If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us. Psalm 124:2-3
The early American Indians had a unique practice of training young braves. On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, after learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills, he was put to one final test. He was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then, he had never been away from the security of the family and the tribe. But on this night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of thick woods, and he was terrified! Every time a twig snapped; he visualized a wild animal ready to pounce. After what seemed like an eternity, dawn broke, and the first rays of sunlight entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of the path. Then, to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow. It was his father. He had been there all night long. (Our Daily Bread, October 1995)
When I think about what I’ve been through and how the Lord has kept me, I can’t help but praise and worship His name for His faithfulness and lovingkindness. Indeed, if it had not been for the Lord on my side, I would have been dead or completely messed up. God has been keeping me from the moment I entered this world. He has stood by me through the thick and the thins and has never left my side.
In truth, if it had not been for the Lord on your side, you might not have been alive as well. God Has been keeping you and protecting you. Even in hardships or sorrow, God has never left your side. He has been faithful in keeping from the snares and the traps of the enemy. We get attacked every day by our spiritual enemy. This enemy is relentless in his attempt to destroy us. But because of God’s amazing grace, we may be persecuted, but we are not forsaken. We may even get struck down, but not destroyed.
If only we could be as loyal to God as He is to us. God loves all His creation, but He is in love with those who worship Him and walk according to His will. God is passionate about our well-being. Our safety is His priority. Behold, He who watches over us neither slumber nor sleep. And, if had not been for His vigilance, watchfulness, and His keeping power, where would we be?
In today’s text, the Psalmist calls Israel to recognize that their help was in God alone. The phrase ‘had been on our side’ (hayah lanu) is the past tense of Immanuel (‘God is with us’). Thus, the community confesses that God has been with them in their past history” (VanGemeren). The two verses convey the sense that God was not only present in Israel’s history, but He has also been actively working on their behalf.
When we go through the tests of life, God is not only present, He is actively working on our behalf. As the Fathers of the early American Indians young braves, even when we do not see God or sense His presence, His eyes are forever on us, and He is standing just a few feet away ready to come to our defense.
The next time you are celebrating a great accomplishment or milestone in your life, praise God for His faithfulness, love, and mercy. If it had not been for God on your side, you wouldn’t have the fortitude, aptitude, and attitude to reach any milestone. If it had not been for God on my side, my life would have been a wreck, my marriage ruined, my family devastated, my ministry unproductive and messed up. That’s my testimony. What is your testimony?
Questions For Personal Reflection
How does it make you feel to know that God is on your side?
What does Psalm 124 teach you about God’s love for you?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for your unfailing grace and your faithful presence in my life. I know, if it had not been for you on my side, I would not be even alive. I thank you for your keeping power, and for protecting me from my enemies. Thank you for keeping my family, watering my faith with your Holy Spirit, and using me to do the work of your Kingdom.