Our Help is in the Name of the Lord

Redeemed how I love to proclaim it . . . Many of us recognize this as the opening line in a familiar song. It’s one that tells our story. We are the redeemed. We’ve been rescued from sin, death and eternal loss. We have been saved from the futility of our thinking and its attendant destructive lifestyle (Ephesians 4:17ff). This is what we declare the first day of every week as we take the Supper together. We proclaim the Lord’s death—His liberating death as the basis of our redemption.

In doing this, we’re taking our place in a long line of men and women who have proclaimed God’s saving mercies down through the ages. Young, old, rich, poor, from all continents and cultures—we’ve all been touched by God’s redeeming hand and we have the need to say so.

This is the background for Psalm 124. It celebrates the deliverance Israel has experienced as a result of the Lord being on their side (v. 1-2). It’s hard to pin down exactly what they were delivered from, but the language is graphic. It speaks of people attacking (v. 2), water sweeping over them (v. 4), not being “torn by their teeth” (v. 6), and escaping the fowler’s snare (v. 7). It is possible that the nation was under attack and the remaining descriptors just amplify it in a figurative way. Regardless, the truth that looms over the text is that the nation was helpless and hopeless “had the Lord not been on our side.”

But the psalm offers more than an analysis of past deliverance. It speaks powerfully to the present because “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (v. 8). This is the crescendo. Everything in the psalm leads to this point. And why not? We’ve all heard countless stories of people who were rescued, healed, saved and delivered and were momentarily thankful but permanently oblivious. Nothing changed. Maybe a light went on, but it didn’t stay on. They drifted right back to their futile ways that got them into trouble in the first place. Psalm 124 is sung by people who know better.

Let’s make sure we’re one of them.

Our help is in the name of the Lord!

Psalms of Ascent

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Published by A Taste of Grace with Bruce Green

I grew up the among the cotton fields, red clay and aerospace industry of north Alabama. My wife and I are blessed with three adult children and five grandchildren.

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