Psalm 124 prompts reflection on God's timely interventions, contrasting life's chaos with divine order. It's a call to recognize God's protective hand amidst life's storms.
Psalm 124 — What If? — Aneel Aranha
If the LORD had not been on our side—
let Israel say —
if the LORD had not been on our side
when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
would have swept us away.
Praise be to the LORD,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
We all ask "What If" questions. What if I had accepted that proposal when it came my way? What if I had chosen a different career path? What if I had not accepted that transfer?" "What If" questions are generally a waste of time. These questions often bring up past regrets or worries about the future, making it hard to decide what to do next. It's better to focus on the present and what you can actually do rather than getting lost in "What If" scenarios.
There is, however, one notable exception, and we see it in Psalm 124. The psalmist asks: "What if the Lord had not been on our side?" He answers his own question. "If the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive." This kind of reflection is not just a poetic device (or a waste of time) but an invitation to consider the gravity of God's intervention in our lives.
The psalmist uses vivid imagery to describe the potential dangers that could have befallen them. It's a kind of chaos imagery that takes us back to the creation narrative where God brings order out of chaos. God continues to bring order out of chaos, as we have seen in the narrative where Jesus calms the storm. Standing in a boat amidst terrified disciples, he commands the wind and the waves to be still. And they obey!
In today's world, where everything is in flux and chaos and crises seem to be the order of the day, this psalm offers hope and assurance. It invites us to reflect on the many ways God has been our help, our protector, and our deliverer and calls us to trust in God's ability to bring order out of chaos and to bring hope where there is despair. So, let us sing with the psalmist, "Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and Earth." Amen.
God bless you.