The Deliverance of God
The Deliverance of God
My text today is Ps. 116:8. “For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.” There are, of course, many ways in which we could address this verse of Scripture. Let me mention just a couple of angles from which I think that we should consider this particular verse.
First, I think that we need to approach this verse from the aspect that it is God that is the Deliverer. We need to notice that the Psalmist is ascribing to God the Power and the Might and the Authority in his own life. We are not able to Deliver ourselves, but God is Able to Deliver our Souls from Death, our Eyes from Tears, and our Feet from Falling. Death, Tears, and Falling are all natural things that afflict men. Death, Tears and Falling are all Inevitable things as far as human beings are naturally concerned. And yet, our God is the Deliverer Who can Deliver us from all of these.
Second, I think that we can see in this single verse a picture of the Past, the Present, and the Future Salvation of every one of the Children of God. In other words, it is the Lord Who has Saved us and Delivered our Souls from Death in providing for us a Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. And it is the Lord that Delivers our Eyes from Tears throughout this life that we live – it is His Strength and Comfort that Leads us and Guides us. And then it is the Deliverance of the Lord that keeps our Feet from Falling – We will Persevere unto the end, and the Way in which we travel, will ultimately (and certainly) lead us unto our God – without Fail.
So, with these thoughts in mind, what I want to do today is to look at this verse, and I want to examine this verse from the aspect of First, the Spiritual Salvation that God has granted unto us; Second, the Physical Way in which he preserves us; and Third, the Promise that we have of Eternal Life. In the course of these three points, I want you to focus on some questions that I will ask, and the Answers to those questions.
Delivered My Soul from Death
The Deliverer – Who is God – brings salvation unto His people. You know, when you and I consider our natural lives, and we consider our natural condition, we must (if we are honest) acknowledge that we were, once upon a time, Dead spiritually. It’s not just all of those unsaved that we are ministering to that are unsaved, but it was us as well. Remember that Paul told the Ephesians, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” (Eph. 2:1.) (Remember that he was writing to the faithful in Christ Jesus – Eph. 1:1.) As the Lord’s people, and as those that are Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, we must also acknowledge that our Souls were Lost and Destitute, and Bound for certain Death and Damnation.
What happened to change this so obviously apparent and deserved Fate? Well, I can answer that question in one Name – Jesus Christ. In fact, instead of asking the question “What Happened to change this Fate that awaited us,” we should rather ask the question “Who Happened.”
We read in Job 33, “He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword…Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom…He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.” (Job 33:18, 24, 28-30.) I like the way that man’s imminent danger is portrayed in this passage. I like the way that certain death is pictured here for the souls of men. And I like the ay that God is shown to be the Deliverer. Notice that in v. 24 there is a Job of Deliverance that is given to Someone; that Someone is Jesus. Perhaps we could even be so bold as to imagine that the word ransom in this verse could be Capitalized – because it does certainly picture the Lord Jesus Christ. In much of the rest of the passage there is reference made to light and life. (See esp. vv. 28-30.) Well Jesus Christ is the Light of men. And His Light is the Life of men. He is our Deliverer.
We read also the words of Jeremiah in Lam. 3:58, “O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.” We need a Deliverer that can Plead our Cause. We need an Intercessor and a Mediator and a Sacrifice that can Justify us in the Sight of God. That Man and Deliverer is none other than Jesus Christ. Whether it is Jeremiah or whether it is Abraham or whether it is Noah or whether it is John the Baptist, or whether it is Peter, or whether it is you or I; the Deliverer is the same – His Name is Jesus Christ. He it is that has Delivered me, and has redeemed my life.
And then, in conclusion of this first point, let us read the words of Jonah, while he was yet in the belly of that great fish. “The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.” (Jonah 2:5-6.) Sometimes people might wonder at the fact that we speak of God’s Deliverance so often. Sometimes people might marvel at the fact that we can find so many instances in God’s Holy Word where man is in terrible straits (indeed hopeless circumstances) and God Rescues Him. Well, we speak about man as a being that is doomed and in desperate need, and we speak about God as a Deliverer, because that is the Theme of the Word of God. In the Word of God we have man debased and God Exalted. In the Word of God we have the Condemnation of man that he has brought on himself, and we have the Justification that Jesus Christ has brought to man. In the Bible we have demonstrated the futility, wickedness, and hopelessness of man; and on this backdrop we have the Grace of God painted.
