Summary: A sermon of encouragement for times of trouble
DELIVERED IN DIFFICULTIES
TEXT: PSALM 18:1-6
The explanatory preface to this Psalm says it is a “Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul, and he said:”
In the next to last verse of this Psalm David says, “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord among the Gentiles, I will sing praises to Your Name.”
That word “love” in that first verse of out text, is in the Hebrew, the word: “rä·kham',” and its means, “to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection.” John MacArthur’s commentary on this first verse and says, “Love. This is not the normal word for love that often bears covenant meaning…but it is a rare verb form of a word group that expresses tender intimacy.” In those times when the Lord has delivered me from a trial or tribulation, I have felt that “tender intimacy” this word describes.
Remember, King Saul became jealous of David’s success in battle, and was also envious of the fact that the people loved David. If we read from I Samuel, chapters 18, 19 and 23, Saul tried to have David killed at least nine times, either by the hands of others, or by his own hand, once by throwing a spear at David in I Sam. 19:10. In I Samuel 20:3, just after the attempted spearing, David escapes out of the palace with the help of his wife, Michal, and we see David meeting in secret with Saul’s son Jonathan (David and Jonathan were best friends). David says, “But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” But God delivered Him and saved him out of the hands of Saul, and David learned the most important lesson a child of God can learn. It’s this: “It’s not important what HAPPENS to a Christian, what’s important is how we REACT to what happens to us.
God is called a Deliverer in both the OT and the NT. The word “deliverer” in our text is the Hebrew word: “pä·lat',” and means, “carry away safe, deliver, (cause to) escape.” A Greek word used often in the NT and translated as “Deliver” is “rhü'-o-mi,” (whroo am I), and means “to draw out of or remove from a rushing current.” Another example of this same word is used by Paul in his letter to the Colossians. In Col. 1:12, 13 in the Amplified Translation, Paul writes, “The Father has delivered us and drawn us to Himself out of the control and dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”
David learned that God does not deliver us OUT of our difficulties that we’ve learned to trust the Lord to deliver us IN our difficulties. The Apostle Paul re-emphasized this truth in Romans chapter 8. He wrote, “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that IS SEEN is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?’” (Rom. 8:24).
I want to take you now to the NT and the Book of Acts, the 16th chapter, and I want us to look at a situation that Paul the Apostle and his fellow missionary, Silas, had gotten themselves into, that required a mighty deliverance by God. Paul and the missionary band had been sent by the Holy Spirit into Greece. They were trying to determine the Lord’s will as to where they should go minister, and the Lord gave Paul a dream where a man from Macedonia (Greece) was asking them to come over and minister to them.
Paul took Silas, who the Bible says, was also a prophet, and they went into Greece and ended up in Philippi, one of the primary cities of that area of Macedonia. It was there that the saleslady, Lydia of Thyatira, was converted to Christ. As time went on they were going about preaching the Gospel, and satan sent one of his emissaries to harass them – a slave girl, who was possessed of a demon and did fortune-telling. Paul got aggravated at the devel, and said, “I command you, in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” In verse 19 of Acts chapter 16, we read, “But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into them into the marketplace to the authorities. Paul and Silas were stripped of their clothes and beaten with “many stripes” and were thrown into the prison – the INNER prison, and their feet were fastened in stocks, so they couldn’t move about.