Psalm 124:8

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 8. Our help, our hope for the future, our ground of confidence in all trials present and to come.

Is in the name of the Lord. Jehovah's revealed character is our foundation of confidence, his person is our sure fountain of strength.

Who made heaven and earth. Our Creator is our preserver. He is immensely great in his creating work; he has not fashioned a few little things alone, but all heaven and the whole round earth are the works of his hands. When we worship the Creator let us increase our trust in our Comforter. Did he create all that we see, and can he not preserve us from evils which we cannot see Blessed be his name, he that has fashioned us will watch over us; yea, he has done so, and rendered us help in the moment of jeopardy. He is our help and our shield, even he alone. He will to the end break every snare. He made heaven for us, and he will keep us for heaven; he made the earth, and he will succour us ripen it until the hour cometh for our departure. Every work of his hand preaches to us the duty and the delight of reposing upon him only. All nature cries, "Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength." "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

The following versification of the sense rather than the words of this psalm is presented to the reader with much diffidence: --

Had not the Lord, my soul may cry,
Had not the Lord been on my bide;
Had he not brought deliverance nigh,
Then must my helpless soul have died.
Had not the Lord been on my side,
My soul had been by Satan slain;
And Tophet, opening large and wide,
Would not have gaped for me in vain.
Lo, floods of wrath, and floods of hell,
In fierce impetuous torrents roll;
Had not the Lord defended well,
The waters had o'erwhelm'd my soul.
As when the fowler's snare is broke,
The bird escapes on cheerful wings;
My soul, set free from Satan's yoke,
With joy bursts forth, and mounts, and sings.
She sings the Lord her Saviour's praise;
Sings forth his praise with joy and mirth;
To him her song in heaven she'll raise,
To him that made both heaven and earth.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 8. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He hath made the earth where the snare lies, so that he can rightfully destroy the snare as laid unlawfully in his domain; he hath made the heaven, the true sphere of the soaring wings of those souls which he has delivered, so that they may fly upwards from their late prison, rejoicing. He came down to earth himself, the Lord Jesus in whose name is our help, that lie might break the snare; be returned to heaven, that we might fly "as the doves to their windows" ( Isaiah 60:8 ), following where lie showed the way. --Richard Rolle, of Hampole (1340), in "Neale and Littledale."

Verse 8. -- Our help is in the name of the Lord. The fairest fruits of our by past experience is to glorify God by confidence in him for time to come, as here. --David Dickson.

Verse 8. -- The Lord who made heaven and earth. As if the Psalmist had said, As long as I see heaven and earth I will never distrust. I hope in that God which made all these things out of nothing; and therefore as long as I see those two great standing monuments of his power before me, heaven and earth, I will never be discouraged. So the apostle: 1Pe 4:19, "Commit the keeping of your souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." O Christian! remember when you trust God you trust an almighty Creator, who is able to help, let your case be never so desperate. God could create when he had nothing to work upon, which made one wonder; aud he could create when he had nothing to work with, which is another wonder. What is become of the tools wherewith he made the world? Where is the trowel wherewith he arched the heaven? and the spade wherewith he digged the sea? What had God to work upon, or work withal when he made the world? He made it out of nothing. Now you commit your souls to the same faithful Creator. -- Thomas Manton.

Verse 8. -- The Romans in a great distress were put so hard to it, that they were fain to take the weapons out of the temples of their gods to fight with them; and so they overcame. And this ought to be the course of every good Christian, in times of public distress, to fly to the weapons of the church, prayers and tears. The Spartans' walls were their spears, the Christian's walls are his prayers. His help standeth in the name of the Lord who hath made both heaven and earth. --Edmund Calamy.

Verse 8. -- The French Protestants always begin their public worship with the last verse of this Psalm, and there is no thought more encouraging and comfortable. --Job Orton, 1717-1783.

Verse 8. -- Our help is in the name of the Lord, etc. These are the words of a triumphing and victorious faith, "Our help standeth in the name of the Lord, which made heaven and earth": as if he said, the Maker of heaven and earth is my God, and my helper. We see whither he flieth in his great distress. He despairs not, but cries unto the Lord, as one yet hoping assuredly to find relief and comfort. Rest thou also in this hope, and do as he did. David was not tempted to the end he Should despair; think not thou, therefore, that thy temptations are sent unto thee that thou shouldest be swallowed up with sorrow and desperation: if thou be brought down to the very gates of hell, believe that the Lord will surely raise thee up again. If so thou be bruised and broken, know it is the Lord that will help thee again. If thy heart be full of sorrow and heaviness, look for comfort from him, who said, that a troubled spirit is a sacrifice unto him: ( Psalms 51:17 ) Thus he setteth the eternal God, the Maker of heaven and earth, against all troubles and dangers, against the floods and overflowings of all temptations, and swalloweth up, as it were with one breath all the raging furies of the whole world, and of hell itself, even as a little drop of water is swallowed up by a mighty flaming fire: and what is the world with all its force and power, in respect of him that made heaven and earth! --Thomas Stint.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 8. -- Our Creator, our Helper. Special comfort to be drawn from creation in this matter.

Verse 8. --

  1. The Helper: "The Lord, who made heaven and earth," who in his works has given ample proofs of what he can do.
  2. The helped. "Our help" is,

    1. Promise in his name.

(b) Sought in his name: these make it ours. --G.R.

Verse 8. --

  1. We have help. As troubled sinners, as dull scholars, as trembling professors, as inexperienced travellers, as feeble workers.
  2. We have help in God's name. In his perfections -- "They shall put my name upon the children of Israel." In his Gospel -- "A chosen vessel to bear my name." In his authority -- "In the name of Jesus Christ rise up," etc.
  3. Therefore we exert ourselves.

--W.J.


WORKS ON THE 124th PSALM.

Comfortable sermons upon the 124 psalme. Being thankfull Remembrances for God's wonderfull deliverance of us from the late gunpowder treason. Preached before the Lady Elizabeth Her Grace, at Combe. By Daniel, Dike, Bachelor in Divinity... London; ... 1635 also 1617. Quarto. Of no value whatever.

An Exposition on the 124, 125, 126. Psalmes called the Psalmes of Degrees, or The Churches Deliverance. Plainly set forth for the benefit of God's Church. By Thomas Stint.... London: 1621. 8vo. Excessively rare.