Psalm 124 continues the psalms of Ascent as David reminds God’s people that they have been saved from the peril of their enemies. Their safety depends wholly on God’s grace and power. “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”. David makes it pretty clear. Without God they would be toast. Their enemies would have swallowed them up and defeated them.
The secret weapon is God. He’s been on their side. He has provided their protection. And David drives that home by saying it twice: “if it had not been the Lord who was on our side”. He doesn’t want the people to miss the obvious. They are able to make the trip to the temple because God has been actively protecting them. Their deliverance and very lives are the result of God’s power and hand. There was no other option for help but God Himself. He was their only option, and He not only showed up, He saved them.
But it wasn’t merely against their enemies that God has blessed them. He was there when they faced the struggle of nature. “The flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us….over us would have gone the raging waters”. God has been faithful. He has saved their skin multiple times. “Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth”! God is our refuge and strength. David understands it and makes it clear through this psalm. He points to the faithfulness of our God.
David gives us the hope that has sustained him during life. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth”. The great reality for us as believers is that the very creator of heaven and earth stands ready to be our help. Just like He was for David, and we can faithfully see over and over throughout scripture, God is able and can defeat any evil that comes. The question is whether or not we’ll call on His name and seek His help, or we’ll muddle through life on our own struggling at every turn with our limited ability. God is and willing to be our help. We need to call on His name and put that power into action in our life!