Del Tackett

by Del Tackett


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Deliverer

The word “deliverer” in the context of God’s nature is one that conveys His desire and propensity to “rescue” His people or “take them out” of danger or distress. This is true in both the Old and New Testaments where God delivers from physical, temporal danger, but ultimately, and more importantly, from the infinite danger of the coming wrath of God and the eternal separation because of sin. God has been gracious to record for us the many, many instances of delivering His people from the temporal to help give us the assurance that He has and will eventually deliver us spiritually.

To a great extent, God has been “delivering” His people since the fall. Instead of wiping everything out, He promised a deliverer would come and crush the head of the serpent. When the depravity of mankind had so filled the earth that God had to destroy it, He delivered Noah and his family from the catastrophic deluge. When the children of Israel had fallen into slavery in Egypt, He delivered them from the bondage of Pharaoh.

He delivered David from the sword of Goliath and Saul.

He delivered Daniel from the lions, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego from the king’s furnace.

He delivered Peter from Herod’s prison and Paul from the assassins.

In Hezekiah’s day, He delivered His people from Sennacherib and the Assyrian hoard.

He delivered Joseph from the evil intentions of his brothers.

He delivered the disciples from the storm and Christ from the tomb.

There is hardly any place in the Scripture where we do not see God delivering His people.

He is not only the Deliverer, but He is the faithful Deliverer. For He has not only showed us over and over again that He has been the mighty Deliverer in the past, but He will also be the mighty Deliverer in the future.

This is the basis for our hope.

For one day, as Paul cried, He will deliver us from the body of this death…both the outer man that physically decays by the day and the inner, sinful man, that seeks to decay us from within.

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25

In the meantime, He has delivered us from hopelessness…a woeful state of being enemies and haters of God, spiritually dead and slaves to our sinful nature, to a glorious state of being alive with Christ, redeemed from our bondage to death.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

Sometimes God delivers through a miracle; sometimes He delivers through an angel or a human agent, like Moses or Jonah. Most often, however, He chooses to deliver by providing us a way of escape: through saying “no” to our sinful nature and the temptation of the world; by walking away from the edge of a cliff or a cat that is hissing; by working hard to overcome the obstacles or challenges in front of us.

What this means, contrary to our selfish desires, is that God will seldom deliver us from those things which He has given us the means by which we can deliver ourselves. He may not deliver you from starvation if you refuse to work. He may not deliver you from consequences if you refuse to say "no". He may not deliver you from loneliness if you refuse to engage with others. If you foolishly jump into a den of lions, you may get eaten. If you stick your hand into a furnace, you will most likely get burned. Don't mistake the Deliverer as One who rewards foolishness or laziness or self-centeredness. The Deliverer is not a grand Genie by which we can rub the lamp to remove the consequences of our folly. Now, he has certainly rescued this fool from his folly on many occasions, but it is not that we can demand it of Him.

When we pray “deliver us from evil”, He may do so through a miracle or a Moses. But most likely it will be through the means by which He has graciously granted us to walk and persevere in this life: prayer, the Word and a band of brothers, for example.

And, when He calls us to do this work through these means, it is His Spirit that enables us to do so.

He may deliver, therefore, immediately through the miracle. He may deliver sometime soon, through a Moses. But it may be that He delivers after a long time of hard work and perseverance.

But it will come.

The Deliverer will deliver.

In the end. Always.

In the meantime, Remnant, persevere with great hope.

 

May we contemplate this aspect of God’s nature throughout the week. Here are some passages to help us. Remember that all of the stories of God’s deliverance in the past are means of encouragement to us in the present, that God has proven Himself over and over again and He will be faithful to deliver us as well.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer… 2 Samuel 22:1-2

Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. Exodus 6:6

God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Genesis 45:7

When the sons of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them… Judges 3:9

And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37

But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 2 Kings 17:39

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

I sought the Lord, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You, Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him, And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?” Psalm 35:10

For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living. Psalm 56:13

But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay. Psalm 70:5

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses. Psalm 107:6

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered. Proverbs 28:26

Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. Daniel 3:17

He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. Daniel 6:27

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25

…we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us… 2 Corinthians 10:9-10

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father… Galatians 1:3-4

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Hebrews 2:14-15

Comments

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  • Marion Stade

    Marion Stade

    Still a small voice in my head whispers....what about the ones who are victims? How do we explain to them and ourselves why God did not deliver them. I believe God does deliver. And reading this devotional has given me another way of seeing. Thank you for using the time God has given you to share with me.
  • Del Tackett

    Del Tackett

    Marion, all of God's people will be delivered. The deliverance that we see in the physical examples of Paul and Peter and the others are just examples of what He will ultimately do for His children. In reality, neither Paul nor Peter were "delivered" from a horrible death, but they were delivered up to an eternal home through that death. Our hope ultimately lies there, not here.
  • Sarah Baker

    Sarah Baker

    The lines: " What this means, contrary to our selfish desires, is that God will seldom deliver us from those things which He has given us the means by which we can deliver ourselves. He may not deliver you from starvation if you refuse to work. He may not deliver you from consequences if you refuse to say "no". He may not deliver you from loneliness if you refuse to engage with others. If you foolishly jump into a den of lions, you may get eaten. If you stick your hand into a furnace, you will most likely get burned. Don't mistake the Deliverer as One who rewards foolishness or laziness or self-centeredness. The Deliverer is not a grand Genie by which we can rub the lamp to remove the consequences of our folly," really struck me, as they are in line with some things God has been bringing to my thoughts for some time. About suffering, and how it seems many regard any suffering/difficulty in life as being qualified for the blessings in Scripture which God applies to suffering, when much of our suffering is self-induced. The suffering paired with blessing in the Bible, as I have looked at this while reading, is suffering brought about by a vibrant, abiding life in Christ that is living in Love toward Him and following His commands to preach and baptize and disciple. To speak the truth in Him, out of obedience to His call. The persecutions that are "for His Name's sake". Thank You for this concise and straightforward way of putting my thoughts into words!
  • James Harris

    James Harris

    Dr. Tackett, thank you for addressing Marion's question. As a pastor, I deal with this question often. This is very similar to what I tell those who ask me. However, it is still hard for some people to accept when they see the suffering of a child with cancer, or some other disease or birth defect that causes the child and family to suffer until the child dies...and they are left with the question "Why would God allow such a thing?"; or "Where was God when this was happening?" My pastoral response to them is that God is right there with those who are suffering, and He is suffering right along with the child and the family. Because of sin's curse on humanity and creation we see things like this happening. It's not God's fault, God did not give this child cancer or whatever. But God is there to love, strengthen, and comfort the child and family through all of it. And when He brings you through the "valley of the shadow of death" the destination is much better than the journey. For those who die in the faith, they are now at home with Him in paradise; and those who are left behind looking for answers to things they cannot wrap their minds around, God shows them how He has strengthened their faith through the trial or tribulation, and how He has provided for them through it all, and how much He cares for and grieves with those who suffer. Your response to Marion helps me to show from Scripture that our deliverance is often an ultimate deliverance, and not necessarily a temporal one.

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