The Snare is Broken part 1

I am posting a sermon that my husband was unable to preach “live” due to the coronavirus crisis.  It speaks to the topic of the month, encouraging us to remain confident in God’s victory over all evils.  If you wish to hear it, you can go to our church website to access the audio version.

Psalm 124

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side–let Israel say–

if it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us,

then they would have swallowed us up alive.  When their anger was kindled against us;

then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;

then over us would have gone the raging waters.

Blessed be the Lord who has not given us as prey to their teeth!

We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers;  the snare is broken, and we have escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 124 represents one of the types or categories of Psalms we find in the Bible.  It is called a community praise psalm.  In other words, it is spoken on behalf of the whole people of Israel, not just on the behalf of an individual.  According to the superscription (remember that’s the statement that sits above the psalm itself in Scripture)–it was written by David and came to be used as a song of ascents.  That means that it was sung by people who were climbing the hill to the Temple, and by the Levites who sang during the worship services there.  We can see that in the first verse, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side — let Israel now say–If it had not been that the Lord was on our side …”  This is what we call antiphonal, in other words, one singer would first say the opening and then, when it says, “let Israel now say,”  the choir would repeat it.

All Photos

There is a sense in which it is hard to imagine our 21st century society lifting up a community praise psalm such as this, because we are becoming a society in which there is less and less sense of community.  I’ve mentioned in the past a book called Bowling Alone, which was written about 25 years ago and dealt with the growing sense of non-community that keeps us from being truly connected to one another.  The book was written by a Harvard professor named Robert Putnam.  He recently commented on this idea of personal isolation, saying that America has ceased to be an “us society” and has become an “I society.”  We are becoming so isolated from each other that we now only want to associate with people who agree with us in everything imaginable.  An “I” society is on the verge of collapse because it isn’t really a society at all.  It’s just a bunch of “me’s”.

To be continued …..

3 thoughts on “The Snare is Broken part 1

  1. Pingback: The Snare is Broken part 2 | Lutheran Ladies Connection

  2. Pingback: The Snare is Broken part 3 | Lutheran Ladies Connection

  3. Pingback: The Snare is Broken part 4 | Lutheran Ladies Connection

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