Certainly some hypothetical questions are a waste of time. Yet others can lead to profitable reflections. Recently, a few of us from CPCC considered Psalm 124, and it’s opening lines — which are practically in the “hypothetical question” format.
124:1 If it had not been the Lord who was on our side-let Israel now say – 2 if it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us, 3 then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;
Here, amidst the songs of ascent (often sung by pilgrims heading up to Jerusalem) the psalmist calls his fellows to consider “What if God was not on our side…” The thought is far more than sobering! They would’ve been swallowed up, overwhelmed without even a fight! In this case, a hypothetical question leads to greater humility and greater praise to the LORD our God. As the psalm concludes –
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
How might your life today be different, if the Lord were not so graciously on your side? In many, many ways, I imagine! Perhaps you ought to sing His praises over those very things!