This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. –Psalms 34:6-7
Scripture Reading: Psalm 34:15-22
Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were three Hebrew men who experienced an awesome deliverance by God. You probably know them as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego-the three friends of Daniel. They refused to worship the false god of Nebuchadnezzar. They were willing to burn rather than bow!
Yet we find their curious reply to the Babylonian king was one of bold confidence, a declaration of faith in the deliverance of the Almighty. They didn’t know if they would be delivered, or would be burned alive in the furnace. But they knew with all certainty that if God desired to deliver them, He could and would! They knew for a fact that it was not God’s will for them to worship an idol.
They could have burned that day. But God proved His awesome power by burning off their bonds and setting the captives free. And when Nebuchadnezzar looked, he saw a fourth man walking in the fire! There must have been something very special about the fourth man-as the king stated he was “like the son of God.” That fourth man is still there for those being sorely tried. For some, He brings deliverance. For others, He brings a supernatural grace to endure their hardship even unto death.
King Darius wondered if Daniel’s God would spare him from the lions. Honoring Daniel’s integrity, Darius declared, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” (Dan. 6:16) But we find Darius struggled with his faith, as he returned to his chamber and was unable to sleep, and then rose very early and went to see if Daniel was alive. In fact, Daniel probably got more sleep than Darius that night!
Will God even deliver the rebellious and disobedient? Consider God’s patience and love in the life of the prophet, Jonah. With the Lord, you can run, but you can’t hide!
- What circumstances lead up to Jonah’s cry for deliverance? Jonah 1:1-13.
- What prayer beseeching God for His mercy and understanding did the sailors’ pray? Jonah 1:14; (see also Ps.115:3)
- Where did Jonah end up then? Jonah 1:15-17.
- How do we know from the opening of Jonah’s prayer that he was in agony in the fish’s belly? Jonah 2:1-2; Psalm 88:1-5.
- Does Jonah acknowledge that it wasn’t actually the sailors who got him into his predicament? Jonah 2:3-4; Psalm 88:6-7.
- How deep in despair did Jonah feel? Jonah 2:5-6; Psalm 88:8; Luke 22:44; Matthew 27:45-46.
- How did Jonah exalt God’s mercy and salvation in his prayer? Jonah 2:7-9.
- What was the result of Jonah’s plea? Jonah 2:10-3:2.
Perhaps you or someone close to you is in need of God’s deliverance. Jonah lacked in obedience, and it led him into dire trouble. Yet, Jonah had faith in God to hear his prayer and bring deliverance to him. Jesus told his disciples that faith moves mountains. Have you put your faith and prayers to work? God will hear those of a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 34:18; 51:16-17). Seek God from the depths of your broken and repentant heart – God will deliver!
If you are interceding in prayer for someone else’s deliverance, be faithful! Stand in the gap, keep believing – your prayers do make a difference. God hears those pleas for help. Prayer and faith combined is an awesome spiritual catalyst. Don’t faint, the answer is soon to come.