Psalm 30:1-3 - I will extol You, O LORD, for You have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You have healed me. O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
When Daniel was thrown into a pit, a den of lions, his foes rejoiced. King Darius, the ruler of the Medes and Persians, had forbidden prayer to any god or man except himself. Even under the threat of death, the Jewish exile Daniel remained faithful to the God of Israel. Daniel's enemies betrayed him, and the faithful Israelite was sentenced to death. The king, who respected Daniel, said, "May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you" (Daniel 6:16b). God delivered His servant, and Daniel was drawn up unharmed "from among those who go down to the pit." The king, impressed with the power of the God who shut the mouths of lions, decreed, "He is a living God ... He delivers and rescues" (Daniel 6:26b, 27a).
God came to earth to live among us, to deliver and rescue us from enemies far more deadly than hungry lions. Jesus, God the Son, was, like Daniel, betrayed and condemned by His enemies. According to God's plan for our salvation, the faithful Son was nailed to the cross. His opponents mocked Him, as His ancestor David described long before, "They open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion" (Psalm 22:13). Unlike Daniel, Jesus was not saved from death. Our Lord took onto Himself the penalty of death that we deserved for our sins. He went down into Sheol, the place of the dead. His body was taken down from the cross and sealed in the pit of a tomb. But on the first Easter morning, Jesus was raised from the dead, brought up from Sheol, and restored "to life from among those who go down to the pit!"
The foes of sin, death, and Satan cannot rejoice over us because in Baptism we are buried with Jesus and drawn up with Him, raised to new life. We are healed from our sins through the forgiveness Jesus won for us on the cross. Restored to new life in our Savior, we follow in His steps, witnesses to the living God who delivers and rescues from sin and death.
When our Lord Jesus returns on the Last Day, all who trust in Him will be raised from death as He was raised. As the apostle John writes of our Lord's Second Coming, "We know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2b). On that day we will be restored to life, body and soul, never to die again. Death, the last enemy, will be destroyed forever. With all the saints, we will praise the living God who delivered and rescued us: "I will extol You, O LORD, for You have drawn me up ... You restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit!"
THE PRAYER: God and Savior, You have drawn me up to walk in newness of life. Lead me by Your Spirit to share Your love with others. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do you know anyone who has a courageous and trusting faith like Daniel's?
2. What do you think John means when he says, "We know that when He appears we shall be like Him"?
3. When was the last time God brought you up out of a pit?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"