Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.
-2 Samuel 14:14b
I do not know why I am surprised when I come across verses like this in the Old Testament. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Yet somehow, we have this vision of a God who is angry, a God who pours out wrath on His people. How many times have I heard it said that the God revealed in the New Testament is a God of love, very unlike the God of the Old Testament; as if we have two gods being presented to us.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation.
God is to us a God of deliverances;
And to God the Lord belong escapes from death. -Psalm 68: 19-20
I am sitting here letting the truth of these words sink in.
God has a plan! A plan to bring us into His arms, a plan to draw us close-no matter what we have done in the past or will do in the future.
God bears our burdens! I may feel like the weight of them is crushing me at times, but that is only my perception…God is bearing them for me. That really is the only explanation for why I am here today, for why I can face tomorrow, for why I have known peace and joy even when my world has come crashing down.
God is our salvation! I do not even have words to describe the impact of this statement on my life. I am saved because He sent His beloved Son to live and die and pay the price for my sins.
God is our deliverer! When I think about the life I could be living-the one marred by sin-I am filled with praise to the one who has delivered me from the consequences of all those sins I commit. God has delivered me from the hand of my enemy-from Satan himself. He also has delivered me in a myriad of ways from trials that have come my way over the years-even delivering me from my own foolishness sometimes.
To God the Lord belongs escapes from death! I have certainly had my close calls in this life, but the “big one” will never claim me-for while this body will die I will go on to live forever in the kingdom of God. I will be at home with my heavenly Father who loves me more than I will ever fully be able to comprehend. In Christ, we more than escape death-death is conquered-Jesus is risen from the dead! The grave could not hold Him and because I am in Christ it no longer has any hold over me either.
And as I think about it all of these wonderful things I have in Christ, I realize that they have enabled me to be much bolder in life. I do not have to fear what today brings, or what comes tomorrow; though I confess sometimes fear can grip my heart; God has a plan-and His plan is better than anything I could come up with. I do not have to fear what man can do to me…though again I confess, I sometimes find people pretty scary…so I can be bold to proclaim the Gospel. (and that is an amazingly bold statement coming from an introvert!) Romans 8:31-39 comes to mind and I will close with Paul’s words:
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:31-39, NASB