Feel like everything is against you?

When you feel like everything is against you, that is because it is or it might be.

It does not take a lot of imagination to think of circumstances that threaten to harm and overwhelm us. Social turmoil, political chaos, and financial uncertainty are compounded by our problems and issues.

Bad news has taken on new dimensions in recent months. It seems like all the news is bad news! So, how do you handle devastating situations? Think about it!

Over the past few weeks, we have been working our way through the “Songs of Ascent” which are recorded in Psalms 120 – 134. These are songs that the Old Testament people of God used to sing as they journeyed to Jerusalem for annual feasts and festivals. As you might expect, they also encourage us on our journey.

Psalm 124 was written by King David after he has been delivered from an unidentified yet hopeless struggle. Take time to read his words.
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side— let Israel now say— if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us,
then they would have swallowed us up alive when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

Three themes stand out.
1. We struggle with situations that are vicious and life-threatening. Consider these descriptions:
• Our foes rise up against us.
• Our foes threaten to kill us (swallow us alive).
• Our foes are angry – they would sweep us away like a raging torrent.
• Our foes are vicious – they snarl with their teeth and cleverly attempt to ensnare us in their web of deceit.
Like it or not, we are engaged in a fierce battle with ruthless enemies. Some revolt against us, threaten to kill us, hate us with an anger that is at the same time vicious and deceitful. So, sometimes we feel isolated and overmatched.

2. God’s people are not alone.
At times it might seem as if we have no ally, we are reminded that the LORD is on our side. This is repeated in the first 2 verses. Repetition in Old Testament literature functions as a fluorescent highlighter. Repetition emphasizes the point. The Lord is on our side!

3. The Lord is on our side.
Who is the LORD?
This is a very dangerous question to ask. It is answered according to the attitude of the one posing the question. When God called and commissioned Moses to deliver his people from the bondage of Egypt, he repeatedly said to Moses, “I am the LORD.” Then, Moses commanded Pharaoh, “The LORD says, “let my people go.” “But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2, ESV). Then the LORD demonstrated to Pharaoh who he is. God displayed his dominion over the gods of Egypt through 10 devastating plagues. Pharaoh finally got point and freed God’s people. So, beware of questioning contemptuously.

On the other hand, Psalm 124 answers this question in a different, more encouraging way. Verses 1, 2, 6, 7 portray the LORD as a committed ally and the One who delivers from danger. Then, verse 8 expands the answer: Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Our Creator is our Rescuer!

How did God create the heaven and earth? Just by speaking. “And God said, “let there be… And there was…” This allusion points to the great power of our Almighty God, who speaks a word and causes things to come into being.

What great encouragement in times of turmoil and threat! The One in whom we trust is God Almighty, who possesses the love, power, and desire to come to our rescue when we need him. When we are discouraged and face seemingly unconquerable obstacles, let us look to the Lord to his word to find strength and encouragement. While it may seem that we are alone and vulnerable, remember that “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

So, acknowledge him, trust him, and publicly thank the LORD our God, for his commitment to us. “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

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