We are saved from eternal death, but impending death continues to cling to us in this life. Until Christ returns, eternal life comes after death and not before. This is a very uncomfortable idea and many Christians handle it by not handling it — we ignore it. Then something happens that brings death into the forefront so that it cannot be forgotten or ignored. When the pregnancy becomes a miscarriage.
When the basic checkup shows cancer.
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When a car crash claims the lives of an entire family of missionaries. Death approaches and refuses to be ignored. Death presses us and dares us to trust in Christ alone.
Psalms 119:174 TPT
Like the Psalmist who wrote Psalm , we cry to God for deliverance grasping for his salvation. I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
It is unclear if the Psalmist faces his own death or the death of someone close to him, but his fear is evident. Death is a snare that seeks to swallow him. Sheol, the place of the grave, holds him in its grasp. Suffering ensues. But this is a Psalm of Thanksgiving, and when the Psalmist prays for deliverance, the Lord hears his voice and answers.
The Psalmist shows faith that to follow God means deliverance from death. He is saved. This promise of deliverance is available to every Christian, and this psalm is written in part to teach us how to cry out to God in times of trouble.
We are already delivered, but not yet fully delivered. Our best is yet to come, but our immediate future may mean increased loss and suffering. This is difficult to square with our humanity. Death is a product of the fall and there is nothing truly natural about it.
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Now it is a norm, but deep in our hearts we know this is not how things are supposed to be. When we ask for deliverance from trials, we may receive help immediately and obviously, but often it is not like that. Sometimes we lose a job, a child, a spouse — and when we do, it feels like we lose everything. We need a more full and final deliverance from death. When does the Psalmist receive deliverance? Or in the future?
But the Psalmist knows that deliverance is not yet full and final. Any deliverance that we can experience in this life is a partial deliverance; it is simply a glimpse of the full deliverance that we await after death. We wait now for the death of death itself and remember that death has lost its sting 1 Corinthians , For you have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; Psalm Perhaps the Psalmist tells us more about one great Deliverance and less about particular deliverances.
The Psalmist is thankful for deliverances in this life, but he praises God ultimately for Deliverance found in a coming Messiah. This same idea is found in Philippians — Paul writes of his certainty of deliverance through the work of the Spirit and the prayers of the saints. At first glance, Paul seems thankful to have not died in prison, but Paul himself will die a martyrs death nevertheless, was his deliverance for nothing?
This belief is founded in the resurrection and it transforms everything. He thanks the Philippians for their prayers and professes his faith not simply for the many deliverances he experiences in his life, but for the one great Deliverance that Christ has won for him.
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It is this salvation that is eternal, and death is no longer the final destroyer it once was. To die is gain! To live is to enjoy Christ and to die is to experience the fullness of joy in Christ. Thus Paul becomes indefatigable because the worst thing that could happen to him has already happened to Christ, and death becomes a servant — an escort — into the presence of Christ and ever-augmenting joy.
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God shall likewise destroy thee forever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy workst through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God. Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul;letthem be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt.
He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth. All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. Psalm , Skip to content. Upon the wicked shall He rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalms of Deliverance | Berean Bible Society
Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord. To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints.
Praise ye the Lord.
Related Deliverance in the Psalms
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