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Had It Not Been

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I remember as a boy playing wiffle ball in the yard with my dad and my siblings. I was the youngest so Dad was on my side, against my brother and sister. How great it was to have my father on my side. With him on my side my brother and sister never stood a chance. Tonight I want to say to you that when God is on your side, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance. What an incredible feeling to know that my heavenly Father is on my side.
In this psalm God’s people have been under some threat, but God was on their side. And He delivered them. In response they are called to praise Him.

I. Acknowledge what could’ve been. (Vv 1-5)

“Had it not been the Lord who was on our side” (2 times); on our side (w/ us, for us: past tense of Immanuel) If it hadn’t been for Immanuel.
“Let Israel now say” - a call to openly acknowledge and confess what could’ve been.
Death, destruction, defeat (2 pictures: enemies, flood)
Enemies: “rose up”- attacked; swallow alive = destroy life, “swallowed alive” (animal devouring prey); anger was kindled = hot in the nose.
1 Peter 5:8 NASB95
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
If it had not been for Jesus, our enemy “sin” would have killed us. The wages of sin is death (1st and 2nd).
Flood: pictures a violent stream, raging waters that carry away everything in their path.
Isaiah 59:19 NASB95
So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the Lord drives.
Think about all those who are swept along by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Their end is destruction.
That could’ve been you. That should’ve been me. What if God hadn’t turned you around? What if God hadn’t kept you from the wrong path?
This is a call to openly acknowledge what could’ve been had it not been for the Lord.

II. Praise God for what is. (Vv 6-7)

“Blessed be the Lord” - A call to praise
2 Pictures (wild animal and trapper)
Wild animal: “torn by their teeth” - Picture of wild animal tearing at a carcass with his teeth. Given us to them as prey. Daniel in the Lion’s Den. We could’ve been devoured by sin and Satan, but as it is we haven’t.
Exodus 15:9–10 NASB95
“The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Trapper: Verse 7
2 Timothy 2:24–26 NASB95
The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
We could be caught in the snare of the enemy, trapped by sin and destined for death. But praise God that He granted us repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (Gospel)!
Knowing where we are and where we could’ve been, how can we not praise Him?

III. Trust God with what will be. (V 8)

Change in verb tense from past to present. When we think about what could’ve been, and we are compelled to praise Him for what is, and given grounds fro trusting Him with what will be. We have learned that He is our help.
“name” - represents his character and nature, who He is
“made heaven and earth” - Our help comes from the one who created everything. Let that sink in.
Romans 8:31 NASB95
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
Romans 8:31 NASB95
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
David and Goliath: “God has delivered me from the lion and the bear, and He will deliver me from this uncircumcised Philistine.”
Notice these verses:
John 1:3 NASB95
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Colossians 1:16 NASB95
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
It is Jesus by whom and through whom all things were created. He is our help and deliverer. The testimony of the Scripture, the testimony of the Holy Spirit within you, and the testimony of your life all tell you you can trust Him to deliver you from whatever may come.

Big Idea: Praise God! He is on our side!

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