“The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
He sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me…
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip…
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation.” Psalm 18:4-19,35-36,46
A rescue in action breaks into the morning and cracks our calm. The siren blares in urgency, its wailing rhythm turning heads and quickening pulses, pulling heart strings at what-ifs and oh-nos. A crescendo, a swerve, flashes of red, a diminishing as it moves toward its target.
David, far from any city, knew the terrors of danger and a mad king’s pursuit: distress, snares, threatened destruction. His description of God’s magnificent compassion-warmed, fury-stoked, power-infused rescue sheds light on Christ’s redemptive saving of His people. Enemies, both literal and figurative, lurk all around, and we are desperate for a Savior who sees from on high and swoops down to draw us up. This is Jesus! His mercy and blood cover our sin, deliver us from its fall-out, and daily intercede for our ongoing deliverance from its tentacles. (Isaiah 53:4-6; Romans 8:34; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:25; 9:12; 1 John 1:7)
Are we drowning in fear at enemies’ taunts and threats, tempted to slip into sin’s calamity, or panicking in despair’s choke-hold? Have we, by faith, reckoned Christ’s rescue ours? Sin no longer has a hold on us, and we are under no more condemnation! We are free to rejoice in the peace Christ gives. (John 8:36; Romans 6:6-7,11-14; 8:1-2)
Lord, may my life give irrefutable evidence that You have freed me from sin’s shame and stronghold, and ever exalt Your transcendent love.