Songs for the Road: The Psalms of Ascent: Day 5

Our Protection Comes from the Lord

by

Today's Text: Psalm 124:1-8

Scripture Reading: Psalm 124

The Christian life is a climb—a journey of constant growth, sacrifice, and trusting God for what we cannot see. As Eugene Peterson said, we are pilgrims, but we are also disciples—always moving and always learning. The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. In this 3-week reading plan, we are digging into these traveling songs with the help of short summary essays and thoughtful, reflective questions for each psalm. Take your pack on your shoulder and walk with us as we pursue God together.

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Psalm 124 (CSB)
THE LORD IS ON OUR SIDE
A song of ascents. Of David.

1 If the LORD had not been on our side —
let Israel say —
2 If the LORD had not been on our side
when people attacked us,
3 then they would have swallowed us alive
in their burning anger against us.
4 Then the water would have engulfed us;
the torrent would have swept over us;
5 the raging water would have swept over us.

6 Blessed be the LORD,
who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth.
7 We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s net;
the net is torn, and we have escaped.
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

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A Song of Rescue
Danger takes on many forms, both externally and internally.

Israel’s story is full of danger—warring with neighboring armies who wanted to destroy them, and fighting against the temptation to follow after other gods. The pilgrim-disciple confesses that, had it not been for God, all of Israel would have been consumed by enemies, dragons, and floods. This song calls us to to deal honestly with our need for rescue, and to make this part of our worship as we praise God for His mercy and grace.

Reflect
1. When was the last time danger snuck up on you or surprised you? What are some of the real dangers you face externally right now? Internally?

2. This psalm describes danger as a dragon that swoops in to swallow us alive. How does this song respond to the danger? What would happen if God opted not to rescue you? What would become of you if God left you as He found you?

3. From what does God rescue us? How does God rescue us? See Ephesians 2:1-7.

  SRT-POA-Instagram-Day5s

  • Those questions are chilling. I shudder to even try to think of where I’d be had God not intervened the many times he did… I’d either be in a REALLY dark place or I’d be dead, most likely the latter. I thank God for every day that I breathe, for it is another day to praise Him for the life He gave me, the life I now love and cherish so much. Even though I am not singing praises to Him as often as I probably should, I see living my life to its fullest is one of the best ways I can personally glorify Him, because there was a time when I didn’t want to live at all and hated the very breaths I took. God is SO good, and I would be nowhere if it were not for Him. I am so eternally blessed!!

  • Suh a powerful word today! Really shows how much God cares and how lucky we are to have him think where you would be today if we did not have him!

  • Loretta Bushlack

    Swallowed alive, engulfed, torn by teeth and trapped–those are phrases that can describe how I feel when I am focused on my circumstances instead of transfixed on the face of my Rescuer. By faith I must remember that I am already delivered and safe no matter what storm is swirling in my earthly circumstances.

  • Lord, you say abide in you and turn to you who is the one who works in us. Please help us to all tie to You as You want to change us and make us grow in You for Your glory. Please do Your work in me, Samantha, and all of us ladies reading this study.

  • I’m struggling. I’ve been trying to turn to the Lord and let my stubbornness go, but I honestly don’t know how to let go of control and the fact that I need to fix everything. Please pray that I can accept my flaws, insecurities, and anything else so that I can move forward.

    • Gemma

      Praying for you Samantha. God loves you just as you are. You most certainly don’t need to fix everything about yourself or change who you are to make yourself acceptable to him – Jesus died on the cross so that we could approach God just as we are. He’s waiting for you with open arms, come to Him exactly as you are!! God and the angels in Heaven REJOICE over us when we acknowledge that we’re weak and can’t fix ourselves and then, in our weakness and inadequacy, turn to Him and acknowledge that He is Lord.

  • I often find myself desiring to emulate this element of God’s character as rescuer. Reading this psalm reminded me that we are only able to do so because He’s rescued us. And we’re only able to do this WELL when we’re aware of our need for Him. I’m grateful for the reminder of my deep dependency on our Creator and looking forward to meditating on my need for Him today.

    • Jeannie

      That can be me too sometimes- and I need to use our weapons which are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and reasonings to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4. Often it is our mind that is the battlefield.

  • If the Lord had not been on my side when I had breast cancer (and didn’t know), it would have silently grown and spread in my body. It would have infiltrated my blood and organs; brought sickness, chemo, death.

