When man’s eyes are toward God, he will always see God’s mercy coming toward him.
He who dwells in heaven beholds all the calamities of His people and thence will send to save all trusting ones.
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 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 124 – The Christian’s Fortress
Here are three instances of escaped peril. In Psalm 124:3 is an allusion to Korah and his company; see Numbers 16:32-33. Why are we spared when others have been overwhelmed by swift disasters? In Psalm 124:4 and Psalm 124:5, as the morning breaks, we see the proud waters that have burst their banks and are inundating the low-lying lands. Why did our house escape? In Psalm 124:6 and Psalm 124:7 we have the metaphor of the ensnared bird and as the fluttering fledgling, when freed, leaps into the sunny air, so do we rejoice when God frees us. But why should we escape when so many never break loose? —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 124:1—If it had not been the LORD who was on our side.
Here is an If which cannot be an if. It is never a matter of uncertainty whether the Lord will be on our side or not. For the Lord Jesus in his incarnation and death has taken his place beside us for evermore. He is always on our side, so long as we keep his paths and walk in his ways.
“Though unperceived by mortal sense,
Faith sees Him always near,
A Guide, a Guardian, a Defence;
Then what have you to fear?”
There are in all human lives hours of overpowering anxiety, when we feel as though it were impossible to live another moment—exposed to danger, separated from dear ones, not knowing what an hour may bring forth. Then, as you look up, you find that the Lord is beside you, sharing your anxieties, and affording you his inviolable protection. You cannot descry Him by the eye of sense, but you know Him to be there, and neither man nor devil can prevail against you.
When we look back on life, as the psalmist does here, we become aware of the myriad instances of Divine protection. We were not so vividly conscious at the time; we might even have had fits of depression and counted ourselves bereft. But if we narrowly consider the perils from which we have been rescued, when we were about to be swallowed up quick, we become convinced that He was there. In life and death and judgment, Jesus, your Advocate, will ever stand at your side and silence all who would condemn. So that with good courage you may say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6).
“Cast all your care on God! That anchor holds!” —Our Daily Homily