Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
Psalm 124
September 19, 2021

Psalm 124

September 19, 2021

Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD

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Psalm 124

A song of ascents. Of David.

If the Lord had not been on our side—
    let Israel say—
if the Lord had not been on our side
    when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
    when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
    the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
    would have swept us away.

Praise be to the Lord,
    who has not let us be torn by their teeth.
We have escaped like a bird
    from the fowler’s snare;
the snare has been broken,
    and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.



Psalm 124 is the fifth of the Songs of Ascents (see Overview on Psalms 120–134). While its position following Psalm 123 may be coincidental, the sequence is an auspicious one. Psalm 123 is a prayer for help in the face of hostility and opposition, while Psalm 124 reports deliverance from enemies and publicly proclaims that help comes from the Lord (v. 8). In fact, v. 8 represents the entire people’s affirmation of what an individual traveler had professed in Ps 121:2, suggesting the possibility that the sequence of Psalms 120–124 is intentional. In any case, the sequence in its current form seems to say that the individual faith professed in Ps 121:2 is confirmed by the pilgrim’s arrival at Jerusalem, where his or her voice is joined with that of all Israel (see 124:2). In other words, just as Psalm 123 recalls Psalm 120, so also Psalm 124 recalls Psalm 121.[1]

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Point 1 


Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3



[1] J. Clinton Mccann Jr., “The Book of Psalms,” in New Interpreter’s Bible, ed. Leander E. Keck, vol. 4 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994–2004), 1189.

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