Scriptures

If The LORD Had Not Been On My Side

Introduction

It’s a strange truth to know that we were all enemies of God without knowing it. And when someone becomes a Christian, we soon discover that our greatest enemy is the devil himself.

C.S. Lewis once said, ‘The enemy will not see you vanish into God’s company without an effort to reclaim you.’

And so, from the minute, we become Christians we begin to engage in spiritual warfare. But when we’re fighting in the spiritual realms, there are times we feel wounded and defeated.

Have you ever doubted that God is on your side?

In Psalm 124 we find David using three powerful pictures of the evil forces which were against him.

The Enemies Power

‘They would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us’. Psalm 124:3

Israel’s enemies were so powerful, that David says they could have easily swallowed them up alive. I believe there are times we totally underestimate the opposition. Some believe that the devil doesn’t exist, while others believe that he can’t do anything to them.

‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1 Peter 5:8

There’s a reason Peter tells us to be alert and sober-minded. And that reason is frightening, he’s looking to devour God’s people. He’s like a roaring lion which is prowling around, looking to destroy anyone who belongs to God.

We can almost picture him circling the flock at night, looking for a wayward sheep. A sheep which has wandered away from the security and protection of the Shepherd. He is dangerous, the enemy of our soul, the one who attacks us and we shouldn’t underestimate him.

‘Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ Ephesians 6:11-12

Part of the problem for us Christians is that we’re fighting against an enemy we can’t see. And because of that, we must acknowledge that the opposition is way too strong for us. But we must continue to fight, we must keep moving forward.

The Roman armour was designed to protect the front of the warrior, not the back, why? Because when the enemy is near, the soldiers were moving towards them, not running away.

‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ James 4:7

We have all pictured ourselves running away from the devil, but James tells us if we submit to God, and resist the devil then he will flee from us.

The Enemies Speed

‘The flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us. The raging waters would have swept us away.’ Psalm 124:4-5

Israel’s enemies were so powerful, that David says they move with great speed.

Remember David was a shepherd, and he would have been well acquainted with the steep-sided Judean wadi beds. When the rain came, the sheep would have been washed away. They would have had no chance, there was no way to escape the flash floods.

As Christians, we too often have to face the floods of life. And these flash floods come without warning, they come from nowhere, in all kinds of ways. We can lose our job, we can lose our health, we can lose our wealth, our relationships etc.

The Enemies Trap

‘We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped.’ Psalm 124:7

Israel’s enemies were so powerful, that David says they set traps everywhere.

A fowler’s snare is a trap specifically designed to trap birds. Now, remember we’re fighting against things we can’t see. If the fowler was to show himself or leave the snare out in plain view, it would defeat the purpose. Hence why he has to hide himself and the snare in order to catch the bird.

As Christians, if we’re not careful we too can get caught in the devil’s snare. He sets up a temptation for us, in order for us to sin against God. He sets up a temptation for us in order to destroy our souls. And so, we end up being trapped in our sin.

‘Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.’ John 8:34

And we end up becoming slaves to sin all over again.

Where Is Our Help?

‘Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. Psalm 124:6

‘Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.’ Psalm 124:8

David praises God and says that God has protected them from their enemies. Our help comes from the Lord. Our help comes from the Maker of heaven and earth.

‘So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’ John 8:36

We couldn’t do anything to set ourselves free. We were helpless, we were caught in a trap with an eternity of hell facing us. But now that Jesus is Lord, He came to set us free. He is the lion slayer; He defeated the devil on the cross.

He rose again and pulled us out of the floods of life and set us loose from the devil’s snare. Jesus did all of this for all of us. Satan thought he had won, he probably felt smug and smiled to himself, thinking he had the last word.

But then God raised Jesus from the dead, and life and salvation became the last words.

‘If the LORD had not been on our side—let Israel say—if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us.’ Psalm 124:1-2

David says throughout this short Psalm that if it wasn’t for God’s intervention, Israel would have been wiped out. God was working among His people, and they would never have been able to overcome their enemies without God’s help.

Finish This Sentence

If the LORD had not been on my side………

I wouldn’t have been able to overcome my addiction.

I would probably be dead in a gutter somewhere.

I would still be dead in my sins.

I would have no hope of a future in heaven.

I would have no purpose for my life.

Conclusion

‘When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.’ 1 Corinthians 15:28

‘Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.’ Colossians 3:11

As Christians, we too must totally rely on God for all things. As Christians, we must learn what it means for Jesus to be truly our all in all.

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ Acts 17:28

We are totally reliant upon Christ for everything because it’s in Christ we both live and move and have our being.

‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’ John 15:4-5

Christ is the source of our joy and our movement and it’s important to remain in Him.

‘I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4:13

We must go to Him for strength to go through all things we experience in this life.

‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.’ Ephesians 6:10

The enemy is too strong for us to fight with our own power, so must be strong in the Lord, we must fight in his mighty power.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

MENU