Provocative Devotion: Psalm 49:13-15 “Rescued by God”

13 This is the path of those who have foolish confidence;
    yet after them people approve of their boasts.[b] Selah
14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
    death shall be their shepherd,
and the upright shall rule over them in the morning.
    Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
15 But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol,
    for he will receive me. Selah

From time to time we see the stories of someone being rescued from captivity. It can be a group of soldiers being held prisoner in a Japanese prison camp as depicted in The Great Raid, or it may be a group of young girls kidnapped and held for years in a Cleveland suburb. No matter the circumstances there is always this sense of helplessness on the part of those who are being held captive. They have no way to rescue themselves. Their only hope is that someone on the outside has not forgotten them and is determined to find them and free them. When that rescue comes, the shock, joy, delight, tears, and smiles are all evident at the same moment on the faces of the rescued. Their gratitude towards their rescuers is immense. Their devotion to them is life long.

Psalm 49 reminds us that we are all hostages. We are all held captive to sin and death. No matter your station in life, you will eventually die. You will be consumed. There is no way out, nothing you can do to change your circumstances. You are indeed utterly helpless. Your only hope is in an outside rescuer. Verse 15 points to that rescuer. God can ransom your soul. It is what He has done through Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.  Our problem is we don’t always recognize the reality of our captivity. We have always lived captive to our sin and death and that somehow seems normal. We need to awaken to the fat that our lives had an expiration date and because of our sin and rebellion against God we will spend eternity in captivity. But because of His great love for us, God has never forgotten our need and provides for it if only we would trust in Him.

Recognizing that you are rescued by God, that Jesus went to the cross for you, should result in shock, joy, delight, tears and smiles. It should result in love for God and a lifelong devotion to Him. I need to remind myself everyday that Jesus went to the cross so I might live and I need to live for Him above all else.

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