On Our Side

It’s another song of David. And though we don’t know the exact circumstance behind this song’s “inspiration,” we do know the outcome–they escaped. Israel dodged the bullet. The people of God were able to slip away left while their enemies looked right. They were delivered.

They managed to evade the flood. To elude the torrent. To escape the raging waters.

And I’m reminded, that though I might like to write the story a different way, the people of God don’t get a pass from floods, torrents, and raging waters. That enemies do arise. That troubles still occur. That trials are inevitable. That being precious children of God doesn’t mean we get a bye on life’s assaults. That even though we are on the winning side and the victory has been secured, the battle is yet to be won. Life still happens . . .

But I’m also reminded that, as those redeemed, reconciled, and received into God’s family, we don’t do life alone. We’re not left to face the struggles by ourselves. Our resources are not limited to what we are able to muster up. Our power to endure is not limited to whatever strength we might have. Instead, we have an ally. One who draws alongside. One who intervenes. One who provides deliverance and the way of escape. In fact, sings the songwriter, it is God Himself who is on our side.

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 . . .

(Psalm 124:1-6a ESV)

Sure I’d like to avoid the trials, testings, and troubles. Let me program my own GPS and I’ll stay out of the valleys. But that’s not how it works. Jesus prepared His disciples for that reality,

“In the world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33a ESV)

But with the preparation came the promise,

“But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b ESV)

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side–let the people of God now say–if it had not been the LORD who was on our side, where would we be?

Our enemies afford the opportunity for us to see our Deliverer in action. Our temptations allow us to experience His strength. Our trials, to know His power. Our troubles, to be infused with all-sufficient grace. And “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

And so, we have the material to write our own song. The first-hand experience to declare ourselves, He is on our side!

Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

(Psalm 124:8 ESV)

Blessed be the LORD!

For His grace. For His glory.

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