Christianity 201

November 4, 2017

The Lord Will Rescue His Servants

Today, our second visit with David Kitz who writes at I Love the Psalms. Recently he spent two days in Psalm 51, so if you’re familiar with David’s confessional Psalm and would like to read more about it, click either the title below or the mention of his blog in the previous sentence and look for the October 31 and November 1 readings. Today we’re in Psalm 34.

A Trouble Free Life?

Reading:  Psalm 34

(Verses 19-22)
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the L
ORD delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The L
ORD will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned
(NIV).

Reflection
This final portion of Psalm 34 reflects David’s faith in a God who saves. He began this psalm with praise because he experienced the saving power of God. Now David states that the LORD delivers, protects and rescues. But for these words to be meaningful, the LORD must deliver, protect and rescue from various forms of trouble and adversity. There is no rescue if there is no danger. There is no deliverance if there is no oppression.

If you choose to follow the LORD, you are not guaranteed a trouble-free life. Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Many of us believe that if we do our best to lead a good life, following the commandments as found in the Bible, God will exempt us from hardship and trouble. But Jesus, the sinless Son of God, did not have a trouble-free life. Why should we expect our lives to be trouble free? God has not promised me a trouble-free life; He has promised to be with me when trouble and adversity comes.

About three years ago a close friend of mine suffered a debilitating stroke. He lost his position as a teacher, his finances took a hit and he struggled mightily to get his mobility back. In an instant every movement became much more difficult for him—every step a monumental effort. Last week he made a startling confession. He said, “If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t go back. I wouldn’t return to my pre-stroke days. God has drawn me so much closer to Himself through this. I wouldn’t wish this on any man. But God has changed me and used me in new ways that wouldn’t have been possible unless this happened.”

All of us desperately try to avoid the furnace of affliction. It’s too hard—too unpleasant—full of things we cannot bear. But God meets us there. He bears us up on eagle’s wings. When our resources and abilities run out, He takes over. He becomes our help and our deliverer in ways we cannot fathom. God is present in times of trouble.

His promises are tried, tested and true: The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Response: Heavenly Father, I can’t always see what is genuinely in my best interest, especially when that involves adversity. Be my sure help and protection in troubled times. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Your Turn: Has God met with you in a time of trouble? Do you know Him as your strength and rescuer in times of hardship and difficulty?


 

August 28, 2012

Deliverance is at Hand

Today’s thoughts are from Upper Room Disciplines; an annual devotional compiled from the Upper Room devotional booklet that is written by readers like you.  This one is from 2007.

Psalm 91:14-16  New International Version (NIV)

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation. ”

According to the psalmist, the God of love promises deliverance in return for our response of love.  Consider these six actions that God promises:

1.  “I will deliver.”  God was and will always be a God of deliverance.  God delivered Israel from the pain of slavery into a new land flowing with milk and honey – a land of new experiences, new beginnings.  God will continue this action into generations of those who love God.

2.  “I will protect.”  Protection is the response toward those “who know my name.”  We know who God really is and acknowledge God in acts of hallowing the Holy One’s name.

3.  “I will answer them.”  God answers when we call upon the name of the Lord; the Lord will act for us.

4.  “I will be with them.”  Presence, always an important aspect, confirms God’s involvement in our lives; we will experience God in our actions each moment but more so in times of need.  God’s presence gives confidence and strength.

5.  “I will rescue them.”  God will save us.  “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil”  (see Ps 23:4)

6.  “I will satisfy them. ”  The people of God will receive personal fulfillment – not simply a spiritual experience with no relation to every day life.  They will have a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, of looking back and saying Yes!