Deliverance Is of the Lord
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 1:10PM
Jeff Smith in Discipleship

Jesus taught his disciples to pray, in part, “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).

Deliverance is a recurring theme in the Bible. Think of Noah’s deliverance from a doomed antediluvian world or the work of Judges like Deborah, Gideon, and Samson. In every case where deliverance was significant, God made a point of emphasizing his role as the agent of change. In the case of Gideon, he intentionally whittled down the size of the judge’s army before sending it into battle so that Israel would have no doubt about the source of victory (Judges 7).

Throughout her history, however, Israel doubted God’s willingness or power to deliver her from her enemies. At first, she simply whined and complained, yearning to return to safety and slavery in Egypt. Later, she would instead seek out foreign allies to aid her resistance against foreign enemies. She could not seem to trust that deliverance was a gift of Jehovah. Wisdom would have argued with her, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31).

The preceding proverb warned men that they could not fight against God – “There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the LORD” – but this one indicates that neither should they plan to fight without him. Horses, spears, armies and allies would seem to be key to success in war, but unless the battle is the Lord’s, it is doomed from the start. Deliverance is always of the Lord.

Spiritual Israel sometimes suffers from the same weakness of faith as her physical forebear. Instead of relying upon God and faith, the disciple of Christ is often tempted to resort to the ways of the world in his quest for deliverance from it. The irony is rich and terrible. Oppressed by materialism, selfishness, brutality, fear, we choose to imitate the attitudes we hate to seek freedom from them; instead, we are plunged ever deeper into decay. 

Our convictions should not desert us when we need them most, when we, and they, are tried by circumstances and we are tempted to bend the rules, pursue vengeance, or get our enemies before they get us (First Peter 1:3-9). “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us” (Second Corinthians 1:9-10).

Deliverance is of the Lord, who “will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (Second Timothy 4:18), for “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment” (Second Peter 2:9).

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