Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 35:17’

To the rescue. . . one more time

December 10, 2016

psalm-35-17

Recently while waiting in the barber shop on a Saturday morning, I “happened” to view a television episode of Sea Rescue which highlighted a most unusual rescue attempt. A dolphin had become stuck in the mud of the inlet of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Sea World San Diego rescue team along with the Imperial Beach lifeguards, were able to lift the stranded dolphin out of the thick muddy surroundings and transport it to the open waters of the ocean. Most ironically, the name of the vessel used was “The Second Chance.” The initial rescue was short-lived, however, for the adult male dolphin returned to the area and become even more deeply mired in the mud which threatened to suffocate sea animal as high tide approached. Once again, the rescue team lifted the sea animal out of the muck, carrying it to deeper ocean waters. This time the dolphin swam freely into the ocean and did not return.

The television episode reminded me that so many times as we go through life, we become entangled in circumstances that restrict our efforts to succeed and serve only to impede our progress. Like the Psalmist we may find ourselves in desperate situations whereby we cry out to God:

Psalm 35:17 (NASB)

Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue my soul from their ravages,
My only life 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.

Colossians 1:13 in the New American Standard Bible also speaks of our having been delivered or rescued by God, our Father:

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son

During times of intense pressure and overwhelming circumstances, we sometimes forget just how faithful God has been in responding to our call. At times we may wonder how can God get us out of current, difficult circumstances that entrench us, but we do not need to be concerned with knowing:

Just How God Will Deliver Us

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,

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 we do not know,

But of His unfailing love and power we are sure:

He can send a raven and command a widow

To sustain Elijah and all who will endure.

Though He may not be early, God is never late.

We rest in knowing that our Father is faithful,

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

For each promise fulfilled we are ever grateful

And express our gratitude in word and in deed.

We sense there never was a more perilous time

But keep walking by faith wherever Christ may lead,

For grand mountain vistas await the ones who climb.

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

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

In the recent past, I have posted a blog entry around October 31 in which I relate a Halloween prank which had disastrous consequences for a young man who 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, find myself in a horrible mess, generally of my own making, as I call out to my Heavenly Father in desperation to come “to the rescue.” I identify with the young man 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?

Last year I recall a teaching that focused on “Moving from Rescue to Restoration,” which appeared to be a perfect sequel to my annual Halloween reflections in pointing out the three stages of a process that all believers encounter that begins with “Rescue” followed by “Recovery” and ends with “Restoration.” This ongoing process takes time, however. As we look to God and His Word, we are strengthened and encouraged in moving toward our ultimate destination. That teaching also brought to mind the song “I Will Restore” by Kevin LeVar, the perfect way to cap off our discussion of God’s faithfulness not only to rescue but to restore as well.

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:

Halloween Reflections: To the Rescue

October 31, 2012

In thinking about Halloween, I recall an experience a friend shared regarding a horrible prank that occurred as a child.

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)

Many times as we go through life, we become entangled in circumstances that restrict our efforts to succeed and impede our progress. 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.

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:


When I think about being rescued from a dangerous situation, I recall some of the lyrics of this familiar “vintage hymn” from childhood days of growing up in the Church. The hymn was “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” which had these lines:

Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood.

The words have become even more meaningful today. I was absolutely overwhelmed by this rendition of the song from the combined choruses of Brigham Young University:


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?

“Hand upon the Plow” gives account in poetry of a number of instances where God came to the rescue of Daniel and other believers:

Hand upon the Plow

Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand
to the plow and looks back [to the things behind
is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:62

“Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!”
–Black Spiritual

When life ain’t like it spose to be,
Right then and there it occurs to me
Folks been in fixes worse than me,
Right in the Bible where I see:

The Lord will make a way somehow.
Just keep your hand upon the plow.

Pharaoh said, “Kill each Hebrew boy,”
But Moses’ Ma was full of joy
Cause Pharaoh’s daughter raised her boy.
The Lord will make a way somehow.

The lions looked so lean and thin
When they throwed Daniel in the den,
But Old Man Daniel didn’t bend.
Just keep your hand upon the plow.

When Jesus died, God paid the cost
And at that time all seem like lost,
But God planned ahead for Pentecost.
The Lord will make a way somehow.

Paul and Silas didn’t rant and wail
When they throwed both of them in jail.
They called on God, and He didn’t fail.
Just keep your hand upon the plow.

When troubles start to buggin you
Remember, there’s just one thing to do:
Look to God and He’ll see you through.
What he did for them, He’ll do for you.

The Lord will make a way somehow.
Just keep your hand upon the plow.

From Stone upon Stone: Psalms of Remembrance

During times of intense pressure when I forget just how faithful God has been, 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.”

When I recall the circumstances from which God rescued me, many times I am overwhelmed with gratitude, as I shudder to think when I might be if He had not intervened in such a dramatic manner. In reflecting upon God’s intervention, I composed this poem which I use to conclude this blog.

If It Had Not Been for the Lord


“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side,”

Let Israel now say—

Psalm 124:1

If it had not been for the Lord who was on my side,
I would have drowned in the sea from the tears I cried.
I shudder to think just where I would be today.
I would have lost my mind or turned and walked away,
But I learned that God is faithful—this cannot be denied.

He was there to guide when I was tempted and tried,
My shelter from the storm where I could run and hide.
He was my deliverer—that is all I have to say:
If it had not been for the Lord.

Enemies rose up like a flood to wash aside,
But God came through and rescued me and turned the tide.
Pressing toward the mark, dawning of a brand new day,
Through all my trials I learned to watch, fight and pray.
The Lord is my keeper; in Him I confide:
If it had not been for the Lord.

Helen Baylor offers her testimony in song with a selection with the same title: “If it Had Not Been for the Lord.”