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“The God of Of Salvation, The Lord Of Death”

SIH STSTA ICONThroughout this text, we will see that different aspects of the physical and spiritual realms of existence will be discussed.  We need to recognize that our lives here on earth are not affected by only the events that take place in this physical world.  There is also a sphere of influence in our lives that is best described as a spiritual realm.  The determination of our eternal abode and our service to the Lord are both effected by the events and characters found in this realm.

In our text for today, we find one verse that clearly declares to us that our Lord is in control of both realms of existence…

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

20) [He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death.   (Psalms 68:20)

 

THE STUDY:

[He that is] our God

The deity that we will be discussing in today’s text is the God of both the physical and spiritual nations of Israel:

1.  Please keep in mind, King David was addressing the physical nation of Israel.  They were brought into existence by the Lord and used by Him to give us the truths of His Word and to bring the Messiah into this world.

2.  The spiritual nation of Israel contains all of God’s people who have been saved, and will be saved throughout history.  Paul refers to this group of Jewish and Gentile believers as “The Israel of God” in Gals 4:13-16.

Both the physical and spiritual nation of Israel can claim a special relationship with the True God, Jehovah.  Therefore, we can truly say ….”Jehovah, is OUR GOD”!

The term translated “God” in this phrase is the Hebrew word “El”.   This word refers to the supreme strength and ability that Jehovah possesses.

[is] the God of salvation;

The God that we can call our own, is “the God of salvation” or, in other words, He is “the Mighty One that controls the deliverance of His people.”  Here, once again we can see a physical and spiritual aspect to this text…

1.  In this physical world, God acts on behalf of His people to deliver them from many of the ills that this world offers. Whenever the Lord delivers His people from a physical threat of harm, He is displaying to us that He is the God of “physical” salvation.  War, governmental oppression, natural disasters, persecution, etc etc.  the list is endless.

2.  However, His greater work is that of a spiritual nature.  It is our God, Jehovah, that delivers His people from the evils of the penalty, power and, eventually, the presence of sin. He saves us from eternal punishment from God which takes place in the Lake of Fire. This is the spiritual aspect of the salvation that He graciously gives to His spiritual Jewish people.

The same Hebrew word translated “God” in the previous phrase (El) is, once again, translated “God” in this phrase.  Remember, it  carries with it the idea of the “Mighty One with all ability”.  This helps us to understand that Jehovah is mighty over salvation and absolutely capable to save His people.  He can do what no other man or false God can do for us.  He is able to do for us what we cannot even do for ourselves, save us from this world’s evils and the evils that await sinful man in the world to come.

and unto GOD the Lord 

This same God, who is the Strong One, is given a new set of titles here.  God is now called by the names “GOD”  and “Lord” which come from two different Hebrew words:

1.  The name “God” is the Hebrew word “Jehovah” which carries with it the idea of the “One that Exists”.  This personal title for God helps us to understand that He is the One True God.  In actuality, He exists, while all the other false gods of this world do not.  He is the only God that is in existence, all others are human, sinful, replacements and, in actuality, are the figments of lost mankind’s imaginations.

2. The title “Lord” is the Hebrew word “Adonai” which teaches us that the Lord is the One who is the Master, Owner, or Originator of all things:

He is the One who brought physical Israel into existence, He is the One that owns Israel, and He is that is her Master.

The same can be said about His relationship with the spiritual nation of Israel.  It is He is formed her, it is He that owns her, and it is He that rules over her.  Spiritual Israel is His spiritual kingdom that submits to His Lordship as He rules in the heart of her citizens.

[belong] the issues from death.   

Jehovah, the Originator, Master and Ruler of the two Israels, possess the “issues of death”.  In other words, death flows forth under His divine control.  He is the One that controls the “flow of death”.  It is Jehovah the Master that delays, restrains, and restricts and destroys both physical and spiritual death:

1. The phrase physical death is describing the condition whereby our spirit is separated from our body.  By His control over physical death, we are speaking of the Lord’s governance of the length of our physical lives, the resurrection of our bodies which will rescue the physical body from death, and the total elimination of physical death for those who are alive when He comes back again.

2.  The phrase “spiritual death” is describing the condition whereby, due to our sins, we are separated from God.  This separation is displayed by a lack of communion, alienation from His family and kingdom and estrangement from God throughout eternity.  This spiritual death can only be overcome through the gracious intervention of Almighty God whereby, through the work of Christ, our communion between God and His people is restored.  This results in renewed fellowship with God through prayer and the Word, the Spirit’s indwelling, and an eternity living in the very presence of God.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

It is from the Lord that we receive eternal spiritual life which transcends all other aspects of our existence on earth.  With the possession of spiritual life comes security, peace, and communion with Almighty God.  What a blessing it is to know that … “[He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death

O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?  The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.  But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”   (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)

Won’t you look to the Lord Jesus Christ, in faith, trusting Him as your Lord and Savior before it is too late?

