Lord my Deliverer
Psalm 18:2 ( H6403 )
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spoke unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said, I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
This is an interesting compound name for Jehovah that we have today, The Lord my Deliverer. Here is how the word is translated in the KJV:
deliver 16, deliverer 5, calveth 1, escape 2, safe 1.
We have two main usages for deliverer in today's culture. The first that comes to mind is the UPS man, the delivery man. Someone who brings a package from one point, its origin and delivers it to another point, its destination. We usually look upon the UPS driver from the perspective of one awaiting for our package to be delivered, but this usage, this role of Jehovah speaks of the deliverer from the perspective of the package.
We are that package that is being delivered. In so many ways we have been brought from one place, usually not a very nice place and we are taken by God ultimately to the nicest place, heaven. He is the driver. He is the one who picks us us and who will gently deposit us on the steps of the mansion that even at this moment He is preparing for us:
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
We are in transit right now. The heavenly truck has come and we are on board, but our end address isn't quite finished yet. Maybe God is right now putting the numbers on the mailbox of our mansion or maybe the foundation had just been poured. We don't know how close our mansion is to being completed. All we can say for sure is that if God called it a mansion it surely won't be lacking any comforts. The only thing we need to do as good packages, is to stay on the truck. We don't want to go bouncing out the back of the heavenly van into the weeds along the side of the road. God is preparing a place specifically for us. He knows our likes, our desires, our personalities better than any earthly architect. We will be amazed what delights the rooms of our custom designed mansion contain.
Another usage today of the word deliverer is also reflected in how this word is translated from the original Hebrew:
Their bull engendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.
This is the same word. It is usually translated delivery or deliverer, but in this case it is translated calveth. . . to give birth. . . to deliver from the womb.
Hebrew is such a rich language. I can only imagine. I think that our reading the Scriptures in English in some ways must be like watching a foreign film with English subtitles. A movie like that is never quite as funny, never quite as impacting and powerful as in the original language. Surely you can recieve the intended message, but much of the wonderful flavor is lost in the translation.
Jehovah is our deliverer. That is one of His many roles. He brings us forth, not now speaking of our original birth from the maternal womb, but now talking of our rebirth, our spiritual birth.
Our mothers brought us from the secret place of our creation into God's world in all its glory. She carried us. Fed us. Nourished us from her own sustinance. Provided a safe place for our bodies to develop and grow. Through her pain, her sweat, through the tearing away from her flesh she delivered us, birthed us into our lives.
As deliverer this is also God's role for us spiritually. He has given us everything we need. He has nurtured us, protected us, carried us from our origins in sin to the waters of our rebirth, to our birth of the water of baptism and to our birth of the spirit. . .
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God . That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
It is clear. There must be a rebirth and God, not an earthly mother is our deliverer for this birth. The gestation period varies. It lasted 46 years in my case. We develop differently. Like mothers of our flesh, all the things to grow and thrive are provided, but still sometimes something is wrong with the baby. Sometimes the baby is unable to prosper. Not through any fault of the deliverer, something is just wrong and the baby does not flourish. It is estimated that as many as 40-50% possibly even higher, of all pregnancies result in miscarriage. Most occuring before the mother is even aware that she was pregnant. It is no fault of the mother, it is not the fault of the deliverer. It is the same spiritually.
God has provided what we require to come to know Him. He has placed people in our paths. He has provided spiritual nourishment, if we will only give suck to it:
For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. (10) He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (11) As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: (12) So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. (13) He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; (14) Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape. (15) But Jeshurun [the beloved one] waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Of all the things that the maternal deliverer can do and provide, She cannot make the infant take nourishment. If the baby refuses to give suck there is little that can be done. The deliverer can offer and entice, but it is up to the infant to open his mouth and accept the nourishment. From the very beginning, even within its weakness it is the infants choice, it is within the infants power to either prosper or to perish. . .
No where in Scripture is God ever referred to as female. It is never Mother God, always Father there is no confusion about that, but in His role as deliverer there surely are some maternal connotations. There is a relationship between mother and child that the father knows nothing of. We also have a relationship with our spiritual deliverer that is without hint of imitation in any other relationship. . .
I love you my God. . .
I thank you for giving me nourishment. . .
I thank you for delivering me. . .
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Lord my Deliverer