Deliverer - one who delivers, one who sets free
Before I can think of a characteristic of God as a Deliverer I need to understand what it means to be delivered. I don't think it's the Fed-Ex term or the way a mother delivers a baby in childbirth.
Remember the Lord's Prayer? You know the one, Christians worldwide say it and know it from the time they are small and can lisp the words in their little voices. It starts out, Our Father who art in heaven...
Today's letter, D, is based on the deliver that Jesus taught in that prayer, "Deliver us from evil."
I looked up first, as I always do, the English definition, which there were several, to define deliver. Then I went to the Greek and found that the word deliver in this passage is rhyomai, which means to rescue, deliver. But it doesn't stop there, it actually is more of a word picture that is amazingly accurate for some of the evil that He has rescued me from and perhaps you too.
Rhyomai means to draw, drag along the ground. To draw or snatch from danger, rescue.
Now, when I read that, immediately a host of movies and tv shows that I've seen showing a rescue of any sort went flashing across my mind. Rescues from fires, from floods, from bad guys shooting at someone, hanging onto a lifting helicopter - think Rambo, Aaahrnold, Forest Gump in Vietnam, Backdraft, do I need to go on or are you getting the picture?
See, when Jesus told his disciples how to pray, and they passed it on to us through the centuries, he wasn't talking about delivering us from opening that refrigerator door in the middle of the night by tapping us on the hand and say, "uh, do you realllly need that?" No! He is grabbing us, pulling us, rescuing us, dragging us away from the evil that we are constantly bombarded in and with.
When we ask for him to deliver us he is going Rambo on that request, not Barney Fife-ing it. The evil we nonchalantly wink at and ask him to deliver us from is the evil that brings out his big weapons. I dare say, and some may not like this, but I can see him dragging me (us) by our arm while we're kicking and screaming, "It's really not that bad of a sin...can't I please stay in it?"
He is a Deliverer, delivering us, rescuing us, snatching us, dragging us from the grips of evil. He told us to pray it, and we do, or maybe our lips say it rote and our hearts are thinking about something else.......but I digress.
Does it feel sometimes like God has ripped something out of your hands that you thought was good or at the least okay, forever to be gone or not accessible again? Maybe, just maybe he was dragging you away from the evil that seemingly was so innocent, to protect you from what really would have led you into the evil that could have brought you greater harm than good.
The Apostle Paul saw the walk of faith as a fight, a good fight. He didn't just become a believer and walk along the way, whistling a hymn, he fought. A good fight. I have a quote written in the margin of my Bible near 2 Timothy 4:7 - "We run our race well not by refusing to wrestle but by keeping the faith. We'll go into heaven with leaves in our hair and on our backs." Paul probably had a few leaves in his hair when he entered the gates of heaven and we may too.
Our Deliverer, Jesus Christ, is serious about delivering us from evil. It's not just a phrase in a memorized prayer. He delivers and continues to deliver us. 2 Corinthians 1:10 says, "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and he will rhyomai us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to rhyomai us."
Luke 1:68, 74-75 - "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and redeemed his people....to rescue (rhyomai) us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days."
D is for Deliverer.