The Bare Soul -
November 2, 2008
Deuteronomy 32:36 - For the LORD will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their strength is gone,
God's promises to His people always include stipulations that require a response and ultimately an action. In the instance of Deuteronomy 32:36, God promises to not only vindicate (or show Himself strong) on behalf of His people, but He also states that He will have compassion on His servants. The operative word in this verse determining God's timeline to bestow these marvelous gifts is WHEN -- or rather "... when He sees that their strength is gone, ... ." While a simple acknowledgement of weakness is an important first step, God desires to SEE an abating of strength and a true resignation to rely on Him for all things.
Some of us may have heard the analogy of the drowning swimmer as he or she relates to the lost sinner. The following not only typifies the sinner as lost and dying but it also shows how the Lord Jesus through His Father desires to save us from ourselves:
Although there were dangerous rip tide signs posted, a lone swimmer was in peril of being swept out to sea. As he began to drown, he screamed for help. Onlookers watched as a life guard flew into action and swam out to the drowning man. The small crowd that had gathered on the beach were all dumbfounded as the life guard circled the man several times, watching as the man bobbed up and down in the waves. Finally, the life guard swooped him up from behind and began dragging the helpless man toward the beach. The life guard brought the man out of harms way, administered CPR, and turned him over to paramedics that took the recovering man to a local hospital for observation. Finally, someone in the small crowd asked the question they all wanted to know: "Why did you circle the man several times before rescuing him?" The life guard replied, "The man was much bigger than me. I needed him to exhaust himself of trying to save himself, otherwise he might have pulled both of us under". Only when he was spent, was I sure that we both could make it back safely".
To continue with this analogy, the majority of the world will continue to play it safe in the tranquil waters around the beach. Many will only venture in ankle or knee deep. They don't consider themselves "sinners" needing salvation. We see these folks around us everyday. Many of these folks go to church every Sunday, they pay tithes, and some may even sing in the choir. They judge themselves by others stating, "I'm a pretty good person that doesn't do a whole lot of wrong!". These are not the people that the Lord can easily help. They are self-sufficient and have relied on themselves for years and years. Then, there are others who, for whatever reason, venture out from the safe confines of the tranquil waters around the beach. Before long, they feel the currents of this world wooing them into deeper waters. Around them they see the playful waves of sin that entice them to continue out where there is more and more excitement. Soon, however, they find themselves overcome by the surf as it pounds down around them. The foam and the mist that was playfully enticing a few moments earlier has now become a force to be reckoned with as it covers their heads and draws on their bodies to carry them further and further out to sea.
Many of us can relate to this dire situation. When all seems lost, we are now at the place where God can truly save us. We are over our heads in sin and without the power to resolve our own rescue. Then, our Savior can truly have His way with us, for He SEES that we are spent and despairing of any salvation other than what He can afford us. Until we are in that most untenable situation, there is little He can do. For truly, God is calling to the weak, not to the strong. He desires a person, a church, and a people that have despaired of living by their own power and have relinquished all thoughts of their own salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ's greatest desire is to pull all of us on to that proverbial beach and resuscitate us, giving us life once again that we had lost hope of ever enjoying. He seeks to REVIVE His people, first as individuals and then as the Body of Christ to send us forth as witnesses of God's saving power from the Ocean of Despair. Have you been resuscitated and revived by the Lord Jesus Christ? Or are you one that has never seen your own need of rescue? May those of us who find ourselves in the throes of the Sea of Despair, may we cry out to Him who SEES when our strength is gone. For only then, can we truly be saved!
Lord Jesus, You are the hope of our salvation from the tempest of sin. For truly, when our strength is gone, we need Your salvation. Have mercy on us and bring us safely to Your Shore of Deliverance. For only when we are weak are we truly strengthened by the might of your loving arms to carry us safely home. In Your Precious Name, Amen.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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