Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt you were trapped and there was no escape route? Imagine that you and some friends decide to spend a Saturday exploring local caves. Before entering the cave you put on all your personal protective gear, put fresh batteries in your flashlights, and obtained the most current cave survey map to guide you through the tunnels and passages. You are well prepared to go into the caves. After several hours in the caves you are ready to head back to daylight, only to find that you have somehow dropped the map and you are not sure which tunnel to take to safely get you back out of the cave. On top of that, the batteries in your flashlights have run out, so it is extremely dark in that cave. In that moment, fear sets in and you feel trapped inside the cave with no way out. Sometimes in life we have that same fear or panic when we feel threatened or something does not go as planned and we find ourselves feeling scared and trapped.
The Bible tells us that God is always faithful, ready to throw a lifeline to those who are in danger. In Psalm 18 King David so beautifully describes how God rescued him from the hand of his enemies. The psalm starts off in the first three verses with praise to God for who He is. The next two verses go on to tell of the extreme danger David faced, and by the language he used, it sounds real and imminent. Maybe you face a real threat today and these words speak of your fear – “The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me (vv. 4-5).”
Verse 6 tells us that David cried out for help and that God heard his cry – “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.”
In verses 7-15 we read that God came to David’s rescue. And in verses 16-19 we read these wonderful words – “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes who were too strong for me. They confronted me in my day of disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
The rest of this psalm narrates the grounds for God’s help (vv. 20-29), continues with a recounting of God’s rescue (vv. 30-45), and finishes up with a doxology in verses 46-50. With a few minor variations in wording and phrasing, this rescue narrative is also found in 2 Samuel 22.
So, when you find yourself deep inside a dark and wet cave with no place to turn, call out to God, reach for his lifeline, and trust that He is capable of bringing you into a spacious place.
New Bern, North Carolina