Jump Start # 2939
Psalms 124:1-3 “Had it not been for the Lord who was on our side, let Israel now say, ‘Had it not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us; then they would have swallowed us alive, when their anger was kindled against us”
“Had it not been for the Lord” – that’s a great statement. It recognizes that the Lord made a difference. Had it not been for the Lord, their story would have turned out differently. And, had it not been for the Lord, our story would have turned out differently. Our story would not have had a happy ending. Our story would have been marred with mistakes, sins and trouble. Had it not been for the Lord, we would have been lost.
Twice this passage acknowledges that the Lord was on their side. Truth is, the Lord doesn’t take sides. We are either on His side or we are not. For the writer to admit that the Lord was on his side is to say that he had been walking faithfully with the Lord. He knew the Lord. There was a relationship, a bond, and a unity. He was on the Lord’s side and the Lord was on his side.
I wonder if we realize how dark, depressing and troubled our lives would have been had we not had the Lord on our side. Those of us who grew up in homes where God was honored and worshipped and had involved parents, we had to watch our words. We had curfews that had to be kept very strictly. We had to be in the church building on Sundays. Prayers were as normal as milk was for breakfast. No smart talking. No attitudes. We were taught the Bible. Our parents had to know who our friends were and where we were going. And as strict as our parents were, a foundation of goodness, service and righteousness was being established in our hearts. We didn’t realize it at that time. Off we went to college. That foundation kept us from being arrested, expelled, and flunking out. When we started dating, we looked for someone who had a similar foundation. And, today, all those years later, we are leading God’s people as preachers, teachers, shepherds and deacons. We have surrounded ourselves with the greatest people on the face of the earth, the people of God. We have understood that Sunday is the best day of the week because we gather to honor and worship the Lord. We have been put on a path and that path has taken us directly to the Lord.
Had it not been for the Lord, how many marriages would we have trashed by now? Without a foundation of commitment, service, forgiveness and grace, selfishness takes over. We grab what we want and we do what we want. Happiness is the only goal.
Had it not been for the Lord, what addictions would we be struggling with today? Alcohol? It’s everywhere. It’s so easy to get hooked on that stuff. It begins with beer in college. Then cute wine tastings. Then the harder stuff. And a lifetime of drinking and being hooked without realizing that. And, from that, how many DUIs would be attached to our names? What health issues would we have? How many people would we have offended by our drunken behavior? And, then there are the pills. Pain pills, taken by the handfuls. Pills to put one to sleep and pills to get one going in the day. How dishonest would we have become just to keep the pills coming.
Had it not been for the Lord would we have a criminal record attached to our names? Would we have been fired from our jobs? Would we have been in trouble with the IRS? Would lying on a resume been a normal practice? Would being dishonest on loan applications been standard procedure for us? Would lie, cheat and steal been something that defined our character and our lives?
Had it not been for the Lord, would we be alive today? Would we have died from a disease caused by drugs or alcohol? Would we have taken our own lives because we saw no value in going on?
Had it not been for the Lord, our character, our hearts, our attitudes would be colored a different way. Had it been for the Lord, what would there be to look forward to as one ages? Had it not been for the Lord we would not know how to apologize, make things right, or be a people of kindness and joy. Our conversations would be shallow, superficial and always about things here.
Had it not been for the Lord, the cemetery would scare us to no end. The subject of death would have no value for us, had it not been for the Lord. Had it not been for the Lord, we would see no purpose in suffering. We would learn no lessons from trials. We would see nothing beyond the door of death.
Had it not been for the Lord, Hell would be our permanent address. Had it not been for the Lord there would be no hope in death. Had it not been for the Lord, we would have died guilty, lost and a life wasted.
Had it not been for the Lord. Have you thanked the Lord for making you the way you are? Have you thanked the Lord for giving you a second chance and putting meaning and purpose in your life? Have you thanked the Lord for inviting you to spend forever with Him in His home? Have you thanked the Lord for the way your life turned out?
Had it not been for the Lord…