If the Lord had not been on our side— let Israel say— if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the Lord , who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord , the Maker of heaven and earth. – Psalm 124:1-8
This psalm is both a great remembering of the way God has saved Israel and a foreshadowing of a savior to come (reflections of him). The “flood”, “torrent“, and “raging waters” harken back to a time described in 2 Samuel.
David was fleeing Saul with his band of warriors. They were chasing and being chased, hiding in caves, and generally were in “enemy territory”. In a sense, we are also in “enemy territory” here on earth. It is not the native habitat for our souls. Our souls were designed to dwell in the kingdom not of this world…the undiscovered country.
The real “hidden well” comes toward the end of the passage, admittedly it is not a water-related portion of the passage, but it is such an interesting word picture that it seems worthy of reflection….”We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped.” In this one passage lies the kernel of the Gospel that Jesus came to share.
Jesus came to set the captives free (break the snare). I like this imagery for a couple of reasons: 1) the snare seems a good metaphor for the way our souls can become bound to the earthly realm at the expense of their true home (heaven); 2) Jesus has broken the snare, but we can choose to remain…it is us who must move toward Him.
There are so many things that can ensnare our souls here on earth. The interesting thing about the snares is that they seem to be customized to the individual — the hunter (the deceiver) is clever. For one person the snare may look like a pile of money and another it could be an addiction. The snares come in all shapes and sizes but Jesus has assured us that He has broken them once and for all. But we must move away from the snares to be near Him.
If I were a rabbit who had been caught in a snare and someone came along and cut it for me I do not think I would stick around. So why do we humans sometimes choose to remain near our “snares” rather moving toward God? I am not sure I have a good answer to this. Perhaps there is a comfort in familiar chains which outweighs the uncertainty and risk of setting out for the “undiscovered country”? God has made it clear we can choose to remain…our call.
Prayer: God thank You for breaking the snare that binds us to this earth so we can move toward You.