I try to avoid calling any passage “familiar,” calling them “famous” instead. I do this because I don’t think we are ever really familiar with any passage. We know the words of certain passages, but the meaning of those passages continues to deepen the more we spend time with them. I was reminded of this last week as I studied Psalm 124. Many Christians know the words, “If it were not for the Lord who was on our side…” But this is a rich passage, filled with powerful images, that calls on us to acknowledge, worship, and trust God for his favor and faithfulness. This past Sunday, I preached a message from this great text to our congregation. Homiletically, it could have been a much better sermon. But once again, I spend so much time reading and studying and meditating on this passage that I waited too late to turn the corner from personal study to sermon preparation. So I ended up going to the pulpit with a message that I felt could have been organized much better. But, from a spiritual and pastoral standpoint, I felt like I was going to the pulpit with the word that God would have been to declare to his people. How soon we forget the unwavering goodness of God when we are going through difficult circumstances. And we need to remember that having God on our side makes all the difference in the world. Without God’s help, we are doomed. But with God on our side, all is well – no matter what’s going on in our lives.
Here is the sermon skeleton from Sunday’s message:
Title: “Facing Life with a Divine Ally”
Text: Psalm 124
Theme: A song of redemption
Point: The most important issue in life is always whether or not the Lord is on your side.
I. Remember the difference the Lord makes in your life (124:1-5)
A. God alone deserves the credit for the good things that have happened in your life (vv. 1-2).
B. God alone deserves the credit for the bad things that have not happened in your life (vv. 3-5).
1. Without God, you would have been swallowed alive (v. 3).
2. Without God, you would have been swept away (vv. 4-5).
II. Rejoice in the difference the Lord makes in your life (124:6-7)
A. Praise God for the things that he has spared you from (v. 6b).
B. Praise God for the things that he has snatched you from (v. 7)
III. Rest in the difference the Lord makes in your life (124:8)
A. God is or exclusive source of help.
B. God is our sufficient source of help.
1. The name of God is infinitely good (v. 8a).
2. The power of God is infinitely great (v. 8b).