But For The Lord

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:  Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: – Psa. 124:2-3 KJV

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Today’s devotion is founded on a scripture taken from one of the several Psalms credited to King David. Seen as a testimony of God’s greatness and appreciation to the Almighty God for His all surrounding ability to fight for His people, King David acknowledges that, but for the Lord, their story would have been different from the songs of victory that he is now singing. The phrase, “If it had not been for the Lord” that starts the first two verses emphasises this fact. It makes it clear that a critical intervention made by the Lord was the singular reason for the achieved victory, else the story would have been different.

The event was the rising up of men against him and his team members – Psa. 124:2a. It is a situation he describes as follows:

  1. They had already being swallowed up in the anger of the enemy – Psa. 124:2b.
  2. They were already drowned in the anger of the enemy and had given up hope of surviving – Psa. 124:3.
  3. The proud enemies were already celebrating victory – Psa. 124:4.

He then went further to describe the intervention of the Lord who had saved them just at the point of being crushed by the enemy, saying that it was like the escape of a bird from the snare of the fowler, due to the reason of the snare breaking. Now this is a very unusual event. How can a snare ever break at this stage of its use. Such is an occurrence which is very rare and that is if it ever occurs. A snare may not snap at the critical moment but for a snare to break after trapping its prey can only be a miracle. It is a classical case of being saved at the jaws of death. Of course it can only be the Lord.

King David was not writing a song out of fiction. He was describing a real life experience that even you can experience if only you believe. David and his team members had this testimony because they had the Lord on their side. What is that situation that seemed a closed case with you already declared the loser? What is that situation that has already entrapped you and it seems there is no way out? What is the problem that seemed to have swallowed you up and you are only waiting to be crushed? What is that situation that has left your life without direction such that like a sailor who has given up in the face of a very heavy storm, you have left your life to drift according to the dictates of the challenge? Who is the individual who has concluded that your case for vindication is a closed case and you have lost? Well, it can be concluded that it is because you did not have the Lord on your side during those battles. To have the Lord on your side is to make Him aware of the battle from the beginning, to have Him give you the approval to go into the battle and be operating His battle plans. To have the Lord on your side means that He is supporting your cause and He has a stake in your victory.

There remains danger always for the Christian if any step is taken with the Lord not on his/her side. His being on one’s side cannot be assumed at anytime as each occasion must be assessed on its merit. That the Lord was with you during the last battle does not mean that He is with you on the next battle. New events may have taken place that may cause Him to be absent. The Israelites for example, had received the promise of the Lord that He will lead them to the promise land – Ex. 3:7-8. They had actually experienced a confirmation act from the Lord that He was going to do just that with the manner in which the Egyptian army was swept aside (Ex. 13:17 – 14:31) but then they had been involved in the little act of distrust for His person, resulting from their reaction to the report of the people that were sent to explore Canaan – Num. 14:1-10. So when in trying to make up for their act of distrust, they decided to proceed to battle the Amalekites, against the advice of Moses who had told them that the Lord was not with them and so could suffer an embarassing defeat by the Amalekites (Num. 14:41-43), the result was predictable as they were completely routed by the Amalekites – Num. 14:45. They had presumed wrongly that the Lord was with them and gotten the reward of their wrong presumption – Num. 14:44.

The Christian who desires to give the kind of testimony that King David gave in all situations must ensure at all times that he/she has the Lord on his/her side of the battle as that is the only assurance of victory. May God position Himself by our side in all our life battles in Jesus name. Amen.

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