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He rescued me because He delighted in me [repost]

I preached Psalm 18:19  a while back.  And you know my first reaction as I was preparing?

Hmmm, tricky, how on earth should we understand this...?

I hope you're all saying: But why Glen - it seems perfectly straightforward.

Well, there's the slightly tricky part about how we take the verse on our own lips.  Clearly it's Christ speaking of His Father.  But once we're all happy to sing the Psalm in Christ then I hope you're all saying to yourselves: Glen, it's perfectly obvious.  The Lord saves us because He loves us. What could be difficult about that?

Ah, but you see I regularly fall into a foolish and horrible error - perhaps you're the same.  I start thinking that Jesus died so that God could love me.  I imagine that God saves in order to love.  He cleans me up a bit and then gives me His grace.  His atonement leads to love, (rather than love leading to the atonement).  Do you see my error?

And so when Psalm 18 spoke of the Lord delighting in me and therefore rescuing me?  Well it seemed backwards.  And so I really had to let the word confront me again.

Because in the Bible God loves the world and so sends the Son to save (John 3:16-17).  In the Bible it's 'because of His great love for us that God makes us alive', even when we were dead in sins (Eph 2:4).  In the Bible God demonstrates His own love for us in that Christ died for powerless, ungodly, sinful enemies (Rom 5:6-11).

Do you see what these verses are saying?  God loves and so He saves.  It does not say - God saves and so He loves.

Why's that important?  Well for one thing it means that Christ loves me - SINNER THAT I AM. It's not a case of Christ loving the saved me (though of course He does).  But it's the radical gospel truth that Christ has loved me at my putrid worst.  He doesn't clean me up in order to love me.  He loves me and so cleanses me through His atoning death.

Which means when I ask myself, 'Does God love me?' - I can look to the cross alone.  I don't have to check my own saved status.  I don't have to worry whether the cleansing has taken sufficient effect to allow me entrance into His affections.  I can simply look at Christ crucified and say - God loves me.  There is His demonstration - a love for sinners at war with Him.  He has not fixed His love on me at my best.  He has fixed His love on me at my worst.

My salvation - won through His blood alone - proves His love for me.  His love is not a bonus for the godly but is specifically aimed at enemies.  Such love is the very ground of all He does. If I'm looking at the Son lifted up on the cross then I'm seeing God's love for me because there I'm seeing my salvation.  This salvation in Christ is infallible proof of God's immovable, inexhaustible and unfathomable love for me.

He rescued me because He delighted in me. (Ps 18:19)

Christian, God speaks that word to you right now.  Believe it.

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0 thoughts on “He rescued me because He delighted in me [repost]

  1. David

    It is a hard message to hear and believe because it quite aggressively cuts against the grain of our performance-based sense of self-worth that comes from our "flesh". It literally nails our flesh to the cross!
    I don't know what you think of the preacher, Graeme Cooke, but he gives a prophetic word (here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEisSxR2cps) that I find ties in very well with what you've written here. The kind of love that you are both describing is like winning the lottery over and over.
    I think that atheists have got their unbelief all topsy-turvy: Christianity is unbelievable because it is SUCH outrageously good news that to believe it takes much more faith than simply believing in a god of some sort, which is dead easy. Believing that the Father loves me with the same love (in kind and degree) that he loves the Son blows my mind (not to mention my heart!). I am not allowed into his presence on sufferance and with conditions attached, but as a much loved son.

  2. Preschool yorba linda

    Just a lovely post....one paragraph of the post just straight touch to the heart "Which means when I ask myself, ‘Does God love me?...." Just love the sentence "He has not fixed His love on me at my best. He has fixed His love on me at my worst".what a true thinking it is.its increase our belief in God and teach us the real love of that higher power.

  3. Jay Kappel

    Glen, thank you for this post! While I agree with you on the principle of your post, and the Gospel message contained within it. I think that this verse may not be the best support for the message.

    In context, David is talking about God rescuing him from his enemies (including Saul). He declares in verse 19 that God rescued him because he delighted in him. Then in verse 20-24 he appears to tell why God delighted in rescuing him.

    Here, David points to his own righteousness and the cleanness of his own hands in God's sight. Today, we recognize that it's Christ's righteousness imputed to us which is the basis of for our Justification in God's sight.

    So, I don't think that verse 19 is referring to "being rescued" in the ultimate sense of justification before God, but from his present enemies. Once again, I agree with the Gospel your post proclaims, I just don't think the context of this verse refers to a sinner being saved, but rather to one of God's children being saved from present danger.

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