The other day, I wrote about the first part of Psalm 124, which is a song for people traveling to Jersalem to worship God and offer sacrifices. Its a part of the “Songs of Ascent,” meant to prepare people’s hearts for worship. This particular song is a reminder of the ways that God has rescued his people.
David’s song is not only an invitation to remember the bad circumstances that God has sustained them through, but also the ones that He rescued them from. He writes:
“Praise be to the Lord,
who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped 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.” Psalm 124.6-8
The first part of the Psalm is all about God providing for Israel through difficult things… through wars and natural disasters, conflicts, attacks, and desperate situations. The second half of the Psalm is praising God for delivering Israel from traps. From bad things that were about to happen.
It seems to be that maybe the point of this Psalm is to help us to remember what God has rescued us out of, and what God has led us away from. As I think over the course of my life, I can clearly see moments where I was about to do something stupid, but then something happened that cause me to narrowly escape poor choices. I see God’s work in my life, not only walking with me through pain, but also delivering me from it.
Have you ever turned down a job offer only later to realize how much of a terrible situation you were rescued from?
Have you ever dated someone that you thought you were going to marry only later to realize how bad of a decision that would’ve been and how drastically incompatible the two of you were?
Have you ever decided against making an investment to later realize that you would’ve lost a lot of money?
Have you ever suddenly and mysteriously decided against going on a trip, only to later find out that everyone who went on that trip got arrested? (this is a true story for me!)
Have you ever had the train of your life barreling down the train tracks in a specific direction only to have God pull the track switch at just the last moment?
Sure. You could chalk these things up to coincidence. But whatever you believe, you can’t shake this haunting feeling that you have been rescued from some sort of direction, or perhaps that Someone was watching out for you. Its true, sometimes God allows us to experience the consequences of our choices, but there are also times where he rescues us from them before we even make them.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.