21. PROMISED DELIVERANCE
"How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God!"
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him—I will set him on high, because he has known My name. Psalm 91:14
Here we have the prodigal looking and longing for a father's welcome —the prisoner striving to break his chains and set himself free—the wounded bird struggling in the furrow, and wailing out its plaintive note, "Oh that I might flee away, and be at rest!"
"I will deliver him," is the gracious thought and declaration of an unseen but gracious God. "No, not only will I deliver him—save him from wrath and condemnation—but I will 'set him on high'—I will bestow upon him exalted honors—I will adopt him as My child, and finally glorify him."
Most frequently, indeed, He delivers independently and irrespectively of any antecedent love on our part. "For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable." His grace often triumphs in the case of those who have never cast one look of love towards Him—He "sets on high" those to whom for a whole lifetime His name has been unknown. Nevertheless, to any who may be seeking after Him, if haply they may find Him—to those who feel their chains, and are longing for emancipation—who, by reason of permitted sin or omitted duty, may be in spiritual darkness, exclaiming, in the bitterness of their estrangement, "Oh that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat!"—it is an encouraging thought to such, that they have His own promise of deliverance.
The Believer, in Solomon's Song, is beautifully likened to a dove in the clefts of the rock. The timid, fluttering, trembling wanderer is welcomed into the crevices of the Rock of Ages. He can fold his weary wing under the shadow of the Almighty; he can find rest and peace in the very Being whom he has offended. Yes, desponding one, He is waiting to be gracious. If you are now casting one fond, ardent, loving look towards your God—if you are cherishing one longing desire for His returning favor—"He will deliver you." This will be your testimony, as it has been of many—"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along."
"What have I to do any more with idols?" was the soliloquy and resolve of penitent Ephraim, when, divorcing himself from all sinful attachments, all rival claimants for the throne of his affections, he turned his face towards his God. "I have heard him and observed him," says the great Being who was watching the penitent's tears, counting the throbs of his anguished spirit. And He adds the assurance of supporting grace and strength—"I am like a green fir-tree; from Me is your fruit found."
Do I "know His name?" Acquainting myself with God, am I now at peace? Do I feel that His loving-kindness is better than life? Amid the brokenness of nature's cisterns, am I turning with earnest longing to the infinite and only satisfying fountain-head, like the deer panting for the waterbrooks? All other objects of earthly love and enjoyment are perishable. But "the name of the Lord is a strong tower—the righteous runs into it, and is safe." "Great is the blessing," says one who knew well that name, "that the anchor of our love is firmly fixed beneath the cross of Christ. The silver cord of life may be snapped in a moment; but this is embedded in the cleft of the Rock forever."
Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for You. Psalm 9:10