awesome. Without Him we would be overwhelmed and swept away, BUT the Lord is our way of escape. Call upon Him, trust Him, and praise Him for your deliverance!