Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Restoration, Deliverance and Safety

Psalm 53:6 "Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores His captive people, Let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad."

Restoration, Deliverance and safety are three words that are often found together or in relationship to one another when describing the benefits of God's salvation in scripture.  Psalm 53 defines salvation as when God will restore His people Israel.  Psalm 54 speaks of how God delivers His people from the hands of their enemies.  Then Psalm 55 is David's heartbreak over the betrayal he experienced by his best friend, and how God shielded David from his enemies.  Psalm 55:22 is repeated in 1 Peter 5:7 where we read: "cast all of your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you".  

As you turn to Acts 27, the Apostle Paul has been captive on a ship that has been in the midst of a gale force storm at sea.  Though all seemed lost, Paul knew and communicated to his captors and ship mates that God would save them, deliver them and restore them.  The soldiers commanding the ship attempted all they could to avoid listening to their Apostolic prisoner.  However the sails were torn, the anchors had to be cut loose, the life boat attached to the side had to be cut-loose and their supplies thrown overboard.  Quite literally the only they could be "saved" is to crash land the ship on the shore and ride out the storm.  

When it comes to God's salvation, how often do we find ourselves attempting to hoist sails and land anchors of our own making.  The Lord will by His Spirit blow the ships of our lives into the jagged edge of God's law.  The law is what shows us our inability to stand in the sight of God on our own two feet.  When by grace we see the cross behind the jagged rocks, we by faith will be glad to run the ship of our self-effort aground in order to find safe harbor at the cross.  Just as God's word through Paul had said, all the people were saved from perishing at sea.  Only when we have by grace through faith heeded the Spirit's call can we receive restoration, deliverance and safety from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9-10; 1 Peter 3:18) 

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