Posts Tagged ‘rescue’

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.

God is faithful and will deliver

June 24, 2015

2 Thessalonians-3--3The Verse of the Day for June 24, 2015 brings to mind exactly who God is and tells us precisely what He will do:

2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NLT)

But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.

Throughout the Bible we see the faithfulness of God, who never fails to deliver those who serve him.

In the Old Testament some form of the verb palat, the Hebrew word for “deliver,” is translated “to pluck out of the hands of an oppressor or enemy; to preserve, recover, remove; to deliver from danger, evil, trouble; to be delivered, to escape.” Note how the term is used in Psalm 31:1-5 in the New Living Translation:

O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

In the New Testament the Greek verb ruomai is translated “to draw or snatch to one’s self from danger, to rescue, to deliver.”

In the poem “Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord, “my personal testimony expressed poetically, I make reference being rescued from of a horrible situation:

With lovin arms you reached way down

And snatched me from Satan’s outhouse,

Sought me and flat-out rescued me,

Fixed me up in my Father’s house.

The Verse of the Day uses the expression “guard you from the evil one.” We recognize a similar phrase in the prayer that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke before his crucifixion:

John 17:15 (New Living Translation)

I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.

We are, of course, familiar with closing words of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13 from the King James Version:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

The New Living Translation renders the verse this way:

And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

Although we may not know exactly how God will rescue us, we are assured that He is faithful and will do what He promised, as the following poem reveals:

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 the Lord brought us thus far along the way,

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

Galatians 1:4 in the Amplified Bible also reminds us of  the fulfillment of God’s plan through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah):

 Who gave (yielded) Himself up [to atone] for our sins [and to save and sanctify us], in order to rescue and deliver us from this present wicked age and world order, in accordance with the will and purpose and plan of our God and Father—

The closing poem from a series of teaching entitled “A Five-fold Prayer,” reinforces the message that God is faithful and that He will deliver, just as He promised:

As children run to safety in their father’s arms,

So we, too, run to you, “our shelter from life’s storms.”

Our buckler, shield, deliverer, and our fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to our prayer.

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish us

And protect us and deliver us from evil.

The contemporary musical group Third Day offers this powerful reminder: “Our Deliverer is Coming.”