    Blessed be the Lord, who has not let me be harmed by this disease, who showed me and removed it all in one surgery.
    I have escaped the harm of this terrible disease.
    My help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of my body, as well as the heavens and earth.

    • She Reads Truth

      Amen, Amy! Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful help we have in the Lord!

      – Stormye

  • I love that this Psalm mentions a bird. There was a period of time in my life that I had proactive, hate-filled enemies in my church. I was being calumniated, and I had remained at that church thinking if I left, the Truth would leave with me. Finally, I was preparing to move to another state within a few months, when my mom found a baby Blue Jay near a sewer off a street while she was out walking her dogs. I contacted a few wildlife organizations, being passed around and reached a woman who asked me to raise it. A storm had just come through and they were inundated with others dropping off rescued wild animals. I had raised birds in college so I had experience. My manager at the time let me work from home. Raising that bird had an unexpected healing effect from my experience at my church. That bird was just what I needed to distract me from the torment that was meant for me. “Blessed be the Lord, who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth.” I’m free of that church. I’m free.

  • I would appreciate if a member of the SheReadsTruth research or editorial team would explain to their readers how they came to the conclusion that psalm 124 describes danger as a dragon. In my opinion, this use of a comparison suits the editors’ purpose of bringing their reader to reflect on dangers lived or felt on a daily basis and answer the subsequent questions. I would prefer to see SheReadsTruth steer clear of such word manipulation and exegesis that makes observations for the readers in order to lead them to desired interpretation and application. That is not putting truth first.

    • JM

      I’m guessing, but I think it is implied with “swallowed us alive” and like fire: “burning anger against us” and “ripped apart by their teeth.”

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Pascale!

      Thank you for raising this very fair question. Our reference to a dragon in this Psalm would have benefitted from a few additional sentences of explanation. Hopefully this helps. The Scriptures are filled with imagery—the poetic books especially. In Psalm 124:3, the psalmist describes the danger God’s people faced (an opposing army) with the image of a devouring predator, ablaze with anger, with teeth capable of ripping them apart, swallowing them alive. While this image could apply to a range to predators, commentators like Eugene Peterson and Matthew Henry, among others, have noted that this particular verse brings to mind the image of a predator on a large, mythic scale, capable of swallowing a nation. People have spoken of mythical creatures like dragons and leviathans (beasts of land and sea) since before the days of Abraham. They even appear in Scripture (Psalm 79:6-7, Isaiah 9:12, Jeremiah 51:34, Psalm 148:7, Isaiah 21:7, Isaiah 51:9, Job 7:12). Though ordinarily fictional, these beasts represented uncommon danger and impossible odds. They were beasts which could not be conquered by mere mortals. When they attacked, apart from divine help, the prey would be consumed. They were the stuff of nightmares. The point of all the imagery in Psalm 124 is that the enemy God’s people faced was a beast so powerful and large that it would have consumed them if God Himself had not intervened. The imagery is given to help us imagine as big and ferocious a beast as possible. For many of the early readers, they would have likely imagined mythical creatures like dragons or leviathans—monsters of overwhelming proportion.

      Thanks again for asking the question. We welcome the opportunity to clarify.

      — the SRT Editorial Team

      • Celeste

        Pascale,
        The comparison of Israel’s enemies to the mythic sea dragon is also found in Jeremiah 51:34 and Isaiah 51:9-10. If you have a reference bible that explanation is made throughout these verses. So, therefore, it is completely the Truth.
        I highly respect the She Reads Truth team. I pray they never get discouraged by misinformed readers and to continue their mission to bring Jesus closer to us every day. Pascale, please check your references before your “fury blazes against them”.
        Peace be with you.

  • He rescues me from Myself. My own mind eats me alive. I worry about this and I worry about that — what people think, bad things happening, never being able to change, etc. God Rescues me from myself more than anything.

    • Jeannie

      That can be me too sometimes- and I need to use our weapons which are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and reasonings to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4. Often it is our mind that is the battlefield.

  • When some face danger and God protects them from it they say “By God’s grace I am okay.” But what about those who suffer thru the danger, who aren’t protected? What do we say then? We know Satan orchestrates evil. I’d like to understand why certain situations aren’t stopped. Anyone?

