‘Except,’ meaning that, were it not for God, were it not for Gods grace policy, and for no other reason.
Not by the accident of nature. Not by some accident of evolution. Not by the chance of circumstances or luck. Not by means of mans extraordinary self will. Not by means of some human indomitable strength. Not by mans sense of innovation or spirit. Not by means of anything that you can think up, invent, imagine, or just plain want.
Nothing in existence or non-existence is responsible for the existence or continued existence of humanity. Only God is responsible for mans existence and continuation in history.
Were it not for His plan, and His will, that some people would be alive in history, be believers, and therefore would be an active part of His divine plan. Were it not because God looked down through the tunnel of time and saw future generations that would believe. Were it not because there are a few, even a single person, a remnant if you will, were it not for this, then humanity would be like Sodom.
And this is not a reference to the degenerate nature of the inhabitants of Sodom, but is a reference to its destiny.
Which destiny, was total annihilation and loss of existence. History is full of examples of wars, diseases, famines, lost cultures, migrating families who have vanished or could not survive and so forth which presents a great example of this principle. No Christ, no life, no perpetuation of life.
Many have failed and disappeared, and all of humanity would be gone, were it not for God.
Lost for all of history, deep in the dead waters of the Dead Sea, of which no person has ever seen nor discovered its remains, Sodom is a principle of the grace of God for saving even a single person out of an environment of pure evil, but also the justice of God for destroying evil so thoroughly that we know virtually nothing about it except for that which is written in the Bible.
So, if you have been following this psalm, then you know that it all begins with your attitude toward Christ. Positive attitude begets tremendous reward. Negative attitude toward Christ begets a soul full of decay, overflowing into a physical life and existence of worthlessness.
Your life depends not on you, or politics, or friends, or connections, or titles or anything of this world. Your life depends totally on Christ. The personal name of Jehovah is used to identify Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior, the Messiah, and so forth.
Christ is the living embodiment of the written word, and the written word is what you need in your soul, in order to have a life in the first place, and to have a completed life, meaning and purpose, in the second place.
You have but one way of attaining that great destiny, and that is through a daily study of the word. Anything else, anything less will get you a totally worthless life. And if you end up empty, then you have only yourself to thank for that.