This Song of Ascents, that pilgrims sang on their way up to Jerusalem, praises the Lord for His deliverance of His people from catastrophes of nature. Twice, it is sung, If the Lord had not been on our side…Those who sing the psalm recognize that their only hope of salvation is in the Lord. We echo this in the daily offices, such as Matins and Vespers, and when we confess our sins in the Divine Service, when we repeat verse eight: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
“In the year 1582, this Psalm was sung on a remarkable occasion in Edinburgh. An imprisoned minister, John Durie, had been set free, and was met and welcomed on entering the town by two hundred of his friends. The number increased till he found himself in the midst of a company of two thousand, who began to sing, as they moved up the long High Street, ‘Now Israel may say,’ etc. They sang in four parts with deep solemnity, all joining in the well-known tune and Psalm. They were much moved themselves, and so were all who heard; and one of the chief persecutors is said to have been more alarmed at this sight and song than at anything he had seen in Scotland.”
Collect for Psalm 124: Lord surround your people with your presence. Do not let us stretch out our hands to evil deeds, nor be destroyed by the snares of the enemy, but bring us to share the land prepared for the saints in light, where you live and reign, God, now and forever. -15 June 2021—
 Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts “Jesus asleep in the ship” copyright © WELS for personal and congregational use
 For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church Vol. IV The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, © 1996 Delhi, NY