Psalms of Ascents: Psalm 124

The Psalms of Ascent are a set of fifteen psalms that were traditionally sung as priests entered the temple, and Jews journeyed to the Holy Land to celebrate the Passover Festival. They offer hope, encouragement, and peace in a time of uncertainty. Today we will read and discuss Psalm 124, the fifth psalm in the psalms of ascents, and the second by David.

Psalm 124 reminds us that God is on our side, He has been in the past, and He will continue to be. 

Psalm 124

A song of ascents. Of David.
 
1 If the Lord had not been on our side—let Israel say—
2 if the Lord had not been on our side
when people attacked us,
3 they would have swallowed us alive
when their anger flared against us;
4 the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
5the raging waters
would have swept us away.
 
6 Praise be to the Lord,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
7 We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

The phrase, “If the Lord had not been our side”, is repeated twice in the first two verses. I read a beautiful quote from Martin Luther regarding this passage of scripture:

This repetition is not in vain. For whilst we are in danger, our fear is without measure, but when it is once past, we imagine it to have been less than it was indeed. And this is the delusion of Satan, to diminish and obscure the grace of God.

Martin Luther

Verses 3-5 speak of complete and utter destruction that would have occurred had God not been on the side of the Israelites. Something to keep in mind is that the Israelites were attacked often. David was a mighty warrior (remember David defeated Goliath, and he was Saul’s #1 soldier until Saul became jealous and wanted to kill David). 

In Psalm 124, David gives God the glory for their victory, reminding us that our strengths and weaknesses mean nothing unless we have the provision of God.

Finally in verses 6-8, we see a shift from past tense (God was on our side) to present tense (Our help is in the Lord). 

History creates confidence. Remembering and reflecting on times in our lives when God has delivered us from trouble helps us trust in Him more fully for future deliverance. 

Today, I want to encourage you to take time to reflect on a time in your past when you faced troubles, and you may have been afraid while you were going through those troubles. Then remember how you felt after the troubles passed, and reflect on God’s deliverance. 

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The Psalms of Ascent are a set of fifteen psalms that were traditionally sung as priests entered the temple, and Jews journeyed to the Holy Land to celebrate the Passover Festival. They offer hope, encouragement, and peace in a time of uncertainty. Today we will read and discuss Psalm 124, the fifth psalm in the psalms of ascents, and the second authored by King David.

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MEET KIRSTEN

I'm Kirsten & I'm happy you're here! Sweet Tea & Saving Grace supports women seeking to find balance in the busy, deepen their faith, and instill joy and love in their homes, lives, and blogs by providing encouraging and inspiring content and valuable resources. My prayer is for you to leave here better than when you came. Be blessed!

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