1. Had it not been the Lord who was on our side,
Let Israel now say,
2. Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
When men rose up against us,
3. Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger was kindled against us;
4. Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The stream would have swept over our soul;
5. Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.
6. Blessed be the Lord,
Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
7. Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper;
The snare is broken and we have escaped.
8. Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
— Psalm 124
The statement, “If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side when men rose up against us” (v. 2) is a continuation from the previous psalm. In Psalm 123 the world had nothing but contempt for us. In Psalm 124 the whole world rises up again us.
The rest of Psalm 124 shows us the different ways that the world rises up. First, the world comes like a beast to swallow us up quickly (v. 3). Next, the world tries to overwhelm us as a flood of waters (v. 4-5). Third, the world desires to ensnare us as a bird (v. 7).
For the psalmist to characterize the world in such a way shows us that he was filled with experience. The description of the world in Psalm 124 is even stronger than in the previous psalm. Here we see three categories of the world’s opposition after we give ourselves to Christ. The world is like a beast to swallow us up, a flood to carry us away, and a trap to ensnare us. We should never think that the world is lovely. The world is our enemy, and is always trying to defeat us in one of these three ways.
Adapted from The Journey of Life, pages 45-46.
Tomorrow: “A Beast to Swallow Us Up.”