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Don Stewart :: What Is the Significance of God Being a Rescuer or Deliverer of His People?

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What Is the Significance of God Being a Rescuer or Deliverer of His People?

God and Us – Question 4

One of the ways in which God is portrayed to humans is as a Rescuer, Deliverer, or Savior of His people. This is a common theme in Scripture. God’s people are in trouble and the Lord rescues them. We find this in both testaments. The following observations are necessary to make.

God’s Deliverance in the Old Testament

The entire history of the Old Testament contains one account after anotherof the Lord delivering His people. This involved delivering the entirenation from slavery in Egypt, delivering the nation from enemies who wantedto destroy them on the way to the Promised Land, and then rescuing themfrom enemies when they had inhabited the Promised Land. Indeed, we have oneexample after another of the Lord rescuing His people.

1. Deliverance from the Bondage of Egypt: The Exodus

The key event in the Old Testament was the deliverance of the nation of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Indeed, hundreds of years after the Lord had delivered the people of Israel from Egypt, He again reminded them of what He had done. The prophet Isaiah records the following words.

I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Egypt is the ransom I exchanged for you. Sudan and Seba are the price I paid for you... “I alone am the LORD, and there is no savior except me.” (Isaiah 43:3, 11 God’s Word)

This statement sums it all up. He was their only Savior or Deliverer. The only reason they were able to inherit the Land of Promise is through the miraculous deliverance of the Lord. There was no possible way that they could do it on their own.

2. Deliverance on the Way to the Land

While Israel was on its way to the Land of Promise, the Lord delivered them from a number of enemies. For example, we read in the Book of Numbers,

When the Canaanite king of Arad who lived in the Negev heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoner. So Israel made a vow to the LORD and said, “If you will indeed deliver this people into our hand, then we will utterly destroy their cities.” The LORD listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of the place was called Hormah. (Numbers 21:1-3 NET).

Here we find an illustration of the Lord delivering His people from the Canaanites just like He had previously promised.

In another instance of God’s deliverance on the way to the Promised Land, we read the following account.

Then they turned and went up by the road to Bashan. And King Og of Bashan and all his forces went out against them to do battle at Edrei. And the LORD said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand. You will do to him what you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.” So they defeated Og, his sons, and all his people, until there were no survivors, and they possessed his land. (Numbers 21:33-35 NET)

Not only did God miraculously rescue the people from Egypt, He delivered them while they were on the way to the Land of Promise.

3. Deliverance in the Land of Promise

There are also many examples of the Lord delivering His people once they had occupied the land. Indeed, they are numerous. There was seemingly an endless cycle of the people falling into sin, being harassed by their enemies, crying out to God, and then God delivering them.

From the Old Testament, it is clear that the Lord, the God of Israel, continually rescued His people from the various enemies in which they found themselves entangled.

4. God’s Deliverance in the New Testament: Jesus Christ

In the New Testament, we find that the theme of God’s deliverance of His people centers around the Deliverer, or Savior, who came into the world; Jesus Christ. However, Jesus did not merely deliver one nation from its problems. Rather His death on the cross has delivered the entire human race from the penalty of sin.

When Paul wrote to the Galatians, he likened Jesus to one who redeems or buys humanity out of the slavery of sin. He put it this way.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13 NIV)

Jesus Christ became a curse on our behalf so that we do not have to suffer. He took the curse which was meant for us.

In a similar illustration, Paul reminded the Corinthians that Christ has bought us out of the slave market of sin. Therefore, we ought to glorify Christ with our bodies.

For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20 NET)

Again, we have the point made that we are not our own. We belong to Him because He has bought us from the slave market of sin.

Peter emphasized that God the Father redeemed or rescued us with the most precious thing He had, His only son. He wrote,

You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed—not by perishable things like silver or gold, but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-19 NET)

While Jesus’ death on the cross delivers humanity from the penalty of sin, it only becomes meaningful for us when we individually apply His death to our own lives.

In other words, while His death removed the sin barrier between us and a Holy God, it is only when we place our faith in Him as Savior that His death has meaning for us. This is why trusting Jesus Christ for our sins is absolutely essential.

Conclusion: We Have Another Example of God’s Care

The fact that God continuously rescued or delivered His people from their problems provides a further example of His care and concern for the human race. We know of His loving care for us because time after time He has delivered His people. As all of us can personally testify, He is still delivering His people today.

Summary – Question 4
What Is the Significance of God Being a Rescuer or Deliverer of His People?

The God of the Bible is a God who is involved with humanity. From the first page until the last, His involvement is seen in Him rescuing or delivering His people from trouble.

In the Old Testament, the greatest example of this deliverance was the Exodus of the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. This great miracle revealed His mighty power for all to see.

But the Lord did not stop there. We also find the Lord saving or rescuing the people while they were on their way to the Promised Land.

Indeed, there are a number of episodes recorded in Scripture where the Lord protected and delivered them as they were going to the land of promise.

When they were in the Promised Land He also delivered them from their enemies on many occasions. In reality, time after time, we read of the people falling into sin and then surrounded by their enemies. They would then call upon the Lord and He would deliver them. This is a constant theme in the Old Testament.

In the New Testament, the emphasis is on the deliverance of sin that came about through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. He is portrayed as buying humanity out from the slave market of sin. Previously we were slaves. His death paid the price for our freedom from slavery. We now belong to Him and are no longer slaves to sin.

The fact is this: Jesus Christ has rescued us in the past. But this is certainly not the end of His rescuing of us.

In fact, He continues to rescue His people from sin in this fallen world. In fact, until we see him face-to-face we will always need to call upon this important aspect of His character.

Why Does the Bible Portray God through Various Occupations? ← Prior Section
If God Is Concerned about Humanity Then Why Is He Compared to a Ruling King and a Judge? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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