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.
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:
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.