The God who is our salvation.
God is to us a God of deliverances;
And to God the LORD belong escapes from death."
If you have ever driven in Dallas, TX you know about the High Five, a large freeway interchange that looks like a spider-web of roads. It is named the "High Five" because there are five layers worth of roads and bridges that intersect.
Many like to think of life as a roller coster with ups and downs, good followed by bad and then good again. I once heard life described as a railroad track in which you always have two parallel rails of both good and bad circumstances happening simultaneously. But, as you have probably guessed, I like to think of life as being like the High Five. There are high highs, low lows, and everything in between. Sometimes our highs are not very high and our lows feel lower than ever, but God always has a way of providing blessings, even when we feel at rock bottom.
I remember one day in particular that my sister-in-law, who had also become a dear friend, was undergoing major brain surgery. There had already been severe complications and this surgery was very risky. I was in college at the time, so throughout the day I had business as usual of classes, studying, and a dorm social that night. In other words, I had the low low, and lots of mundane in between. The high came when God led me to this Psalm.
This Psalm is powerful and speaks of God's protection of His people, provision for the needy, and presence for the lonely. These verses sit in the center of the Psalm and capture the essence of the theme:
1. God helps us through the day to day.
God cares about the little things. He is present with us as He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He knows about the little frustrations or delights through our day, all the things that are not significantly high highs or low lows, just the details of the day. He carries our daily burden.
2. He is the God of our salvation.
In Ps. 68:19 this use of "salvation" is not speaking of our faith salvation in Christ, the context indicates that is has the idea of God helping us through more difficult situations. He offers provision and presence. This "salvation" has the idea of God protecting us from harm. Notice I did not say that He keeps us from difficulty. Hardship is often the greatest way He refines us, but He protects and saves us in the midst of it.
3. He is a God of deliverances.
This goes to the next level of difficulty. The tone almost has a sense of reflecting back on all the big deliverances God has provided. For Israel there had been many marvelous deliverances in battle and miraculous provisions in times of famine and drought. We can all think back to those times where God came through in big ways, comforted us when we needed it most, and pulled us out of the deep pit.
4. To God the LORD belong escapes from death.
Even in the most trying times of all, He is there. In those life or death situations He does not lack control. Notice how the escapes from death belong to God, but not that He always acts in that manner. Thankfully, for my sister-in-law, God spared her life. Sometimes He may not give the escape from death, but He always works in the way that will bring about the good of our sanctification. This is promised in Romans 8:28- "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." This is a verse that is thrown around all too often in these most difficult of situations. It does not mean that everything will have a happy ending; what the context is speaking of is our sanctification and development in the midst of difficulty. God does not always give happy endings, but He ALWAYS works for our growth and His glory.
No matter what level of circumstances you are currently facing, a high high, an extremely low low, something in between, or a combination of all of the above, God is present with you carrying that burden. Whatever the level of difficulty, He cares and is in control.
1. Picture taken from dallasnews.com