Read: Psalm 124
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side . . . then the flood would have swept us away. (vv. 1, 4)
Worship is not just about us and God. It can also be a desperate cry for help in a dangerous world. Worship is the only way we can survive in the middle of a cosmic war against the forces of darkness.
There’s a powerful scene in one of my favorite movies, Of Gods and Men, where a group of monks are praying in a chapel while a military helicopter flies around their monastery. The monks are caught in the middle of the Algerian Civil War, and they know that they will probably soon be martyred for their faith. As they sing their daily prayers, their voices are almost drowned out by the angry roar of the helicopter. In the most striking shot, the monastery sits on the right side of the frame, while the helicopter hovers on the left side, looking like a dragon coming up out of the sea. As in Psalm 124, the flood is trying to sweep over them. The roar of the helicopter is trying to drown out their prayers.
In Scripture, the recurring image of turbulent water represents evil that is bigger than us. But here in Psalm 124, the psalmist thanks God for delivering us from evil. The deep waters rise up, the forces of darkness rage, but they cannot destroy us. We worship a God who saves.
As you pray, declare with the psalmist, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (v. 8).