“He delivered me from my strong enemy and from them that hated me—for they were too strong for me.  They prevented (preceded) me in the day of my calamity; but, the Lord was my stay.  He brought me forth also in a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me.” 

II Samuel 22:18-20

When we remember this, we’ll never give in to doubts, discouragement or inward accusations.

If someone asked you, “Why do you serve the Lord?,” how would you answer him?  Or, if the secret, inward thoughts of your heart toward God were revealed, what would they say?  “God is good”—all the time?  Or, are there times when you resent Him and liken Him more to some forgetful, celestial “bully-on-the-block” than you do Someone Who “delights in you”?

Tough questions, aren’t they?

To be sure.

But, such questions are needed if we are to be free of the veneer of pretense and the darkness of self-deceit.

We know that David was a “man after God’s own heart”—for the Bible tells us so (I Sam. 13:14)—even though our omniscient God knew beforehand that he’d commit adultery with Bathsheba and have her husband, Uriah—one of his 37 “mighty men” (II Sam. 23:39)—killed in battle (II Sam. 11:1-25).

Truly, David wasn’t a “perfect” man; but He was a “loved” man to whom the God of Abraham showed great Grace and Mercy.

Even as He wants to show to each one of us.

The Hebrew word “chaphets” is used in today’s Manna for “delights” and also means “to incline to, bend toward, be pleased with, take pleasure in, etc.”  But, this favorable disposition is not because of who we are; it’s because of His incomparable, condescending Grace that’s given to those whose hearts delight in Him.

Always remember:  Mercy and Grace aren’t “attained;” they’re “obtained” (I Cor. 7:25b; I Tim. 1:16; Heb. 11:39; I Pet. 2:10)—“gifts,” if you will.

That’s why we should always “give thanks in all things” (I Thess. 5:18)—for apart from His Mercies we’d have no hope (Lam. 3:21-23).

Dear Pilgrim, it’s the Lord Who “delivers us from our enemies,” not our prowess or ability.  Truly, our enemies are too numerous and strong to overcome; however, when the Covenant God of Abraham is “our stay (Heb. ‘mish ‘en’—‘support, protector, sustenance, etc.’),” then we know He will never leave us in a lurch; instead, He will “bring us into a large place”—i.e., a place of reprieve, restoration, renewal, etc.—all because He’s chosen to demonstrate His Grace to those so undeserving of it.  Isn’t that a wonderful assurance?  Why not pause right now and thank Him?

June 2, 2011