As I sipped my early morning coffee today in our quiet Galilee neighborhood, before the kids woke up and went off to school, I randomly cracked open the Psalms to chapter 124 and received an unexpected shot of encouragement and identification with current events in Israel.
The 3,000-year-old Psalm was obviously written in the aftermath of military attacks.
Just like Israel today is still in the aftermath of a relatively short, but very scary and violent assault from Gaza (also enemy territory at the time of the Psalm). I thought of how King David who wrote this Psalm spent several years in Saul’s Israeli army fighting to defend this nation. I too spent a short stint in the IDF, but at desk jobs, whereas the shepherd-warrior David was in life-or-death situations for years on end. He penned these words in a lull between wars.
“If the LORD had not been on our side,” let ISRAEL say –
“If the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us,
“When their anger flared against us,
“They would have swallowed us alive…”
Praise be to the LORD…
Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
When the kids went off to school I opened my laptop only to see a video of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a Congressional meeting from earlier this week. He basically admitted that the peaceful gestures of the US government toward Iran have failed and that the rogue state’s “breakout” to a nuclear weapon is only months away.
It suddenly dawned on me that the new Israeli prime minister (as of next week), Naftali Bennett, might be losing sleep from his very first day in office as he concerns himself with how to defend Israel against Iran, and whether to attempt a pre-emptive strike. Bennett, like prime ministers Netanyahu and Barak before him, also served in combat in that most prestigious of Israeli commando units, Sayeret Matkal. However, nothing could really have prepared him for this. Hopefully he has a book of Psalms handy. He’s gonna need all the encouragement he can get.
… let Israel say, “If the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us… ”