Have you bought a new car lately? I’m proud to say my car is 10 1/2 years old — which is an accomplishment for a girl who spent a decade of her life working at a new car dealership, salivating over new cars every day.
But one thing I do remember after buying a new car is how many people on the road had the same car as I did! Right? It’s natural, when we own a new item, or we’re going through a circumstance, or we’re studying a subject, to notice it all around us.
That’s how I’m feeling now in a different area. At my home church, I’ve been leading a group of women through my Bible study, Journey to Freedom. And wouldn’t you know it, it seems everywhere I turn, my ears tune in to the rhythm of the message of freedom. It’s everywhere.
Even though in my personal study I’m no longer studying themes of freedom, this verse jumped off the page for me last week:
The word rescued pinged my freedom radar. Why? Because rescue implies bondage. Prison. Chains. Hopelessness. The opposite of freedom.
Of course, we know God rescued us. We know He sent Jesus for that purpose. But look with me deeper and see if this hits you as hard as it hit me.
Why does David say in Psalm 18:19 the Lord rescued him?
Because he delighted in him.
Now, it might be easy to understand this because David, after all, was described as a man after God’s own heart. But does God only delight in us — and only rescue us — if we’ve met a certain standard?
Let’s see what the New Testament says about that:
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, emphasis mine).
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, emphasis mine).
This is HUGE! Jesus didn’t die for us after we cleaned ourselves up. And God didn’t rescue us after we got our act together and proved we were worthy (as if that were even a possibility). If God rescues us, then, where does that imply that we were at the moment of rescue?
In bondage. Filthy from our sin. At our ugliest.
Dare we believe that God somehow delighted in us while we were still in our most decrepit state?
How is that possible?
I have no idea. Who can know the mind of God? (Romans 11:34)
Who can comprehend His love?
But even if we can’t understand it, dare we believe it?
This is GOOD NEWS for you if you’ve not yet come to a place where you have received God’s forgiveness through Jesus. If that’s you, please know that Jesus is your rescuer. Right now. He’s waiting at your prison door; He’s unlocked it. All you have to do is receive the freedom of forgiveness He offers and follow Him.
But hear me, Christian. This is also GOOD NEWS for us — not just as a way to look back to what Jesus has saved us from but also in our every day, right now.
God has shown me how He still longs to rescue me from bondage I’ve allowed to shackle me. Fear. Pride. Ungodly anger. Self-absorption.
And while I chafe when I see the ugliness of the sin in my heart, I go back to that verse.
He rescued me because He delighted in me.
I still don’t understand it. It’s unreasonable. Illogical. Incomprehensible.
But it’s overwhelmingly beautiful and makes me shed tears of gratefulness. He delights in me. Me. Not for anything I have done or could ever do for Him. But just because He created me and He loves me.
And because He loves me so much, He knows the best gift He could ever give me is rescue.
You see, He doesn’t just come and sit in prison with us. He came to get us out of there. To free us.
To bring us out into a spacious place. (Psalm 18:19)