The Blessings of Being God’s Dependent
By: Bishop Arthur F. Mosley
For centuries, children have looked forward to the day when they would be adults. They want their independence, space to make their own decisions, and to no longer live under their parents’ restrictions. Legally, a child remains a dependent if he/she is younger than nineteen years old or a student younger than twenty-four years old. Honestly, most children do not realize how good they have it, while they are still dependents. The parent(s)/guardian(s) pay for meals, clothing, a place to live, transportation, and countless other needs and wants. Still, they long for the day to be on their own and to take care of themselves.
Now, I am not suggesting that our children remain perpetual dependents. It is healthy, maturing, and necessary for them to develop and become independent. Unlike the Lord, parents are not going to always be here with their children.
Ideally, our children will outgrow us and not need us the way they did when they were infants and toddlers. However, this is not the case for God’s children. For those of us who are in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we will never outgrow our need for Him. In Psalms 124:1-8, David spells out some of the blessings of being the Lord’s perpetual dependent. These blessings are spelled out in terms of things that did not happen and things that did happen. Let us look at the text, Psalms 124:1-8:
1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; 2 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: 3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: 4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: 5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6 Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. 7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. 8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
First, verses one and two appear to be redundant, saying the same thing repeatedly. Let me explain. In Scripture, things are repeated for emphasis. The writer is stressing something. He is showing us that something is important. In this case, he wants the reader to know that the Lord being on our side is significant.
What does on our side mean? Well, it means the Lord is present, protecting and providing. The call here is not for us to keep the protection and provision. The call here is to maintain and cherish the Lord’s presence. With His presence comes protection, provision, and so much more. So, I want the Lord to be on my side. I want His presence. I confess, I am one of His dependents. In this Psalms, what does His presence accomplish? What do His dependents have and not have?
Let me start with what does not happen to His dependents. There are three things David declares that did not happen because the Lord was on his side. First, in verse three, he was not swallowed. This means that God’s dependents are not destroyed, devoured, or ruined. As bad as it is, the enemy always wants to make it worse. Second, in verse four, he was not overwhelmed. He was not devastated by the flood of trouble. The enemy would love to drown us in our troubles. Third, God’s dependents did not become the enemy’s prey. The enemy wants us to become his next meal. He wants our defeat to be his source of motivation. The Lord by His grace and mercy kept the adversary from accomplishing his goals. He watches over and takes good care of His dependents.
Now, what does happen in the text for the Lord’s dependents? Well, again, there are three significant things that happen for us in this text. One, David confesses that he was helped. This means the Lord provided him with the strength and power he needed to accomplish the task. Lord, thank you for helping us! Two, the snare was broken. In other words, the trap and danger were destroyed. The things that were designed to shatter God’s dependents were shattered. Lord, thank you for shattering the adversary’s destructive weapons. Third, David says we escaped. We were rescued. We were saved. Lord, thank you for getting us out of things that only your power could get us out of.
All of us are growing older. All of us are facing challenges. However, all of us have a loving God who cares about us and wants us to remain dependent on Him. I encourage you to remain a child of God. Do not move out! Do not leave Him. Stay under His loving care. He welcomes us to remain at home in Him.
By Dr. Arthur F. Mosley, Pastor
Cathedral of Faith Church of God in Christ