We can certainly see these things in the life of Jonah. Jonah could not have been in a more Hopeless and Helpless condition. He was in the belly of a fish. And Jonah was in a place that he deserved to be (or perhaps it was only the Goodness of God that prevented him from being in an even worse place). And yet, despite the seemingly Insurmountable Odds, there was a Deliverer and Redeemer that brought up his life from corruption. That Deliverer and Redeemer is Jesus Christ.
Now, let’s go on to think about some more practical matters, and some physical areas in which God has Delivered us.
Delivered…Mine Eyes from Tears
Our Great Deliverer is such a good and gracious God, and such a complete Saviour and Deliverer, that He delivers us even in a mortal and physical fashion. During the course of our lives, it is a wonder that we have all that we have. Our text verse, tells us in the middle of the verse, “For thou hast delivered…mine eyes from tears…” All that we deserve in this life is Sorrow and Tears and Pain and Tribulation. Have you ever paused to consider why it is that you have what you have? Have you ever considered the question, “Why do I have so much, when I deserve so little?” Well, once again, I can answer that question by giving you a One Name reply – Jesus Christ. (Again, to be accurate, the question of “Why do I have so much”, is more properly worded, “Who is the Reason that I have so much.”) Isn’t it amazing, that not only did the Lord Jesus Deliver our Souls, but He also has Delivered us Physically. We do not deserve anything of what we have. We do not deserve any of the Countless Blessings that have been poured out upon us. And yet, God has seen fit, because of the Lord Jesus Christ, to Bless us and Preserve us Physically.
The Apostle Paul tells us, in Rom. 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” And then we read in Lk.11:9-13, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (See also Lk. 12:22-30.)
Delivered…My Feet from Falling
The Deliverer of men – both their souls and their mortal lives – will also do even more. We have from Him a promise and a certainty of Heaven and Eternal Life. We are not yet finished considering and pondering on the Wonderful Deliverer, Jesus Christ! In fact, we will taste joy, and experience peace in this life – and then reap the blessings and glories that are ours, because of Jesus Christ our Deliverer, in the life to come! Remember that our text verse tells us, “For thou hast delivered…my feet from falling.” Not only has He Delivered our Souls from the Certain and Inevitable Death that awaited it; and not only has He Delivered our miserable Lives from an Existence full of Sorrow and Suffering and Pain; but He has also Promised us a Future that is beyond the heights of our wildest imaginations. Our Feet, on their own, could not get us to where the Lord would Have us to be. Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ prayed, in the High Priestly Prayer, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” (Jn. 17:24.) He has Promised us so much, and by His Grace and by His Sovereign Might, He will get us there.
Have you ever wondered, “Why has God Promised to me, so many things, and so much Peace and Blessedness, when I really am only a poor and miserable being that is only accepted in the Sight of God because of the Lord Jesus Christ?” You and I both know that we don’t deserve any of the Blessings that are in store for us. You and I both know that none of us have done anything to earn a place in Heaven, or even the first and simplest Gifts that Heaven bestows. However, once again, I can answer this question by merely uttering the Name of Jesus Christ. (Let us not forget, that to properly phrase this question, we need to once again replace the “Why” with a “Who.” We should rather ask, “Who is the Cause of the Promises being Promised unto me? Who is the Reason that God can, does, and indeed must, behold me in righteousness, love, and peace?” The Answer, of course, is found in the Person and the Work of Jesus Christ.) We read in 1Jn. 2:24-25, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” The Deliverance that Jesus has accomplished on our behalf, is not just a Deliverance from things that are past; and the Deliverance and Peace and Comfort and Joy that Jesus gives unto us now, is not just for the Present; but the Deliverance and Redemption and Joy and Peace and Comfort that He has Delivered us unto, shall be, and is Promised to us for ever.
The Lord tells us in Heb. 9:15, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” And Peter tells us concerning the Deliverer and His Promises to us, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Pet. 3:13.)
We read also the words of the Apostle Paul in 2Tim. 1:8-10, “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”
What a wonderful Comfort it is to know that we have a Deliverer that is Eternal! What a Joy it is to know that any Promise that He makes unto us, will be kept, for He does not change! What Peace it brings us, to know and understand that any Deliverance or Redemption that is provided by this Eternal Deliverer, is and Eternal Deliverance and an Eternal Redemption! We read in Jn. 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
The Psalmist in our text verse depicts a Deliverance that is Complete. We can see from the Bible that the Need of man is Great. The Deliverance that God has provided is not only Complete, but it is Completely Effective. Praise God for our Deliverance, and for that Great Deliverer and Redeemer, Jesus Christ! Praise God that it is Deliverance from the Past, the Present and will be Forever!