The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? (Psalms 118:6)
When anyone comes along another person’s side physically, it may indicate one of several things. If I came up to your side, what would you think?
First Category: to fulfill a need
The first thing that comes to mind is to fulfill a need.
I may need something from you, possibly conversation. Perhaps I need comfort or encouragement. Or it may be that I want to give you comfort or encouragement. In John 20:16-18, as the woman is weeping at the empty tomb, Jesus came to her side and conversed with her, He comforted her.
Another thought is that one of us may need a feeling of security. It just feels safer when there are two of you. Maybe you have noticed that sometimes when people are jogging; one may come up alongside another and run together a short distance, or even a longer distance. They may speak, or they may just continue running side by side. This security is reflected in our text verse, when “the Lord is on my side, I will not fear.” Also see Psalms 124:1-8. David tells what could have happened, had the Lord not been on his side.
A third idea of what could be needed is closeness. There is a transfer of emotions when you walk with someone side by side. Read Luke 24:13-49, the story of the two walking along the road to Emmaus. Jesus drew near and went with them (verse 15). And the same story is found in Luke 24:13-35; “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way…” (Luke 24:32). They felt a closeness as He walked with them side by side.
A second type of closeness is seen between a man and a woman. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.” It is not good for a man to walk alone; neither is it good for a woman to walk alone. God created them to need each other’s closeness, to walk side by side.
Second Category: to show identification
The second thing that comes to mind is that walking together shows identification. When I walk alongside you, I am identifying with you. In John 6:60-69, John records that some of the disciples did not want to be identified with Jesus:
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (verse 66)
Then Jesus turned to the Twelve Disciples and asked, “Will ye also go away?” (verse 67). Simon Peter answered for them all, that they wanted to be identified with Jesus and His Message:
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (verse 68)
“And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (verse 69)
The Twelve Disciples were not ashamed to be identified with Jesus; they still wanted to walk by His Side.
A second aspect of identification is that walking side by side shows communion with each other. It shows agreement:
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-16. This Scripture leads us to the third idea involved in identification; to show separation from all others. Continue reading in 2 Corinthians:
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:17)
This same separation from all others is spoken of in 1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…” In other words, do not walk with the world.
Instead walk with the Lord. As we walk alongside the Lord, it indicates oneness, or unity. Read John 17:21-24; 1 John 4:7-21; and 1 John 2:6:
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:6)
Also read the words of wise King Solomon in Ecclesiastes:
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
“For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
“Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:11)
“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
To say the least, walking side by side shows a desire to be there. You have to make an effort to walk side by side. Read Philippians 3:7-14; you have to want to “know” that person (ginōsko; to know by experience):
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Philippians 3:10)
You have to want to “press” toward your goal:
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
In conclusion: what a blessing, what a reward, to walk with Christ side by side. Also to walk together with another Child of God; especially to walk together with another Child of God as man and wife, to be side by side.