I like to share my reflections and insights here and appreciate any comments or additions.
This is what I thought about today, March 19:
I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. Ps 118:17
This wonderful truth comes from the heart of a person, who has come to know God and who has experienced the help of God in his life. It is a life proven truth. It is a confession of faith formed by personal experience. What kind of experience might this have been? We can only assume that it was an experience with a lasting impact, a very meaningful experience. And it must also have been a terrifying experience – one that could cause despair and anguish. I see a hint for that in Verse 5, “In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free.”
May I suggest a few possible experiences?
In 1Samuel 17 we read of David, who dared to fight against Goliath when the army of his people were terrified to fight against that terribly big soldier. At first the more experienced soldiers wanted to keep David from facing Goliath. David was only a young shepherd. But that is not the whole truth. David also was a man who has experienced Gods help. David’s confidence and courage came from his trust in God and from his experiences of God’s help.
The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” 1. Sam 17:38
David was sure: When I fight against this big Philistine, “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.”
There is the king Hezekiah who became ill to the point of death. Worse even: He was told by the prophet Isaiah, “… you are going to die.” Isa 38:1 Hezekiah prayed. He did not want to die. Then the prophet came again in the name of the Lord to tell Hezekiah, “God says, I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria.” (V.5f) Hezekiah later said, “Surely it was for my benefit, that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” V.17 Hezekiah could also make Ps 118:17 his confession: “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.” Isn’t that absolutely amazing?! There is a man who was told by God, that he would die. And this man prayed and expected that even God might change His mind. The apostle Paul once said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom 8:21 Hezekiah believed, “If God is against me, yet I will hope and pray that He is for me again.”
And of course there is the experience of Jesus Christ Himself. He knew that He would die an early death. He also knew that He would live. He talked on various occasions openly about his near death and the resurrection. “They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” Mathew 17:23 (Compare also John 14:2f; 16:16) Jesus promised, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25f Jesus was convinced, that death has no power over him. He was convinced that death has no power over those who put their trust in Him. Jesus was convinced that His Father will raise Him from death. Jesus trusted His Father. “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.”
I want to be known as someone who talks about what God has done.
I want to be known as someone who trusts God and who counts on His help and love.
I want to be known as someone who believes that God is alive and well.
I want to be known as someone who is convinced at all times, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.” Ps 118:6
I want to be known as someone who expects God to help, to heal, to comfort, to show Himself as loving and faithful.
I want to be known as someone who makes every step and move with the conviction, “The Lord is with me to serve others and to bless others through me. For wherever I go, he Lord will go also.”