    • Rachel

      I think God allows us to go through certain trials (He says we WILL have trials) because He sees things we don’t see. Perhaps He has something to teach us or wants to shape and mold us through it. That’s been the case in my life recently! He walks with me through the danger and doesn’t let it overtake me. When I don’t understand the hard things people go though, I just trust that God’s plans are bigger and better than what my brain can comprehend. I know He is good and that doesn’t change, even though our circumstances do!

    • JamaicaBaby

      When someone is suffering they should still say amen, praise the Lord!! Because through that suffering the person is going to gain something. Nothing is given nor done for no reason. God is a God where nothing escape His awful eye. The story of Job is where you can start to look to understand why God allows situations to go on. The story of Job is also a place where we can take note of what to do when we face difficulties. When Job was facing tragedy all around him he began to curse the day he was born and even then he never said anything against God’s name or character. He continued to praise God. Also, notice how several times God had reminded Job that He, the Lord, is in control!! (Job 42:2, 5-6 – “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You, therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”) Sometimes it is because we need to be taught perseverance, which will lead to good character and so forth (Romans 5: 3-4), and no matter what God won’t allow us to be destroyed totally where we lose the Kingdom of heaven just believe in Him (2nd Corinthians 4: 8-10 “8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” I love this verse so much. It gives me strength)
      And we also need perseverance (Hebrews 10: 36-37 “36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
      “In just a little while,
      he who is coming will come
      and will not delay.”) Unfortunately we are all paying for the sin of Adam and Eve, which is leading to more sin. But sin will never overcome us as long as we have faith in Jesus because the Kingdom of Heaven will be ours where He will wipe away our tears. Love and obey the Lord.

  • God has been teaching me so much about spiritual warfare and Satan’s lies. I praise Him for letting me have a personal spiritual/mind battle with Satan and for giving me a divine appointment today so I could share all He’s taught me with a young girl who was considering selling out her soul to the devil. I praise Him for using my weaknesses for His glory! And I praise Him for rescuing both me and her from the devil’s ploys! It’s an ongoing battle, but I praise Him that He is rescuing us from it every single day!

  • I’ve never experienced true danger, but I feel attached by the devil all the time. He gets in my head and makes me feel alone and like nobody is there for me, which is not true at all. Everyday I have to remind myself that there are people who love me and care about me, and most importantly there’s a God that loves and only wants the best for me. He is my protector from the devil’s attacks.

    • Emily B.

      Like you’ve already said, you have to KNOW what’s true and what isn’t. Satan is so good at making his lies seem like the truth, but there’s always something wrong with them. Keep clinging to Jesus and the true foundation you have in Him!

    • Keri

      That is where Satan hits me as well, Hannah! I’ve been clinging to His promises to fight them off.

      • kaileigh

        I struggle with the same thing! thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your insecurity of loneliness so that I don’t have to feel alone! it is harder when it is an everyday battle too. but God loves us and He loves us so much that He isn’t going to make us live without people in our lives who love us too. thanks again for sharing, it helped my heart more than you know.

  • Heather Legge

    My baby girl had “the diagnosis” and I have “the diagnosis”. Danger sneaks up on me literally without a moment’s notice and I’ll be in the hospital with near fatal infections. Nearly every day I wonder when the next one will be and what it will do to me/take from me this time. It’s something I mostly am at peace with, but something I sometimes truly fear because I can’t imagine losing a child or having my children lose me.

    • Emily B.

      “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 2:7). I hope that encourages you as much as it does me!

  • Allison Joy

    “Then the waters would have engulfed us
    The stream would have swept over our soul;
    Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul.”

    A very timely reminder for those of us in Missouri! I’ve been fine where I am, but the same cannot be said for others in my state. BUT! Today? Today the sun was shining brightly all day. What a great reminder that God is with even in the storms of life.

  • Melody Suarez

    Danger snuck up on me in my dream last night. I felt like I was being tormented physically and mentally by a domain of darkness. I don’t usually interpret my dreams but I feel like the enemy has really tried to attack me in my dreams since I was a little girl. Each time I pray “in the name of Jesus be gone” the enemy always leaves. But I woke up last night really shook up, almost in tears. And I just laid there praying a cover of protection over me and my body and my house. I don’t understand why I’m tormented and I know the enemy just wants me to believe that I’m being punished by God but I know that I have authority over those things and that God gives me victory over my enemy which is ultimately Satan. This read was just perfect for my situation and even though last night wasn’t great, it’s good to know that God has power over everything that tries to haunt me or hurt me.

