Wednesday, December 8, 2010

God's deliverance

So there I was wondering what I would write on today regarding God. What I'm trying to do in my studying is take what Ryan taught on and just expand it throughout my week. Honestly, I'm just writing these things not really for people to read as much as to get it out on paper so God can speak to me. It's really helped me a lot to type it all out because I have such a short memory and it helps me to study God's word. If you've never tried studying and seeking God like this, I invite you to start posting and just see where it takes you. I think you'll be surprised at the words God gives you everyday that just get lost in your mind without getting recorded.

What I've found is that when focusing on the majesty of God you've got to read much more than one verse. Many times it's multiple chapters to get the full effect of God. When I put a verse out it's usually for reference, but it's always good to go back and read where it's coming from out of the chapter. When looking at something as grand as God's deliverance it's not neat and tidy in a few verses. Some of these span different books and chapters and many years. So if it's the same chapter there may be different verses that I'll skip just to compress it for viewing. Please click the links to take you to the whole chapter so you can get a context.

So I open my Bible gateway site which you can click on the name to see. So many times God just knows where to send me. I clicked on 2Kings 19 and as I was clicking on that wondered where this was going to go and how I would relate this to God's awesomeness. The heading said... Jerusalem's deliverance foretold. And as I read I realized how God is always true. When God say's he is going to do something then it's going to happen. Maybe not on our time, but it's as certain as the sun he brings up every morning. So here's the text.

2Kings 19: 9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,a]">[a] was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”

Hezekiah’s Prayer
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.”

35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.

Ok, so I'm a guy who loves reading about God kicking some blaspheming butt. So here was the King of Assyria and his commander taunting king Hezekiah. They were telling him that God couldn't save Jerusalem. What really stands out to me is that King Hezekiah didn't strut around and brag about how God would protect them. He got in sackcloth and ashes and brought it before the Lord. The results was deliverance from the King of Assyria AND his death.

1Samuel 17: 41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So here is Israel once again in trouble. Philistines taunting. Goliath blaspheming God. How quickly the tables are turned once God puts it in his heart to deliver. One thing that seems to happen again and again is that cries are going up to God begging for deliverance. Sometimes God sends an angel, sometimes confusion, and other times just a ruddy looking boy.

Exodus 2: 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Now this IS the classical reference of deliverance. When you read these verses it would appear that God had forgotten his people and his promise. It would SEEM that way, but how would that explain Moses and how God had saved him and raised him in the palace so that he would be able to have meetings with Pharaoh. No, God had planned this deliverance. He had brought his people to such a place so they would cry out to him and beg for his hand of deliverance. It was a long road and one that only 2 people who left Egypt would see, but God delivered Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians AND fulfilled his promise to Abraham.

Joshua 5: 9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgalc]">[c] to this day.

10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day afterd]">[d] they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.

So... All that just establishes God's faithfulness. God's truth goes right back to his holiness. Many times in David's life he was delivered by the grace of God. From Goliath to Saul to his sons' mutiny. Even from his adultery with Bathsheba.

Psalm 116

1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“LORD, save me!”

5 The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.

12 What shall I return to the LORD
for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.

For everything God did in David's life, he pledged his life to God. What gratefulness. If only we could recognize God's work in saving us from ourselves time and time again. If only we could offer a small token and sacrifice our sinful life as a testimony of God's greatness. There is one last deliverance and it's the most important.

1Corinthians 15: 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”h]">[h]

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”i]">[i]

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

If it's one thing we all are aware of it's that we're going to die. Every day we see it in the mirror. Ever look in the mirror and get surprised at the old person looking back at you? There is no denying it. We are as dead as fried chicken. When you start looking at God's holiness you can't help but see how unholy man is. WE ARE SIN! Without God's deliverance there is no life beyond death. Without God's deliverance there is nothing but damnation for us. But here's where it gets good.

57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Thanks be to God indeed! God not only can give us deliverance from the difficult times in our lives, but through Jesus Christ gives us deliverance over death, hell, and the grave. Lord I accept your spiritual deliverance. I know that God sent his son as atonement for my sins. I rest assured in this fact, and like David I will fulfill my vows to God as a simple token of my appreciation. I will continue to give him my all in seeking his word and will in my life.

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