Reflections

Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

A reflection on Psalm 124

1 If the LORD had not been on our side– let Israel say– 2 if the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, 3 when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; 4 the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, 5 the raging waters would have swept us away. 6 Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. 7 We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Israel had much adversity and trouble. Mostly because of choosing roads to take that were damaging. Roads away from the good path that God had told them to walk down. We are not told here though what exactly is going on.

However, we are shown how the LORD God was on His people’s side, how He kept them from being ‘swallowed alive’ and how He stopped them being drowned by the ‘flood’ of those who were set against them. ‘Praise be to the LORD’ he says.

Here the psalmist talks about God’s rescue – that ‘our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth’. It is God who is the helper of His people.

Sometimes we might think of God as distant and uninvolved. How can He allow such things to go on in this world, in our lives? – we may think or ask. The truth is that God has done something about our greatest enemies – sin, death, and Satan. The fowler’s snare (so to speak) of sin, and death and Satan have been broken, and there is escape…

God is not distant, unmoved and uninvolved… on the contrary He is our great Help. He sent Jesus to bring the help that we could never provide for ourselves. He made a way for our forgiveness, a way for eternal life in His presence and the defeat of the great enemy of our souls.

God has done all this in Jesus. In His death in our place. In His resurrection from the dead. In His Spirit that comes to dwell within in us, Who is the promise of our eternal life to come.

We can forget that God has rescued His people from the greatest traps, we must remember this, and that in all things:

Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Reflections

Two great truths that are often distorted in our world.

A reflection on Acts 17:24-31

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 `For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, `We are his offspring.’ 29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone– an image made by man’s design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

There are two great truths that are often distorted in our world.

Firstly, that we are like God. We are his offspring. He has made us in His image, in His likeness, His word tells us. We are relational creatures, emotional, spiritual, eternal. God has made us like him.

We can get this wrong by thinking we have no value, that we are just the same as animals when in fact we are the high point of God’s creation, made to rule over it. Given authority to care for it. We are made to reflect something of the God of all glory, made to reflect His splendour and beauty. Yet we are marred and do not do this well – so often.

Secondly, we are not God. We are not the creator. We are the creation. If we put all that is created to one side and all that is not created on the other side – it is God alone on the one and us, together with all other things created on the other.

So, it makes sense that God does not need us – we add nothing to Him by worshipping Him and we take nothing away by refusing to worship Him.

So too, it makes sense that God – the Creator – the Almighty One who created us and sustains us can and does call us to repent. To change the way we have been thinking.

Giving our delight and joys to other things in a way that reveals they are our gods – this is wrong. Giving our worship and praise to created things or even the attitude of living life to try to give things to God to gain from Him – we must see the sin of this and turn from it.

So, let’s turn away from all that, and turn towards this God. Turn towards His completely free gift of forgiveness to us in Jesus.

Turn towards the love of the Creator in His Son, in His invitation in Jesus to come back into relationship with the One you were made for – where true life is found.