Rescue: to free from confinement, danger, or evil : save; deliver
Thought for the Day: In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me. Psalm 71:2
When I see the word rescue my mind automatically goes to those who work for the fire departments and the tremendous life saving measures they employ when called to extinguish a fire. Many times, people are trapped and need to be rescued and firefighters immediately go into action to save them. Or the police departments, when someone is held hostage, they instantly go towards the problem to aid in delivering the captive. I can’t help but remember years ago when 18-month-old Jessica McClure, nicknamed “Baby Jessica,” fell into a well in Midland, Texas, on Oct. 14, 1987. She had been trapped in a dogleg in the shaft 22 feet below the surface. After emergency responders in the city known for oil drilling dropped a microphone into the well and heard her voice, drilling began. The entire town came out to work together until she was set free.
In today’s society we hear the term rescue also associated with animals. Animals that have been mistreated are rescued and put up for adoption. The advertisements are numerous with the faces and conditions from which these animals were liberated. Bottom line, the definition of rescue is a term surrounded with positivity. To rescue is to free someone or something from confinement, danger or evil, just as Webster determined in their dictionaries.
But what about the Biblical view of rescue as written in Psalm 71:2? Most individuals would comment from what do they need rescued? What deliverance needs to be enacted? What saving measures? Okay, let’s go back to the firefighter. It’s a raging fire and you are caught inside. Breathing is becoming difficult; the smoke is burning your eyes and you simply can’t find a window or door. The firefighter calls out to find your location, and you respond as best you can with a weakened voice. All of a sudden you see a hand reaching through the smoke and though disoriented, you grab onto his hand for dear life. The firefighter lifts you into his arms because your entire body is spent and carries you out into the open…fresh air, medical personnel and the ability to fill your lungs with life giving oxygen. I would not hesitate to comment this is one time in your life you will never forget, and this firefighter will always hold a very special place in your heart for saving and delivering you from death.
Dear reader, this is exactly what Christ Jesus did for you. Bear with me as I use this analogy to bring about an extremely important point. As humans, we find ourselves in a raging worldly fire that is burning out of control. It began as a spark of doubt concerning the Lord Jesus as God’s Son and Satan got a foothold into your mind. Satan hates anything that has to do with Jesus Christ and has convinced you although a man by the name of Jesus did live on this earth, he died because he was spreading lies about being the Son of God. He was crucified, died and was buried. End of story.
But Jesus isn’t dead. Jesus conquered death as he spent three days in the tomb making sure there would be no doubt breath had left his body and he would be declared dead by doubters. However, at the conclusion of those three days the massive stone placed at the tomb’s entrance rolled away and Jesus walked out of that grave giving victory over eternal death. Of course, if you disregard the entire New Testament, including the testimonies of those, 500 in number, that saw him following his resurrection, it probably will not sway your erroneous opinion.
However, my belief and the belief of countless Christian followers of the Lord Jesus Christ can be inserted into this fire analogy. Those who need rescuing are caught in a “fire” of worldly opinions, thoughts and unbelief regarding Jesus, God’s Son. That unbelief will eventually have such a hold on your heart that you will begin to block out this truth. First, it will be in small doses and eventually become habitual; no prayer, no reading of the Bible, no thanking God for life or food, no attending community worship until all efforts to include Christ in your life will be replaced with worldly activities, reading materials, and the self-reasoning that you don’t need God at all.
But the day will come as you get to a point of not being able to breathe in God’s goodness or you lose total focus on God’s mercy, He will call out to you extending His hand of deliverance and rescue. All it takes is for you to respond and take His hand because He continually listens to hear your voice. He will lift you in His arms regardless of how you got into that burning house of self-doubt and disbelief and bring you into the light of His love and deliverance. Any chains you felt will be broken. The greatest part of this analogy? Like the firefighter that saves an individual from a burning house, no repayment is necessary. You know why? Because Jesus paid it all when he stretched out his hands and took any punishment we could ever face. All he asks us to do is to pay it forward!
Jesus Christ is our rescuer; everyone…anytime…anywhere…
Thank you, Lord, for providing our payment in full for sin when you suffered, died and was buried on the cross…what a rejoicing in heaven occurred when you walked out of that grave! Amen!
Judith "Cookie" White is the founder of The Sounding Board Ministry. She is the author of two devotional books which are available on this site.