The Snare is Broken part 3

I hope everyone here today has learned that facing enemies alone is a frightening and often fruitless thing to do.  We’re witnessing today something that should concern all of us, this corona virus pandemic.  People are frightened, especially those who do not know the Lord.  They’re looking to governments to protect them and while governments can marshal armies to repel invaders, there’s not a lot they can do about illnesses such as this.  They don’t even know if the drastic actions they are taking will have anything to do with the eventual end of this worldwide problem.  They’re trying because people expect them to try.  In fact, people expect them to win against this disease.  But surely we should have learned by now that there will always be some new or mutated disease that will endanger people.  As another psalmist writes, “put not your trust in princes, in a son of man in whom there is no salvation.”

David was a king, a great king actually, but he knew it wasn’t his careful war and battle planning of the valor of his men or even good luck that saved Israel.  It was the Lord who made and claimed them as His own people.  In verse 7 of Psalm 124 David speaks of a fowler’s net.  This was for centuries the way people collected birds for food.  They would wait until birds were on the ground and then drop a net over them, trapping them until they could be killed.  But the Lord had broken the snare in which Israel’s enemies sought to trap them.  The cords of the net were cut and once cut, the bird was able to escape the death that awaited.

The snares that entrap the people of God will always be broken, His people will always be saved unto eternity.  The snare of sin has been defeated.  The snare of death has lost its’ sting, the snare of the devil has no more power.  And we could go on.  But the snares that would truly harm us have been broken on the cross of Calvary.  The snare of the satanic fowler and the snare of our own sinful natures have been rent asunder and no longer entrap us when we have come into the knowledge of the truth that is shown in Jesus Christ.

Still more to come …..

For parts 1 and 2 go to these posts:

The Snare is Broken part 1

The Snare is Broken part 2

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 …..