God, save us!
God, help us get through this!
Hooray for you, wielding God's power of attorney!
Thank God for you!
There are two ways to read Psalm 118 as a whole, and these verses in particular. These two verses, each a part of a different, adjoining stanzas of the psalm's poetry, show both possibilities. Either,
- the psalm is a prayer expressing the need for deliverance, and expressing thanksgiving in advance, or
- the psalm is a prayer of thanksgiving in response to having come safely through trouble, and expressing the hope that things will continue to improve.
In early April, 2020, the first option seems more relevant. Let us hope that sometime next year we can return to these verses and be able to see the troubles in hindsight, as the second.
For now, let's note that, either way you read it, God's salvation doesn't come through some magical, trumpian "It's going to disappear. One day – it's like a miracle – one day it will disappear." It comes because someone who has the ability do something comes to help.
On the receiving end of being helped, whoever that person is, may indeed seem God-sent. To put it the other way around, when someone, anyone, is genuinely helpful, that person is wielding God's power of attorney, acting on God's behalf.
Depending on your circumstances as you read this, consider:
- Who is helping here? And how can I, like the psalmist, express my gratitude?
- What do I have the ability to do, and can I help? Because, like those who first sang this psalm, we all need to get through this.