When Hard Pressed, I Cried Out To The Lord–Psalm 118:5-14

When Hard Pressed, I Cried Out To The Lord–Psalm 118:5-14

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
    He brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; He is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the Name of the Lord I cut them down.
11 They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the Name of the Lord I cut them down.
12 They swarmed around me like bees,
    but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns;
    in the Name of the Lord I cut them down.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my defense;
    He has become my salvation.

When the psalmist was hard pressed on every side, viciously attacked by his enemies, there was but one option for rescue and safety: The Name of the Lord. Verse 1 states: “When I was hard pressed, I cried to the Lord, [and] He brought me to a spacious place.” In verse 10 the psalmist writes, “All the nations surrounded me, but in the Name of the Lord, I cut them down.” And verse 13: “I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.” It isn’t the psalmist’s strength, power, wisdom or finances that rescued him. Those attributes are all bound by human limitations and frailty. Rather, it was God Who delivered him. And the psalmist drives this point home in verses 6, 8 and 9 by stating that we should not put our trust in other people – nor should we fear what they can do to us: “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid – what can mere mortals do to me?; It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust humans; It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in princes.”

The universal message of trusting in God alone is not unique to Psalm 118. Trusting in God is the resounding theme throughout the entire Holy Bible, the Gospel message, Church history and tradition, eye witness testimony throughout mankind, as well as the innate “feeling” of the soul. Only a fool would turn a blind eye to all facts, senses, and history, and rely instead on their own limited nature and resources for survival (Prov. 28:26). In fact, we know how that story ends by our mere mortality alone.

So the next time you are feeling under pressure — or perhaps sinking altogether — do as the psalmist did and cry out to the Lord. Let Him know that you trust Him as your deliverer and your Vindicator. God already knows what you need, but sometimes He will wait for you to cry out to Him and to trust Him before He intervenes on your behalf. He may even wait until the last minute to rescue you in order to strengthen your resolve and enhance your witness (v 13). And more often than not, we won’t have the answers as to why, how, when, etc. All we will know is that we must trust Him. That it is God and God alone who can (and will) deliver you from the trappings of this world and the snares of the devil.

No matter what you are going through today, and no matter how far you’ve strayed, turn back to God. Cry out to Him in humility and surrender. Praise Him for being your strength and your defense – and for being your ultimate salvation (v 14). He is with you now. He has never left you. But it is up to us to repent of our sins and turn to Him for His saving grace. He is always there, and He is always waiting for you. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen!

[Read and meditate on this psalm today. Let us know how it speaks to you in the comment section below.]

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