Note: if you’d like to start with the Introduction to the whole series, please start here.
Day 7 – December 5, 2020
Light a Candle:
If you have a candle, light it. This is a reminder that we are a people who live in darkness, without the light of God. And in the coming of Jesus, we anticipate that the light that was to come. He is our light.
Psalm 107:1–43 (NIV): 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. 10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, 11 because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. 12 So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. 13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. 15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 16 for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. 17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. 18 They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. 19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. 21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. 22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy. 23 Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. 24 They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. 25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. 26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. 27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. 29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. 31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. 32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders. 33 He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, 34 and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there. 35 He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; 36 there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. 37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; 38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish. 39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity and sorrow; 40 he who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste. 41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. 42 The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths. 43 Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.
We’ve been talking about our need for a Deliverer. Advent season is the time when we admit, without the Lord, we are a people walking in darkness. And there is no way to find out way out, without him coming to rescue us.
Take a look at this Psalm above. People find themselves in need of rescuing. Some wandered in desert wastelands and were thirsty and hungry. Some sat in dark prisons. Some suffered the foolishness of their rebellion. Some were rocked by storms on the high seas. Time and again, people were oppressed, they were trapped in life’s circumstances and they eventually turned to God and he rescued them.
We need a Rescuer; a Deliverer. Our God is just that. And He showed us that more completely in the sending of His Son, Jesus. Jesus did all that was necessary for us to find freedom and be filled with the Spirit of truth. He broke the chains that held us, whether it be the curse, the enemy, our flesh, or the idols we create.
So what does the Psalmist encourage us to do, when we know the deliverance of God through Christ? In verse 2 he says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.”
I have many stories of deliverance. One is when I was 20 years old, trapped chasing my own goals like a dog chasing his tail. God stopped me in my tracks through an injury at work. I was frustrated, angry and not being very cooperative with God. Through that time alone, God directed me to study at Moody Bible Institute. And in a miraculous way, he opened the door for me to get there. I heard his voice again. He set me on a path of serving Him. He’s given my life meaning and purpose. He also blessed me with the woman who would be my bride. He saved me from the deceptive power of my own flesh. He saved me from the idols I was forming for myself. He saved me from the enemy who had distracted me. He delivered me. And He’s done that a thousand times since then. Because that’s who He is and that’s what He does.
If you have come to know Christ as Deliverer, tell your story! Tell someone about the prison you were in and how He has put you on the path of life. If you are still trapped, follow the example of those in this Psalm, “cry out to Him.” He will hear. He will come to you. He will forgive your sin and put you on the path of life with Him by your side.
This is the end of our first week of remembering, why Jesus came; how He still comes to us today; and what we look forward to when we see Him again. Let’s praise His name together.
Lord Jesus, we praise you for coming. You are the One who rescues all those who call on your Name. Today, we thank you for your deliverance. We know without You, we would forever be trapped in darkness and despair.
Give us the courage to “tell our stories” to those who want to hear. Let us be an encouragement to others in this Advent season, showing them the love of God we’ve known. Help us communicate that love in tangible and memorable ways. And in doing so, may we give You the glory for all we are.
Father, Son and Spirit, we pray that you will continue to deliver us day by day, from the things that discourage and defeat us. Help us walk in your freedom and strength.
In the name of Christ, my Deliverer, I pray.