And The Lord Delivered Me
And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Genesis 41:50-52
Joseph, the psalmist and Apostle Paul testified that ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.’ God’s word is true:
“And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him “and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Acts 7:9-10
But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra-what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 2 Timothy 3:10-11
Yes, God remains the great Deliverer who delivered the children of Israel out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey. By His strong hand and mighty judgments He delivered them from the greatest power on earth and spoiled them with the wealth of Egypt. When they left they plundered the Egyptians. The bible records:
And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:36
It wasn’t the first or last time that God would enable His people to plunder their enemies. Under the reign of King Asa who cried out to God when an army of a million men came against them God turned the battled around and they plundered their enemies:
Then Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. So Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”
So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the LORD and His army. And they carried away very much spoil. Then they defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD came upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them. They also attacked the livestock enclosures, and carried off sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 14:9-15
Mind you the reverse also happened, when the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger, He allowed their enemies to plunder them. The bible records:
They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them.
Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do so. And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice, “I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, “so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.” Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out immediately; nor did He deliver them into the hand of Joshua. Judges 2:13-23
The moral of the story is that the Battle is the Lord’s and depending on how His people obey Him or disobey Him, He can make them to enjoy the plunder of their enemies or be plundered by their enemies. He is the God in heaven who rules over all and in His hand there is power and might so that no one is able to withstand Him. His word is unchanging;
Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court and said: “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? “And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us-sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine-we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’
“And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir-whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them- “here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 2 Chronicles 20:5-12
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:13
The Good News is that for those who trust in and call upon the Lord, the battle is the Lord’s and He will fight all their battles for them and give them the victory. Hence they are not be afraid nor dismayed for the LORD is with them. And if God is for them who can be against them as King Jehoshaphat could testify when the LORD fought against their enemies:
Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much. And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the LORD; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day.
Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD.
And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around. 2 Chronicles 20:22-29
No matter what the affliction or who is the cause of the affliction, for we do have an enemy who walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour, the LORD remains to His trusting ones their strength and their fortress, their refuge in the day of affliction. His word is unchanging:
You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard. Psalm 22:23-24
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:19
And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Luke 7:21
Yes, Joy comes in the morning, Yes many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all. God’s word did not say half or most of them. God always makes a way out. God always rescues. God always has an escape route and is faithful to bring us out. The word “afflictions” means: adversity, distress, tribulation, persecution, depression, misery, trouble, and pressure. God never guarantees us that we will be exempt from adversity. He does guarantee to always bring us out. His word is true:
…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
Yes, the sun comes up on a new day, Joy comes in the morning. It may seem like a long night, but the night cannot last forever. The sun is coming up on our new day. The Sun of Righteousness is rising with healing in His wings (beams) and we shall go forth and grow up as calves released from the stall (Malachi 4:2). As sure as the sun comes up every morning, our deliverance is on the way. The earth is constantly turning on its axis. Even when we cannot feel it, the earth is moving, rotating, and turning. Even though we may not feel like it, our situation is turning right now. It may seem dark now, but something is happening, things are turning, the morning is certain, the sun is rising… JOY COMETH!! HEALING COMETH!! BLESSING COMETH!! MONEY COMETH!! FAITH COMETH!! YES THERE IS A TURNING POINT. God’s word is true:
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, Psalm 30:11
We are at a turning point. It may seem difficult, but things are turning around for us. God is turning our depression into a celebration, our defeat into victory, our sickness into health, our poverty into prosperity, our lack into abundance and our sorrows into joy. It is time to change clothes. It is time to dance and rejoice. God wants to dress us up in joy. We are to put on our shouting clothes! God’s word is true:
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. -Isaiah 61:3
Yes, God has appointed this deliverance for us. We have a destined date with the blessing of the Lord. What seemed to be burned and ruined, God is turning into something beautiful. He is anointing us with joy. The anointing breaks every yoke and lifts every burden and makes us laugh at the enemy. We can count it all joy. God is giving us a garment of praise. There is great deliverance in the garment of praise. We can put it on right now. Keep it on. Praise God. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. He never fails to plan the best things for us. His word is true:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You! Psalm 84:11-12