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

“I Need You, Like the Flowers Need the Rain” …

SIH STSTA ICONToday, we are surrounded by messages of “need”.  TV commercials consistently say we “need” something… a new car, a new set of clothes, or a new computer.  Our government would like us to think that we “need” all of it’s programs and spending; without them we would fall off the face of the planet, we are told.

But the classic example of the message of need is presented to us in the song by America entitled “I Need You” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk-7n1hdK3M). Speaking of one person’s need for another, the song says it is “like the flowers (that) need the rain”. Sounds serious to me, flowers can’t live without rain, you know.

As a young man, my father used to consistently remind me that there was a difference between a “need” and a “want”.  Sorry to say, I didn’t see the wisdom in his words back then… it was only as I moved away from home that I began to see what he really meant.  In many instances, what we have is a tendency to say something is a “need”, when in actuality it is only a “want”.

But what is even more perplexing is that we have one true need that is often overlooked or devalued.

It is as if our attention is drawn to these other false “needs”, causing us to ignore the most important need of our life…. The Lord Jesus Christ….

THE SCRIPTURE:

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.

(Psalms 68:19 kjv)

THE STUDY:

In the preceding verse we are given two very important reasons why we need Christ in our lives…. “He daily loadeth us with benefits” and “our salvation”.

First, let’s look at his “daily benefits” He gives to us.   I can only speak for myself, but in my case, I am CONSTANTLY forgetting all that my Lord does for me on a daily basis.  The food I have to eat, the roof over my head, my strength and health, my wonderful wife, even the very breath that I take comes from my Lord.    How quickly do I forget these things.  In the middle of my day, when I am wrapped up with the daily grind, how easy it is to forget His constant flow of blessings to me.

I may be busy at work and have to eat a late lunch and grumble about it. Next time, I should thank Him  that I have food to eat and an appetite which allows me to enjoy the food.  Or, how about when I am tired and cranky; I take my frustration out on my poor wife… I’m certainly not appreciating the Lord, or her, like I should be.  As our verse said… He is daily LOADING us with His benefits (blessings).  Thank you, Lord for all you do for me on a daily basis!

But there is another blessing He gives to us mentioned in our verse…. His salvation.  “Salvation from what?”, you may ask.  This is a very fair question.  To help us answer this question, we need to understand what is meant by the term “salvation”.  In this Psalm, the Hebrew word translated “salvation” simply means “to deliver from or to give the victory over”.   Here, we are told that our Lord is the One who gives us deliverance from something.  That “something” is sin.

Over the years, I have heard more definitions for sin than I can count (or remember).  To me, the easy way I understand the meaning of “sin”, and it’s effect on our life, is by thinking of a blind man who stops to ask for directions.  He is given a roadmap to guide him…. only one problem, he cannot begin to understand, read, or even see the map.  He is in a horrible predicament.  He has a set of instructions guiding him on the path he should take, but he cannot begin to follow those directions. Such is the sinfulness of man.

Because we are sinners from conception, we all are unable to please God of our own ability.  Just like the blind man, we are in a terrible situation. God has given us His Word which contains His desires for our life, but without His grace, we cannot begin to follow them. For further study on our condition as sinners before God please study (Isa 64:6-7). To sum it up… apart from the Lord we are in horrible straits.

Does this mean we are in a hopeless situation?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.  This is where faith in our Lord Jesus Christ comes in.  Once we understand our inability, our next step is to turn to Him and realize we are totally dependant upon Him to deliver us (or give us the victory over) our sinful condition.  In other words WE NEED HIM to save us from our sins.  By turning to Him, and trusting in Him, we receive the forgiveness of our sins and the ability to please Him with our lives.

Why is Christ the One we must turn to and place our faith in?  It is because He is the One who died for us, taking our sin upon Himself that we might be saved.  (please see Roms 4:24-5:2 for more info)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Yep, “just like the flowers need the rain”, we truly need Him, not only for our physical well-being, but for our spiritual salvation as well.  We can all agree with these words: “Without me (Christ) ye can do nothing”… but… “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  (John 15:5, Phil 4:13). Let’s turn to Him and receive His salvation and forgiveness and then, every day, be thankful and praise Him for all He has done for us!

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”