    • Eliza

      Melody, please & blessings to you sister! I know I am joined by fellow readers in praying and encourage that you probably already feel the strength of our prayers! Keep these confessions in the light with your community. Peace and freedom to you sweet lady.

    • Beth L.

      Melody, could there be something in your home that could have demonic influences? As a counselor over the years there have been many people come asking for help with such things, especially at night. Many times there were things in their home that they had never thought about, that after they destroyed them they never had the problems. Some items have been ouija boards, idols or souvenirs from other countries, Catholic idols, rosaries and other catholic items, etc., just to name a few. Each person would go home and pray asking the Lord to reveal anything in their home that could be an item of demonic influence. Many times it was something they had forgotten they had, but had been there for many years. I don’t know if this is a help for you, but I know it has been for many others over the years. When they destroyed the item or items they prayed God’s protection over their home and renounced any sin that Satan could no longer have control or them. Blessings to you.

      • Melody Suarez

        I don’t think there’s any of those things in my home that I can think of….All of my roommates and I grew up in Christian homes and don’t have any catholic backgrounds or backgrounds other than Christianity. In addition, my roomate is on the worship team at our church and my other roomate is on the prayer team on our church. I’m on hospitality team. Idk if it’s because we are all fervently pursuing God that the enemy has chosen to attack our house or because I’m still a slave to fear. I’ve troubled with tormenting dreams my whole and I’m not sure if it stems from a deeper fear or if the enemy just likes to attack me in my dreams. But please definitely be praying over my house. I prayed over it this morning. And will again tonight before I go to sleep.

    • Rhona

      Will be praying for you Melody. I know how you feel, the devil is always working but continue to put your trust in God, our protector and he will shelter us from all the evil lurking around us. May God bless and protect you always.

  • Diane Huntsman

    I think I need the most protection from my own mind… my mind can go from peace to train wreck in lightning speed.. it is no wonder God has told us to meditate day and night on His words because if we aren’t meditating on truth we will meditate on untruths sending us into a spiritual tail spend every time.. scripture breaths life culture breaths a slow steady often times torturous death.. death to what truly matters and what truly matters is truth.. the deeper we go in the belief of lies the farther truth gets away from us until finally we’ve suffocated it.. oh sweet sisters.. would to God that we would meditate day and night on the Words of God that we may be firmly planted, healthy and strong in Him.. protect us oh Lord from our own heads for they can be as dangerous as arsenic.. hugs friends!!

    • Emily

      Amen, Diane! Thank you for these wise words. I usually need to be reminded to turn back to His Words. So glad you shared these thoughts!

  • As I was reading about the danger that is talked about and the questions, I kept thinking, I’ve never really experienced any intense danger. But I think that sometimes the scariest danger is the danger that we don’t even know we’re in. For Israel, it was that slow turn towards idols and away from God. For me, it was the steady, subtle turn towards self-reliance, both in the form of legalism and rebellion. But thank goodness, God loves us too much to leave us where we are. Not only does He rescue us and offer us salvation, He TRANSFORMS us. He doesn’t let us stay the same person that we came to Him as. Thank goodness!!

    • Christine Marie

      Yes thankful to Him for transforming us!

    • Diane Huntsman

      Woah!! Such good insight!! Thank you for sharing this wisdom CC!!!! Hugs!!!

    • Emily B.

      I had a similar thought this morning, thinking that I might not even know what danger I’m in or what I’m missing before of God’s protection. I’m so thankful for that! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • TODAY 5 de Mayo in 1984 I made the most important decision of my life! Jesus became my Lord and Savior for life! I will never forget that day as a teenager at a youth conference that I did not want to be at. I remember the song by Amy Grant “Look What Has Happened to Me” after hearing an amazing testimony by another teenager who had become a Christian. The last three years have been so hard however I’m grateful that Jesus is by my side through it all. I can not see life without HIM!

  • Lynn Geffs

    As I sit here with the sun shining today after 10″ of rain, it reminds me that God is in control. Although hundreds of thousands are deeply affected by flood waters, the SUN is a reminder that God always keeps His promises. His promise of protection against the wiles of our enemies is stronger than our storms.

  • God is our rescuer…truer words have never ben spoken.

