Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rescued To Walk - Psalm 116 (part 3)

"For Thou hast rescued my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the LORD,
in the land of the living.
I believed when I said,
'I am greatly afflicted.'
(Psalm 116:8-10)

Psalm 116's "I love the LORD" theme continues. In these 3 verses we are told that David loves the Lord because of His rescuing mercies to him. God has "rescued [his ]soul from death, [his] eyes from tears, and [his] feet from stumbling." I have to tell you, He has done so for me as well - truly He has, repeatedly He has, and undeservedly He has. He has kept me from falling, from utterly failing, and from completely bailing. How I love Him for His protecting and preserving mercies to this poor sinner!

Regarding these three things that God has rescued us from (death, tears and stumbling) Mr. Henry writes:

"First, God saved his soul from death. It is God's great mercy to us that we are alive; and that mercy is the more sensible to us if we have been at death's door and yet have been spared and raised up. Secondly, God saved his eyes from tears, that is, his heart was saved from inordinate grief. Thirdly, God kept his feet from falling, from falling into sin and so into misery. God had done all of this for him, and therefore he will live a life of delight in God. God has dealt kindly with us and therefore we need not fear that ever He will deal hardly with us."

God has rescued all of His children from these things in one way or another. Perhaps you have never physically been at death's door but you have been there spiritually - that is what you were saved from at the moment you put your faith in Christ. Christian, He HAS rescued your soul from death - its sting is eternally removed! Perhaps you have shed tears this day but you will not shed them eternally - they will be wiped away forever in heaven - this is the hope of the gospel as it is applied to your earthly sorrows. Perhaps you have stumbled and fallen in certain areas of your faith. Oh believer, so have I but our God has promised that He will finish that which He has begun in you and that nothing and no one can snatch you out of His hand. You may fall foully but you will never fall fully if you are His.

He HAS rescued us and one of the responses to this Divine rescue is that we should walk in His ways: "I shall walk before the LORD in the land of the living." In response to all that God has done this writer of holy revelation declares that he will live a life of devotion to his God. Is that our response to God's rescuing grace? Are we walking in the land of the living or still moping about in the land of the dead? Get up, in His grace, and live for Him!!

Verse 10 was particularly precious to me this morning. It says: "I believed when I said, 'I am greatly afflicted.'" At first reading I almost missed the message. My initial reaction was "well, DUH!! Of course I believed when I was greatly afflicted. I'm hurting, I'm writhing, I'm AFFLICTED - surely I believe that it is true that I am afflicted!" I selfishly and foolishly missed the point.

I don't think that David is saying that he believed he really was afflicted. I believe that he is declaring that he believed WHEN he was greatly afflicted. Matthew Henry describes it like this:
"Though David suffered still he believed. He believed in the being, the providence and the power of God!"
At the reading of those words I must humbly beg of my God to make verse 10 true of me! In light of His rescuing mercy may He enable me to walk and to believe in Him in the midst of any affliction He is pleased to bring my way.

Father, You have rescued my soul from so much. You have enabled me to walk in the land of the living. You have ordained affliction, even at this time of my life, grant me greater faith to believe, rest and trust in Your presence, providence and power.

Loving the Rescuer and praying to live for Him more,

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