Thursday, October 20, 2016
Only By God’s Power
A Song of degrees of David.
“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; 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: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.” (Psalm 124:1-5)
In David’s day, Israel was surrounded by countries at least as large and powerful as Israel, most of whom wished to appropriate Israel’s land, and groups such as the Amalekites, the Midianites, and the Edomites were closely related. A coalition of these forces would have been vastly stronger then Israel was, especially if they enlisted the help of various ethnic groups living inside Israel.
Several groups invaded them with the intention of wiping Israel off the map. Time after time, God miraculously stopped them. Had he not done so, Israel would have ceased to exist as a nation long before David became king. They would have been wiped out as a people, or absorbed into other cultures. Their very existence was a testimony of God’s power and blessing, just as it is today.
“Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:6-8)
David was extremely appreciative that God had not allowed them to take Israel like a coyote catching a rabbit. They felt like a bird that had been caught in snare, panicked, until the snare broke and they escaped. They were experiencing a tremendous relief at their escape, and they understood it was Jehovah, the self-existent one who had given them their freedom, through faith in his name. No human alliance or other god had the power to save them, and they could not do it themselves.
In the same way, it is only God’s power that saves us from eternal damnation. There is nothing we can do save ourselves. Titus 3:5-6 tells us, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” No religious organization or other God can save us either. Acts 4:12 states, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”