  • Erin Roehm

    This passage was very timely for me today. I have been presented with lots of things to worry about recently and this reminds me that God is definitely in control. He has saved me from sin and death and I praise His Name! I just don’t know how people do life without Jesus.

  • Keri McCue

    ” Blessed be the LORD, who has not let us be ripped apart by their teeth.” This imagery gives me chills!! I’m so quick to forget where I would be without His protection and love.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • I don’t think I’ve ever experienced any real danger as opposed to maybe putting myself in situations that could possibly become dangerous. I’ll use the example that even though I’m 21, I really don’t go out or drink the way my generation does. It’s not really my thing, however I have gone to visit my friends at their colleges and gone out to the parties, etc. i have to be honest and say those times that I’ve gone, I had been so nervous because they always talked about getting wasted or blacking out which made me think, not only are they going to the same now, but I might have to try and figure out how to get back to their dorm while they’re intoxicated. So what do I do? I began to pray. I pray and pray and ask God to please protect me and to not allow my friends to get so drunk. That I can have fun without being so nervous that something bad will happen. I’m not even kidding, every single time I went to visit my friends and we went out, the parties we went to weren’t the best, my friends never got drunk, and we would end up heading back to the dorms because half the night you’re just walking around trying to find a good party. Everyone of them would apologize saying “I’m sorry, usually the parties are so great.” While inside, I’m praising the Lord that the night didn’t get out of control. Through those experiences I’ve learned that God will always protect me no matter what and that He hears my prayers but I also can’t constantly expose myself to potentially dangerous situations. He also saved me from my depression which had me thinking dark thoughts that consumed every aspect of my life. That was probably the biggest danger I had ever been in because it was me against me and I was losing the battle rapidly. But He never gave up… and He won. Through faith, He always does and there’s no better way to live your life then having Him win❤️

    • Lana

      God protected me all throughout college too. And occasionally, I made some reckless decisions that he always delivered me from. Keep praying. He hears you. I have so much gratitude that he looks over the both of us :)

  • Maria Baer

    I experienced danger when one of our Soldiers opened fire in a formation and murdered our commander. It was not a deployment so this was totally unexpected. I remember that person showed up late for formation and we were unaware he had a gun and twice, as the second in command, I was going to confront him but twice– and I can’t explained it, something stopped me. I was rooted to the ground and couldn’t move. Then tragedy struck and I saw him murder our beloved commander. Then pandemonium and I remember him looking directly at me and I ran to safety like everyone else. I don’t know why some people die and others don’t (because my commander was a good man) but I’m convinced that’s only by the Grace of God that I’m alive today and that I was able to deal with the grief and guilt afterwards. But He was with me every step of the way even when the grief made it feel like I couldn’t feel him. So thank you Lord for keeping me safe.

    • R

      Thank you for sharing your story. Our soldiers make so many sacrifices and confront so much danger even when not on the battlefield. We appreciate you and will keep you in our prayers. My son is contemplating a military future. This frightened me at first because of the danger but I have turned it over to God and trust in His faithfulness. It inspires and comforts me to know of the good and faithful men and women in our military. Maria-again I thank you for sharing your story and I know others will join me in praying for God’s protection, comfort and peace for you and your fellow soldiers.

    • Debbie

      Maria, by the Grace of God you are with us today and able to tell your story. I pray for you and your fellow service members to feel and know our Heavenly Father’s protection. May God bless you with comfort and peace. Thank you for your service.

  • To think of where in would be without his grace, mercy, and rescuing is just too much for my heart to handle. I love the discussion questions! I would love to see them in future studies.

  • Danger snuck up on me and my family on Easter morning on the road to church when a truck didn’t stop and rammed into us. But, God in His infinite mercy rescued us with only minor aches and pains. And showed up big time in so many more ways: we were showered with love and affections, many witnesses to the accident, our truck can be fixed, the other driver had insurance, He slowed our day down to a crawl and we saw His mercy everywhere, and even amidst our aches and soreness it was a beautiful day for us as a family hanging together.

    • Maria Baer

      Oh my goodness! Glad that God kept you safe. I love the love I feel in your words, Susan. I can just tell that in the midst of what happened His love covered your family that day. Hugs.

  • Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sure I’m seeing where this Psalm refers to “danger as a dragon” (question 2). I know verse 6 describes being torn apart by “their teeth,” however, my Bible says that is related to wild beasts, but references Ps7:2 which talks about lions. I know verses 2-3 discusses when men attacked they would have swallowed us alive if not for the Lord, but again, I’m not seeing how this is related to a dragon. Sorry if I’m missing something, or taking things too literally, I’m just trying to understand..

