2 Samuel 22:20
He brought me out to a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
It’s likely right now that Jordan is working out the last minute details of a rescue. One of their pilots is being held by the Islamic terrorist group ISIS and they’ve agreed to a “prisoner” trade to ensure his release. Who’s the swap? A woman who shares responsibility for the death of more than 60 people. They must really want their pilot back! A Japanese man is also being held by this hostage group. How can they rescue him? 200 million, says ISIS. Sounds like these rescues can be very costly. Some even claim we lost six of our own soldiers in an attempt to rescue Bergdahl.
So why the rescue?
My son recently dropped his new iPhone in the surf. I’m sure he did everything he could to rescue his phone from the salt water before he laid it to rest. Why? It was valuable to him because it was useful, full of information that he’d plugged into it. Could that be part of the thrust to rescue a soldier? After all, they’ve put a lot information and training resource into a pilot.
Contrarily, I saw a video yesterday of a fireman rescuing a kitten. No significant investment had been made in the kitten and it was of no utility to the owner, but anyone who watched the video with half a heart would feel sorry for this limp kitten being resuscitated. Is it because we feel sorry for a person that we desire his rescue?
Value or Pity. I suppose both could play a part in rescue.
In this chapter, David describes his own rescue. The exact circumstances are not discussed, so the reader is left unsure if he’s recalling a time when he was chased by Saul or maybe when he was in the thick of it with the Philistines. Whatever the predicament, he poetically paints it as certain peril. He describes death, destruction and Sheol as enormous waves that overwhelm him, a torrential current against which he cannot fight, ropes that bind him rendering his effort useless and as a trap that will swallow his life to the grave.
“I called to the LORD in my distress;
I called to my God.
From His temple He heard my voice,
and my cry for help reached His ears.”
Yes. God rescued him. Because He was valuable to him? Because He felt sorry for him? No. It was neither value or pity that moved the heart of the Lord on David’s behalf. Rather, as David points out, because “He delighted in me.”
How important it is for us to understand that God rescued us from the grip of death and hell because He delighted in us!
You know those Christians who try to do every good thing under the sun but never seem content or at peace? Maybe they think they were rescued because of their utility, because God had a plan and a purpose for their lives. I suppose if I believed that, I, too, would base my existence on fulfilling the plan, on being useful.
On the other hand, you’ve probably met a Christian who does very little to expand the Kingdom believing God could never really use him. Could his conversion be based in pity? That maybe God just felt sorry for His condition and like the fireman who did his job, rescued the kitten and then left the scene, God too has done His job and then left the scene. This poor theology leaves the Christian impotent, meandering through life with a “Thanks for the rescue, God. Hope to see you when I die” apathy.
God has rescued us because He first delighted in us. Does He have a plan and a purpose for us? Certainly. Does He feel sorrow or pain when we’re sorrowful and in pain? Yes. Jesus wept. But our rescue wasn’t based in our value or His pity, but rather His delight and understanding that is the beginning of a fruitful and adventurous life based in relationship with your maker.