“For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears and my feet from falling.”
His is not a partial salvation, but complete in every way—both in life and death.
How thankful we should be the anonymous author of today’s Manna wasn’t some ivory-towered writer, hidden away somewhere and sheltered from the pains and problems we all face. It’s easy to wax eloquently on God’s sufficient Grace when everything’s going well; it’s another thing when everything’s falling apart and your heart’s been ripped out by its roots.
Evidently the psalmist had been or was going through a difficult time. His description of his dire straits in v.3 is quite stark, revealing how “the sorrows of death had compassed him about and the pains of hell (Heb. ‘sheol’—‘the shadowy place of the dead, pit, grave, etc.’) got hold upon him as he found only trouble and sorrow.”
Does this mean he was sick and near the point of death himself? Or, did he have a loved one who’d just died. . .leaving so quickly there was no time to say “Goodbye”. . .and now he’s struggling in an ocean-full of tears to keep his head above water because of his heavy weight of sorrow?
It doesn’t really matter, does it?
No, not at all.
What matters is his knowing the Lord God “had heard his voice and supplications and inclined His ear unto him” (vv.1b-2a). How dark the night when Heaven’s Door seems closed and the Father’s ears unhearing; yet, how comforting to know the Lord Jesus is our Immanuel—a “very Present Help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1)—and still makes house calls.
Dear Pilgrim, our God “is a gracious God and quite merciful” in our hour of need (v.5). Unexpected calamities may “lay us low” (v.6b), but the “God of all comfort” (II Cor. 1:3) is right there with us, even when we first hear of or experience them to “preserve (Heb. ‘shamar’—‘to hedge about as with thorns, protect, guard as a watchman, etc.’) us and return us to our rest as He deals bountifully with us” (vv.6-7).
Truly, He will “deliver our souls from death” (its clutches and curse). . .“our eyes from tears” (by catching them in His Bottle—Ps. 56:8). . .and “our feet from falling” (when we’re on the slippery slope of perplexity and despair or feeling faint through the weight of it all—Ps. 73). By faith, we will “walk before the Lord in the land of the living” (v.9), even if it be “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4).
Even in those times when we are “greatly afflicted” (v.10b) and say things hastily we normally wouldn’t say (v.11), we still lift high “the shield of faith” (Eph. 6:16) and say “I believe” (v.10a). And, even though every fiber of our being doesn’t feel like doing so, we still will ourselves to say “O Lord, truly I am Your servant. . .I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon Your Name . . .and I will pay my vows (i.e., continue serving You in loving obedience) even now in the presence of all Your People” (vv.16-18). Why not pause right now and thank the Lord Jesus for His tender Love and Salvation?
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 3, 2010