    • Deb

      I was thinking the same thing. You are just being a Berean. Good question.

    • Christina M

      I was wondering the same thing.

    • Gina Glennon

      Yes, I wondered too about the reference to the dragon but then was thinking about Revelation and the references to Satan as the dragon.
      Revelation 12:17 talks about the dragon going “off to make war on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” So I was thinking about how the dangers we face are the result of this fallen world and the evil one but God rescues us in small ways and the biggest way as Ephesians 2:1-7 beautifully puts it. Hallelujah!

    • Elena

      I wonder if it’s lost in the translation, but a lot of commentaries mention that what is depicted in vs 1-5 is a mythical sea dragon.

    • Lorinda

      Thank you! I was wondering that too. I’ve been reading through Strong’s concordance, comparing things, and I’m not finding anything on dragons. A lot of things tear apart with their teeth.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Lauren!

      Thank you for raising this very fair question. Our reference to a dragon in this Psalm would have benefitted from a few additional sentences of explanation. Hopefully this helps. The Scriptures are filled with imagery—the poetic books especially. In Psalm 124:3, the psalmist describes the danger God’s people faced (an opposing army) with the image of a devouring predator, ablaze with anger, with teeth capable of ripping them apart, swallowing them alive. While this image could apply to a range to predators, commentators like Eugene Peterson and Matthew Henry, among others, have noted that this particular verse brings to mind the image of a predator on a large, mythic scale, capable of swallowing a nation. People have spoken of mythical creatures like dragons and leviathans (beasts of land and sea) since before the days of Abraham. They even appear in Scripture (Psalm 79:6-7, Isaiah 9:12, Jeremiah 51:34, Psalm 148:7, Isaiah 21:7, Isaiah 51:9, Job 7:12). Though ordinarily fictional, these beasts represented uncommon danger and impossible odds. They were beasts which could not be conquered by mere mortals. When they attacked, apart from divine help, the prey would be consumed. They were the stuff of nightmares. The point of all the imagery in Psalm 124 is that the enemy God’s people faced was a beast so powerful and large that it would have consumed them if God Himself had not intervened. The imagery is given to help us imagine as big and ferocious a beast as possible. For many of the early readers, they would have likely imagined mythical creatures like dragons or leviathans—monsters of overwhelming proportion.

      Thanks again for asking the question. We welcome the opportunity to clarify.

      — the SRT Editorial Team

  • Love these reflection questions…would love to see these in future studies too!
    Just out of curiosity, anyone know what version refers to the “dragon” mentioned in question number 2? I looked at a few different translations (NIV, NRSV, the Message) and didn’t see that word used. Not essential to the question, but just wondering!

    • Lorinda

      I wasn’t finding that either. Nor any reference to anything “swooping in”. Curious to know why they landed on that particular metaphor.

      • She Reads Truth

        Hi ladies!

        Thank you for raising this very fair question. Our reference to a dragon in this Psalm would have benefitted from a few additional sentences of explanation. Hopefully this helps. The Scriptures are filled with imagery—the poetic books especially. In Psalm 124:3, the psalmist describes the danger God’s people faced (an opposing army) with the image of a devouring predator, ablaze with anger, with teeth capable of ripping them apart, swallowing them alive. While this image could apply to a range to predators, commentators like Eugene Peterson and Matthew Henry, among others, have noted that this particular verse brings to mind the image of a predator on a large, mythic scale, capable of swallowing a nation. People have spoken of mythical creatures like dragons and leviathans (beasts of land and sea) since before the days of Abraham. They even appear in Scripture (Psalm 79:6-7, Isaiah 9:12, Jeremiah 51:34, Psalm 148:7, Isaiah 21:7, Isaiah 51:9, Job 7:12). Though ordinarily fictional, these beasts represented uncommon danger and impossible odds. They were beasts which could not be conquered by mere mortals. When they attacked, apart from divine help, the prey would be consumed. They were the stuff of nightmares. The point of all the imagery in Psalm 124 is that the enemy God’s people faced was a beast so powerful and large that it would have consumed them if God Himself had not intervened. The imagery is given to help us imagine as big and ferocious a beast as possible. For many of the early readers, they would have likely imagined mythical creatures like dragons or leviathans—monsters of overwhelming proportion.

