As we pray the Lord’s Prayer we come to that short line, “Deliver us from evil”. Do we ponder its meaning? Do we focus on its promise? Do we let it slide by as we rush on to the end of the prayer and forget those four words? O, what grace we find in them! He has delivering grace for us.
This word is first used in the Old Testament in regard to God’s children in relation to their deliverance from the bondage of Pharaoh. They were slaves with an evil task master who cared nothing for their welfare and even sought their death. Truly Pharaoh was a picture of Satan. The children of Israel cried out with groans that reached heaven and God delivered them from Pharaoh. He delivered them from evil. That was saving grace, but it wasn’t the end of delivering grace.
In the wilderness there was no water. God provided water from a rock, and the New Testament tells us that that Rock was Christ. In the wilderness there was no food. God provided them with manna from heaven. In the New Testament we learn that Jesus is the Bread of Life. In the wilderness there were no stores, but God provided for the people by causing what they had to not wear out. Jesus clothes us with the eternal robe of His righteousness and covers our feet with the eternal Gospel of peace. He delivers us from the evils of the wilderness by His watch care and love.
Still Satan lurks everyday to harm us. As Pharaoh chased the children of Israel even after they were set free, so Satan chases us. The wilderness of the world still confronts us with its many dangers. This world is no friend to the Gospel or to Christ. We ask from God’s gracious hand a simple blessing, deliver us from evil. In His grace God takes our hand in His and leads the way.
Martin Rinkart’s great hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” speaks of God’s wondrous deliverance in the second verse. His children had again been assailed by Satan’ forces, but prevailed.
“O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us. With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us; and keep us in His grace and guide us when perplexed, and free us from all ills, in this world and the next.”
The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend. Amen
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