Both of these psalms are short hymns of great praise. Psalm 117 is the next to the last in what as known as the “Hallel” (Psalms 113-118) praising God and calling for all nations to do so (“For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”). The word “us” applies to people of all nations, and Paul quotes this passage when speaking to Jews and Gentiles in Romans 15:10-11.
Psalm 124 is one of the fifteen “Psalms of Acsents” (see this previous post for a brief explanation). This particular psalm is one of praise to God for deliverance. Here, the analogies are made to escaping from death by drowning (verses 4-5), and then as a bird escaping from a predator or a trap (verses 6-7). It is a reminder to those of the singing congregation of the grace, mercy, and power of the Lord:
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—
let Israel now 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,
God does not always answer our prayers the way we would like for Him to. Sometimes, the answer is no. Sometimes, it may even be “not yet” or “I have something else in mind.” Sometimes, that “something else” becomes clear to us later as the better thing to have happened. But sometimes, we come to Him in great distress, and He answers “yes.” When the dust settles after such a situation, do we give Him the praise and the glory? Or do we just move on as if the “luck of the draw” was simply on our side?
Verse 8 is a reminder that it is from God whom all blessings flow:
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.