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Sunday, November 8, 2015

3 Ways God Rescues Us

Psalm 73, God rescues us, Red Sea, Jonah, Rahab
Psalm 73, like other Psalms, tells us how to overcome discouragement when we:
  • See bad people rewarded (2-12)  
  • See good people in trouble (13-14)  
  • Feel confused and troubled (16)  
  • Doubt God's plans and purposes (21-22)  
Some paths are hard and rocky, and sometimes we see only troubles, no hope in sight. 

In Psalm 73, Asaph was on such a path, but he chose to "turn the corner" by reminding himself of God's past faithfulness. And it's good to remember that God doesn't always rescue us in conventional ways. Have you experienced these:

1. Red Sea Rescues - When we only see options A and B, but God has option C. Psalm 77:19 

2. Jericho Rescues - When God destroys false "support walls" in our lives.  Proverbs. 3:5-6  

3. Big Fish Rescues - When God rescues us from ourselves. Jonah 1  

After reminding ourselves of God's past rescues, we can remind ourselves of the greatest rescue of all, just like Asaph did in verse 24.

Bible Study

In the passages below, note how bleak things looked for the people.
Then note how God rescued them.

No Place to Run
As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” 
God rescues us from our troubles

Reminder of Who's in charge
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 

God's "Plan C" Rescue
15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”  

For additional Thoughts, read "God's Plan C"

Rahab's Fear and Faith
[Rahab] said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. 

The Look of Hopelessness
20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. 

God Destroys Rahab's Walls & Places Her on the Rock
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.  

For more insights, read these 1-minute devotions about Rahab's story:

From the Depths to the Heights- 
God Saves Jonah from His Unfounded Fears and False Values
1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. 3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. 4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ 5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. 6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. 7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8 “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. 9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” 10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. 

For additional insights, you might enjoy this 1-minute devotion:

copyright 2015, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture linked, All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted

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