Sunday, 22 March 2020
Psalms 124 & 125
“For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous...” -Psalm 125:3
Psalms 124&125 are a part of a compilation of psalms called the ‘Songs of Ascent.’ Biblical historians are of the thought, that these were sung in remembrance of God’s good work in the lives of God’s people as they ascended the hill on their journey to the temple to worship God. As we go through the fifteen Psalms (Ps.120-134), we get an insight into their deepest grief and highest delight and their hope that God would come to their rescue as He had done in the past.
As pilgrims on our earthly journey to our celestial home, we may often find ourselves caught in the ploys of the devil. It in those times, we need to look up (Ps.121:1) and capture a fresh glimpse of the God who has brought us thus far!
Who is this God we see in today’s reading?
A God right beside us [124:1-5] Languishing in enemy territory not knowing when and how things would get better, the psalmist reminiscences the mighty works of God as he led his people out of the hands of Pharaoh and his army , right through the Red Sea and the many wars they waged until they reached the land promised to them. What was the confidence of the Israelites when they faced these varied oppositions? It is written in Deut.7:4 “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?” GOD RIGHT BESIDE THEM! The Israelites faced physical battles, we face spiritual battles. Is God’s stance any different today? No! Hebrews 4:15&16 states that we have a High Priest who sympathizes with our weakness and is always there to help in time of need. [Paraphrased] So dear believer, call on Him, He’s just a prayer away!
A God who never let’s go of us [124:6] In this verse we see the Psalmist portraying God as One who takes no pleasure in the destruction of His children. He knew that God would correct only in His justice and not in anger. 1 Thes.5: 9 states: ‘God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us so whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.’ God’s justice was met at the cross when Jesus took the blame for us all. Until we come to this understanding, the enemy has his claim over our lives, but once we respond to God’s Finished work on the cross, we become God’s own responsibility. That’s why Jesus states in John 10:28 ‘No one is able to snatch us out of His Father’s hands.’ [Paraphrased] We are kept safe in Him!
A God who is all around us [125:2] Even as you are reading this psalm today, we know we are living in a time of complete political instability, economic meltdown and natural catastrophes at their peak. What is our strength in a time such as this? The psalmist uses a metaphor comparing God to Mountains, which are always symbols of strength, constancy and permanence. He knew only this mighty God could keep them safe and secure. Even we today can rest on His promise as written 2 Tim, 4:18: "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom."
So how do we respond to him? Ps. 125:1: Trust Him—take Him at His word! Then we too will be immovable and unshakable in every situation like Mount Zion that stands firm even to this day because as Jesus said in Matthew 24:35 ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’ So let us build our lives upon THIS ROCK!
Quote for the day:
‘You’re safe not because of the absence of danger but because of the presence of God.’
Listen: ‘Christ be all around me’