IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: IF IT HAD NOT BEEN THE LORD WHO WAS ON OUR SIDE
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us.”
In a world so crooked and perverse, we Christians ought to all be saying, “IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE LORD.”
This short Psalm contains an acknowledgement of favour received by way of special deliverance (1-5), then a grateful act of worship in blessing Jehovah (6, 7), and, lastly, a declaration of confidence in the Lord for all future time of trial. May our experience lead us to the same conclusion as the saints of David’s time. From all confidence in man may we be rescued by a holy reliance upon our God.
If Jehovah were not our protector where should we be Nothing but his power and wisdom could have guarded us from the cunning and malice of our adversaries; therefore, let all his people say so, and openly give him the honour of his preserving goodness. Here are two “ifs, “and yet there is no “if” in the matter. The Lord was on our side, and is still our defender, and will be so from henceforth, even for ever. Let us with holy confidence exult in this joyful fact: We are far too slow in declaring our gratitude, hence the exclamation which should be rendered, “O let Israel say.” We murmur without being stirred up to it, but our thanksgiving needs a spur, and it is well when some warm hearted friend bids us say what we feel. Imagine what would have happened if the Lord had left us, and then see what has happened because he has been faithful to us. Are not all the materials of a song spread before us? Let us sing unto the Lord.
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us. When all men combined, and the whole race of men seemed set upon stamping out the house of Israel, what must have happened if the covenant Lord had not interposed? When they stirred themselves, and combined to make an assault upon our quietude and safety, what should we have done in their rising if the Lord had not also risen? No one who could or would help was near, but the bare arm of the Lord sufficed to preserve his own against all the leagued hosts of
They were so eager for our destruction that they would have made only one morsel of us, and have swallowed us up alive and whole in a single instant. The fury of the enemies of the church is raised to the highest pitch, nothing will content them but the total annihilation of God’s chosen. Their wrath is like a fire which is kindled, and has taken such firm hold upon the fuel that there is no quenching it. Anger is never more fiery than when the people of God are its objects. Sparks become flames, and the furnace is heated seven times hotter when God’s elect are to be thrust into the blaze. The cruel world would make a full end of the godly seed were it not that Jehovah bars the way. When the Lord appears, the cruel throats cannot swallow, and the consuming fires cannot destroy. Ah, if it were not Jehovah, if our help came from all the creatures united, there would be no way of escape for us: it is only because the Lord liveth that his people are alive.
1.If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;
2 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6 Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 124 is like a very dear friend to me. It has encouraged me, and reassured me through some of the lowest moments in my life. I am glad to introduce you to this Psalm and I trust that it will become a dear friend to you, too.
This psalm describes “The Great Blessing of Having the Lord on Your Side”.
You could have many people on your side and still be ruined. You could have a mother and father for you, yet still live in defeat and disaster. You could be very well liked and have many friends who want you to do well, and still end up in hell – both figuratively and literally.
The ONE we must have on our side is the LORD. ONLY the LORD is capable of defending us against the forces that come against us in this world. But if the Lord IS on our side then we will never be given up to our enemies. God will vindicate us! We WILL enjoy glory and victory and safety.
As soon as we become a Christian, we automatically become a target of Satan. He works through unseen forces, and people, to dishearten, to divide, and to destroy us.
While we presently enjoy a status of love and favor and peace with God, we face great opposition, or even hatred and rejection, from the world.
Jesus was hated and put to death. The apostles were constantly in danger. Paul said “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm”. He said, “We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Cor. 4:8
Luther’s hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, means so much to us, precisely because this “world with devils filled”, does “threaten to undo us.”
John Wesley, seeing the great opposition to William Wilberforce in his efforts to end slavery, wrote him a letter and said, “unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? …O do not be weary of well doing.”
Psalm 124 says the battle against us is so great that “If the Lord had not been on our side all our enemies would have swallowed us alive. The waters would have completely swept over our soul. We would have been drowned by the flood of opposition. They would have torn us by their teeth. They would have trapped our soul like a bird.” These expressions graphically express the real danger we face of being overwhelmed, overpowered, or ripped apart by forces or people who oppose us.
Rising irresistibly, like the Nile, the flood of opposition would soon have rolled over our heads. Across the mighty waste of waters we should have cast an anxious eye, but looked in vain for escape. The motto of a royal house is, “Tossed about but not submerged”:
The opposition of men is usually embittered by a haughty scorn which derides all our godly efforts as mere fanaticism or obstinate ignorance. In all the persecutions of the church a cruel contempt has largely mingled with the oppression, and this is overpowering to the soul. Had not God been with us our disdainful enemies would have made nothing of us, and dashed over us as a mountain torrent sweeps down the side of a hill, driving everything before it.
Their teeth are prepared to tear, and they regard the godly as their victims. The Lord is heartily praised for not permitting his servants to be devoured when they were between the jaws of the raging ones. It implies that none can harm us till the Lord permits: we cannot be their prey unless the Lord gives us up to them, and that our loving Lord will never do.
Then our Lord has a song from our mouths and hearts as we make heaven and earth ring with the notes, “the snare is broken, and we are escaped.” We have been tempted, but not taken; cast down, but not destroyed; perplexed, but not in despair; in deaths oft, but still alive: blessed be Jehovah!
All nature cries, “Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength.” “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Life is a spiritual battle, and as Christians we are not exempt from the battle. In fact God puts us right on the front lines. As a Christian you must be ready to experience persecution, you must be ready to suffer for your faith. Verse 3 talked about the anger of the men who attacked. Well, guess what? People get angry at the church. They get angry at you when you speak up or stand up for the truth. But take heart because God is on your side. He protects you when you are in danger.
If the Lord had not been on our side, we would have perished. If the Lord had not been on our side, we would have been trapped. If the Lord had not been on our side, there would be no hope, no deliverance, no salvation.
I can testify to you this morning that everything good in my life I owe to God and to Jesus Christ.. And I can assure you this morning that you can depend on God. He has never turned anyone away that comes to him. You can trust him with your life. You need God. You need Jesus.
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