Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 46:3-4’

Our deliverer to the rescue

February 7, 2017

Psalm 97-10

The Verse of the Day for February 7, 2017 comes from Psalm 97:10 (NKJV)

You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked.

The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:

10 O you who love the Lord, hate evil; He preserves the lives of His saints (the children of God), He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.

The closing phrase brings to mind Isaiah 46:4, rendered in the New King James version:

Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

The promise that God will deliver brings to mind this poem recently posted in an entry entitled “The Art of Listening”:

Listen to Me

Isaiah 46:3-4

Listen to me. Open your ears and clearly hear

I have always been there. Though you had not perceived

My presence in the wasteland, I was ever near.

Indeed, I knew you before you were first conceived.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He

Who still holds you and causes you to remember.

I open deaf ears and cause blinded eyes to see

The passion that consumes your soul was once an ember.

Though I seem to be delayed, I will not tarry

But will return for the faithful ones who remain:

Those whom I have made those I will also carry;

Those whom I have called by name I will sustain.

Rest in me: I will perform all I said to do.

Know that I will sustain you and will rescue you.

In response to the truth that God has promised to rescue those who call upon His name, we can be assured that He will.  Just as he has delivered us in times past, we know that He will once more come to our rescue. As the lyrics to the song so clearly proclaim: “We may not know how/We may not know when, but He’ll do it again”, just as this poem reminds us:

Just How God Will Deliver Us

that we should not trust in ourselves,    

but in God which raises the dead:

Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver:    

in whom we trust that he will still deliver us;  

 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

Just how God will deliver us this we do not know,

But of His unfailing love and power we are sure:

He can send ravens or simply command a widow

To sustain Elijah and all those who will endure.

Although He may not be early, our God is never late.

We rest in knowing that God, our Father, is faithful,

As we trust in Him, learning to labor and to wait.

For each promise fulfilled we are ever so grateful,

And we express our gratitude in word and in deed.

Despite the challenge, God has been there time after time.

Each day we will walk by faith wherever Christ may lead,

Knowing grand mountain vistas await all those who climb.

The hand of God has brought us thus far along the way,

And we will finish our course is all we have to say.

In thinking about God as a deliverer, I also recall lyrics to another original song:

I Will Deliver You

I will deliver you from the snare of the fowler.

As a bird escapes from the cage, so I will release you from captivity.

I will lift you up, out of the hand of your fiercest enemy.

I will draw you to myself and hide you under the safety of my wing.

I will deliver you from the raging deep waters.

The sea shall not overwhelm you, but I will bring you through the storms in peace.

I will lift you up, and bear you up on the wings of an eagle.

I will provide for you and hide you in my secret dwelling place.

These lyrics bring to mind yet another song of great comfort and assurance: “My Deliverer” offered by Chris Tomlin:

Moving from Rescue to Restoration

October 30, 2014

outhouseFor the past couple of years I have posted a blog entry around the 31st of October in which I relate a Halloween prank which had disastrous consequences for a young man. This year I am re-posting the entry with an additional commentary based a teaching that was the perfect sequel to the initial posting:

Halloween and some of its negative aspects, such as pranks, remind me of an incident a friend shared with me when he went to live with a relative in the rural South where there was no indoor plumbing, and everyone used an outdoor toilet known as an “outhouse.” Unbeknownst to my young friend, the custom on Halloween night was to move the “outhouse” from its original position so that when a person stepped inside, he would fall into the pit. That’s exactly what happened, and my friend immediately cried out, “Daddy, Daddy, come and get me!” His father came running with a flashlight and reached down and grabbed his son by the collar and snatched him out of the horrible pit.

That incident never fails to remind me of a spiritual parallel whereby I, like the young boy in horrific circumstances, called out to my Heavenly Father in desperation. I identified with my friend and expressed my thoughts in some of the lines of “my testimony in poetry”:

With lovin arms you reach way down

And snatched me from Satan’s outhouse,

Sought me and flat-out rescued me,

Fixed me up in my Father’s house.

Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord?

(from Stone upon Stone: Psalms of Remembrance)

Like the Psalmist we may find ourselves in situations whereby we cry out to God:

Psalm 35:17

Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

Like Daniel in the den of lions, we sometimes find ourselves in desperate, seemingly impossible situations from which we cannot extract ourselves on our own. When we think of such situations like that of Daniel, we must remember the King’s response when God delivered Daniel:

Daniel 6:27

He [the God of Daniel] delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

In thinking about the record of Daniel in the lion’s den, the words of a Black Spiritual also raise an important question:

Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel, Deliver Daniel?

Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel? Then why not every man?

During times of intense pressure and overwhelming circumstances, I sometimes forget just how faithful God has been in responding to my call, but He gently comforts and reminds with these words:

   Listen to Me

Isaiah 46:3-4

Listen to me. Open your ears and clearly hear

I have always been there. Though you had not perceived

My presence in the wasteland, I was ever near.

Indeed, I knew you before you were first conceived.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He

Who still holds you and causes you to remember.

I open deaf ears and cause blinded eyes to see

The passion that consumes your soul was once an ember.

Though I seem to be delayed, I will not tarry

But will return for the faithful ones who remain:

Those whom I have made those I will also carry;

Those whom I have called by name I will sustain.

Rest in me: I will perform all I said to do.

Know that I will sustain you and will rescue you.

Every Halloween when I recall my friend who found himself in a horrific situation and called out to his father or whenever I find myself in a horrible mess, generally of my own making, I am also reminded of this truth that when I cry out, my Heavenly Father will come “to the rescue.”

The calling out to God in desperation to “come rescue me” is beautifully expressed in this rendition of “I Need You Now” by Smokie Norful:

Earlier this week, I heard a message from Minister Phyllis Simmons-King of Christian Provision Ministries, entitled “Moving from Rescue to Restoration,” which appeared to be a perfect sequel to my annual Halloween reflections. The objective of her teaching was “To encourage you to stay encouraged while moving from rescue to restoration.” In expounding upon the cleansing of the 10 lepers in Luke 17, only one of whom returned to glorify God (“. . . and he was a Samaritan”), Minister Simmons-King, noted that there is an intermediary stage between “Rescue” and “Restoration,” that being “Recovery.” This phase involves a process that takes time, as we look to God and His Word to be strengthened and encouraged as we move toward our ultimate destination. The masterful teaching brought to mind the song “Restoration” by the Winans, the perfect way to cap off the initial sharing and the recent sequel: