Devotional: The Lord My Deliverer
"The Lord is my portion, says my soul."
"Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us." 2 Cor. 1:10
It was a needful and precious petition the Lord Jesus taught His disciples--and which we require daily to offer--"DELIVER us from evil." We are in constant need of deliverance, exposed, as we are, to continued, varied, and potent evils, visible and invisible, temporal and spiritual, to evade and overcome which we have no native power, and can therefore hope for no self-deliverance.
But who is our true Deliverer? It is He who is our Portion, who taught us thus to pray, and who is Himself our Great Deliverer. Let us take the THREE TENSES employed by the apostle in the words at the head of this meditation, as illustrating the Lord's great deliverance of His people.
And first, there is the Lord's PAST deliverance. "Who deliverED us from so great a death." Jesus stooped from the throne of Deity to the cross of a condemned felon, to deliver us from 'so great a death,' and from the bitter pains and pangs of the 'second death,' the death that is eternal. A sin-offering for our sins, accursed with our curse, condemned by our condemnation, and dying our death, the precious blood streaming from His torn side and bursting heart made a full atonement for our vast and countless offences, effacing every syllable of the indictment that was against us, and blotting out every stain of sin that was upon us--thus having delivered us from so great a death. My soul! avail yourself of this wondrous deliverance, this perfect redemption, this free pardon; and by the application of the atoning blood to your conscience, walk in the happy enjoyment of all the blessings of a charter of salvation and celestial citizenship which Christ's deliverance makes yours.
Second, there is a PRESENT deliverance. "And He DOES deliver." In addition to the canceling of all past offences, Christ's deliverance involves our present emancipation from an unrenewed nature. To pardon our guilt and to leave us the servants of sin and the slaves of Satan would be a species of refined cruelty with which God could never be charged. Our present deliverance, then, is freedom from spiritual death, by which we become living souls, and thus we are now delivered from so great a death, and can join the apostle in "giving thanks unto the Father who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son." Yes! Jesus delivers now.
Are you in any present difficulty or sorrow, need or temptation? Christ can deliver you, and deliver you now. Cry mightily to Him. He has power to deliver, fullness to supply, and a loving, sympathizing heart to comfort. Your perplexity cannot baffle His wisdom, your needs cannot exhaust His resources, your sorrow cannot distance His sympathy. He who has delivered you out of six troubles will not forsake you in the seventh. O my soul! live upon a present Savior, rejoice in a present salvation, and do not forget that God in Christ is a very present help in every time of need.
Third, He who has delivered, who does deliver, will yet deliver us in all the FUTURE of our history. Faith acquires strength for the present by a remembrance of the past deliverances of God; and from the experience of the present, it looks forward with confidence to the future--"In whom we trust that He will yet deliver us." Then, O my soul, be not over-anxious about your future. God is faithful, Jesus is unchangeable, and all that the Lord your Portion has been He is now, and He will be in all future trouble, sickness, and death--an all-sufficient, all-loving, all-faithful deliverer, never leaving nor forsaking you, until He has "delivered you out of the miseries of this sinful world, having your perfect consummation and bliss in body and soul in His eternal and everlasting kingdom." "Call upon Me in the day of trouble--I will DELIVER you, and you shall glorify Me."