“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side,” Let Israel now say—Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 124:1, 8, NKJV)
A few months after my father suffered a horrific car accident in 1949, friends presented him a wonderful get-well-gift. My dad, Barclay Allen, was a nationally known big-band pianist in the 1940s. Friends, including Frank Sinatra, Cole Porter, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee, Freddy Martin, and many others, signed their personal 8- by 10-inch glossy photos with good wishes for his recovery. All the comments were personal and so kind. However, there is no recovery from paralysis. My dad had suffered a broken neck and a damaged spinal column. His paralysis was permanent. Good wishes from friends, even from famous friends, could gladden his heart, but would not help his broken body.
Numerous times in biblical history we read of the Hebrew people facing insurmountable problems. Time after time, Majesty stooped from the highest heavens to meet their needs. God, whose glory is indescribable, whose wonder is beyond imagination, whose power is limitless, and whose grace is unfathomable—this very God demonstrated He was on their side.
Psalm 124 is one of the Psalms of Ascent designed for pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem. Here, people were to encourage each other on the arduous, and sometimes dangerous, journey that Yahweh was on their side. He was for them. From the grand event of the Exodus, and in many struggles, Yahweh stepped into their world to meet their needs, to protect them from adversaries, and to bless them with His presence.
Christmas is many things. One of them is the fact that the Lord is on our side, that Yahweh is for us. In fact, this is the ultimate meaning of God’s glorious personal name, Yahweh.
Good wishes from good friends are wonderful things.
Having the Lord on our side is inestimably better! Jesus’s birth is the ultimate expression, “the LORD is on our side.”