Monday, November 18, 2013

Where Do You Find Help?



Scripture:

Psa. 124:6      ¶ Blessed be the LORD,
        who has not given us
        as prey to their teeth.
Psa. 124:7     We have escaped like a bird
        from the snare of the fowlers;
    the snare is broken,
        and we have escaped.
Psa. 124:8      ¶ Our help is in the name of the LORD,
        who made heaven and earth.


Observation:

This Psalm may have been written by Mordecai after the tumultuous time in which Haman had devised a plan to rid the land of all Jews.  God used his servant Esther to bring about the salvation of his people.  It was God who had a plan to save his people, if only those who were listening would be faithful and obedient. 

The enemy had planned to capture the Jews and Haman wanted to hang Mordecai from the gallows.  Isn’t it amazing that in the midst of this period of time the King would have someone read to him from his books and discover that Mordecai had never been honored for his faithfulness?  Is it just a coincidence that the bird escapes from the snare that has been prepared — and that the enemy himself is hanged from his own gallows! 

Hope doesn’t come from other people or from taking a situation into our own hands, but our salvation comes from the Lord.  We are to call on the name of Yahweh — the Creator of heaven and earth.  He has power to bring about victory!

Application:

Difficulties can be experienced on many levels.  In this case it was an entire people group that was under attack.  God’s intervention through his obedient servants brought about the salvation of an entire nation. 

While Jesus walked on the face of this earth he found that he was opposed by those in positions of power.  While it may have looked, for a few fleeting hours, that Jesus had been given over to become prey for the teeth of the enemy, ultimately the Creator was victorious.  Jesus’ obedience to the will of the Father brought about not only his victory but the salvation of all of God’s people.

In light of these challenges the ones that we face on a daily basis may seem quite small, however, I believe that these words have been written down as an encouragement for God’s people through the centuries. 

"In the year 1582, this psalm was sung on a remarkable occasion in Edinburgh. An imprisoned minister, John Durie, had been set free, and was met and welcomed on entering the town by two hundred of his friends. The number increased till he found himself in the midst of a company of two thousand, who began to sing as they moved up the long High Street, “Now Israel may say, “etc. They sang in four parts with deep solemnity, all joining in the well known tune and psalm. They were much moved themselves, and so were all who heard; and one of the chief persecutors is said to have been more alarmed at this sight and song than at anything he had seen in Scotland."—Andrew A. Bonar, in Christ and His Church in the Book of Psalms, 1859.

Why should this persecutor have been afraid?  For in the name of the Lord we find power beyond anything we can humanly imagine.  Around the time of the French Revolution the Protestants would “always begin their public worship with the last verse of this Psalm, and there is no thought more encouraging and comfortable.”—Job Orton, 1717–1783. 

Even today we can find great comfort in these words.  Our help comes from the One who created the heaven and the earth.  Our help comes from the One who defeated sin and death.  Our help comes from the One who has sustained his bride, the church, for centuries.  Our help comes from the One who is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Spurgeon says, “It implies that none can harm us till the Lord permits: we cannot be their prey unless the Lord gives us up to them, and that our loving Lord will never do. Hitherto he has refused permission to any foe to destroy us, blessed be his name.”

We all need help in this life and all too often we are looking in the wrong places.  Let’s allow this Psalm to soak into our very being, proclaiming that “Our help is in the name of the LORD.”

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for your help, day in and day out!  Amen.

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