What if the Lord had not been on our side?
Answer, O Israel!
“If the Lord had not been on our side
when our enemies attacked us,
then they would have swallowed us alive
in their furious anger against us;
then the flood would have carried us away,
the water would have covered us,
the raging torrent would have drowned us.”
Let us thank the Lord,
who has not let our enemies destroy us.
We have escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap;
the trap is broken, and we are free!
Our help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. (Good News Translation)
There are many Sundays I begin the worship service with the ancient confession of faith that our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. It is a call to worship the G-d who is above all and sees all – and can do something about the adversity and trouble we face in the world.
When confronted with a new day, our attention needs some direction in the positive way of acknowledging that the eternal and ever-present G-d is ready and vigilant to guide us through our waking hours.
Our ultimate help is in the Lord. Our fears about the future, our insecurities of what will happen, and our anxieties about all the upcoming stuff we must face can be transformed with the biblical perspective of acknowledging our need for G-d.
The Lord is our most prescient support. The virtual meeting you have been dreading; that conversation you have been avoiding; a deadline that has been looming over your head; or ongoing health issues which seem to never end; these and all situations can only find their proper perspective in light of the God who helps.
I am a believer in making daily affirmations of faith in G-d. Early in the morning, I deliberately profess truth about G-d, even if I don’t feel like it, each and every day so that some solid robust theology is at the forefront of my mind, and the attributes of G-d sink firmly into my heart.
For faith does not simply come through checking-off a list of orthodox beliefs, then moving on as if those beliefs have no connection to daily life. Rather, faith arises as a response to the recognition that G-d is good – all the time – and that the Lord helps those who intentionally and constantly seek divine help and enablement.
There are a lot of things we do not know: what will happen tomorrow; how a situation will shake out in the end; whether a relationship will flower or wither; and a million other things which can weigh down our hearts with anxiety. However, there is one sure truth we can count on right now and for every minute into the future: G-d is with us. G-d’s ever-present help remains the constant ballast in a sea of changing circumstances.
“If God is on our side, can anyone be against us?… I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8:31, 38-39, CEV)
Not even the grave can limit G-d. With the Lord, death is defeated. The enemy is flat on his face. His power is abolished. We are only in danger if we let ourselves go near our old toothless foe. And even then, we have the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, and the shoes of peace.
The dangers of water and fire, traps and snares, enemy armies and spiritual foes are all undone by almighty G-d. The maker of heaven and earth personally advocates and helps us. Indeed, the Lord is on our side.
Creator God, you are the ever-present One who provides everything I need for life and godliness. I need your help today and everyday so that I can confidently do your will. I stand with full assurance of faith because I serve the Lord Jesus, who is benevolent and always does what is right and just. Amen.