        Thanks again for asking the question. We welcome the opportunity to clarify.

        — the SRT Editorial Team

  • Thinking of all the ways this morning, I could fill in the phrase ” if it had not been the Lord who was on my side….” Too many to count!

  • Help me, Lord, to never forget my need for rescue.

  • churchmouse

    I can allow my thoughts to be consumed with the “what ifs” of life. What if that tragedy that happened to them over there happens to me over here? What if I get that diagnosis? What if that happens to my child, my husband? Could that worst case scenario happen to me and mine? What would I do? It’s control and protection that I desire. Oh I surely needed this Word from the Lord this morning! “If He had not been on our side”… BUT HE IS! If He is for us, who can be against us? Come what may, God will see me through it because He rescues those who are His. The worst case scenario truly is to die without knowing Christ. Ephesians 2:1-7 reminds me of a before /after photo. Before faith in Christ, I was dead in my sins, without hope. After faith in Christ, I am alive in Him – I have a life of hope and peace. My life has purpose. I have been rescued by the One who is absolutely trustworthy. He will never leave me or forsake me and His overcoming power lives in me. How awesome is that?! Anxious thoughts, be gone! I am the Lord’s. He’s got this.

    • Lexi

      Love this. ❤️ He’s got this!!

    • Becky

      I have struggled with anxiety for a long time. The “what ifs” engulfed me at times. I was counseled to turn any “what if” into “even if” because I do believe God is there beside me. Now, I say, “Even if this happens to my child, or I am diagnosed… God is right there with me and I am not alone in this fight. He will fight for me.”

      • RondaGale

        ❤️

      • Christina L

        Thank you for these words today. As a sister sufferer in the realm of anxiety, I really appreciate the “even if” suggestion. God is mighty enough to deal with the worst of the worst. Come what may, He can and will see us through. I would rather walk with Him in the knowledge and comfort of “even if” than be paralyzed by the “what if”. Thank you for sharing.

      • Carla

        “Even if” — thanks for the powerful reminder just as in Daniel 3:17,18 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

      • Paris

        Thanks for talking through those points, I wasn’t sure how to answer or cope with similar thoughts! Now I understand that trusting God, that He is for us even in trails, He’s still walking me through it. He is still good and praise worthy!

    • Kellie

      Amen, Churchmouse. Thank you for sharing your heart this morning.

    • Gina Glennon

      You are so right. I love the visual of the before and after photo! Very encouraging post!

    • valerie

      amen!
      hallelujah!
      thank you Lord!
      and thank you churchmouse for sharing your thoughts today (and everyday)!

    • Lana

      He’s got this!!!!!!! I needed that WORD TODAY, Churchmouse. You’ve got me shouting over here. The three words I needed to hear as I fight temptation. I am shouting in praise this morning. Thank you!!!!! He’s. GOT. this. Amen!

  • Praise God for his mercy and grace! Thinking about where I’d be without his rescusing is such an eye opener to how much I truly need him.

  • BUT GOD!! I love those verses in Ephesians! Because of God I have value. I have hope of eternity in heaven. I have peace. I am nothing without Him!

  • Gema Muniz

    I thank God every day for my salvatation, for pursuing me even when I ignored him and wanted nothing to do with him. Today I can’t imagine being without him. Life constantly throws difficult situations, but I delight in Gods word and rest in the peace that surpasses all understanding even in the middle of the storm. That is what it feels like to have Christ in your life. Without Christ I will be hopeless and filled with fear. That you God for your salvation, your love, and my hope, for giving me the ability to believe in the good that I cannot see and place my hope on you. Your word never returns empty because you always keep your promises. God bless you ladies.

    • Gema Muniz

      Every time I’m in a difficult situation he guides me through it. When I feel like I can’t go no more he gives me strength. When I don’t have the solution he makes a way. He always provides a way! Glory to God!

    • Emily B.

      Beautiful thoughts! Thank you for sharing!

    • Emily

      Thank you for sharing! You helped me verbalize something I’m going through. I must stop living in hopelessness and full of fear as if I don’t have Jesus!

  • this helped remind me of the importance of turning to the Lord in times of need instead of inward. sometimes I have such a bad habit of trying to solve my problems on my own instead of trusting in him. thanks for this!

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