31 May – 6 June 2015.
When we go through troubles and hard times in life, it’s so common for us to feel alone. How many times have you been facing difficult problems, and have just felt like there is no one who can understand what you are going through, no one who can help you, no one who really cares? When things are bad, we feel abandoned by our friends, and sometimes even abandoned by God. Maybe like Jesus, we want to call out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46).
Even though this is such a common feeling, Ps 124 reminds us that it isn’t true at all. God is always beside us. God is always holding us. God never abandons us. When we go through bad times, we don’t always recognize this, we don’t always notice God there with us. Often it is only afterwards, once those troubles are over, that we can look back and realize what God has done for us. In hindsight, we look back at our lives amazed at how God has acted, amazed at how he has led us to this point.
This is the stunning realization that this psalm’s writer makes. God is the one responsible for rescuing us, God is the one responsible for guiding and leading us. At the time we couldn’t see it, we didn’t know it, because troubles easily make us blind to God’s work. But afterwards, it suddenly all becomes clear. It was God who was the one carrying us through those problems and helping us to overcome them! When we realize that, how can we not praise God for his care!
Verse 8 closes this psalm with a great declaration: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” When the church reformer John Calvin prepared his new church liturgy, he chose this verse to begin the worship service. It would be a constant reminder to us not to worry about depending on our own strength, but to depend instead on God. What a great verse for us to use now, to begin this new week and new month, and to remember that God is always with us!
Pastor Stephen Lakkis