NOTEworthy May 9

Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel

Traditional, arr. Moses Hogan

Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel
Deliver Daniel, deliver Daniel?
Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel
Then why not every man?

He delivered Daniel from the lion’s den
Jonah from the belly of the whale
And the Hebrew children from the fiery furnace
Then why not every man?

Deliverance. It’s a big topic in the Bible. As mentioned in this week’s spectacular choir anthem, we see it in the story of Daniel, the story of Jonah, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and just about every other Old Testament story. Most importantly, we experience it for ourselves in our own faith journeys towards Christ.

Clearly, deliverance is a significant part of our faith, but how does it affect how we live our lives?

It seems like deliverance works on different levels, and so it needs to be addressed it on different levels, too. There is deliverance from suffering and earthly pain and sorrows, and then there is spiritual deliverance.

I have to admit that in my life of faith, the knowledge of my own spiritual deliverance….well…has not always inspired me to work my hardest at living out my faith. I thought, “Well, I’m set,” and would set my spiritual journey on Cruise Control until something snapped me out of it – often an earthly trial which made me thirst for earthly deliverance.

In this way, these two types of deliverance are interconnected. The deliverance from Earthly troubles can remind us of our need for spiritual guidance and deliverance as well, but we rarely take the time to let the influence run from the top down.

What I mean: Our spiritual deliverance can inspire us to live fully and intentionally for Christ while we are still waiting for some type of Earthly deliverance. More specifically, our knowledge that Christ is for us should inspire us to act on our best impulses and pursue our best selves even when we do not find ourselves in our best circumstances.

This type of thinking isn’t some “God helps those who help themselves” axiom to get your butt in gear, but a reminder that if you truly do believe that God is for you, then He is in the good work that you are doing.

So do it.

So much of my own anxiety comes from the fear of my own reception: Are my words good enough? Is my music profound enough? Am I really the right person to do this task?

My inner monologue may give a million different answers. If I’m lucky, it might even say “Yes” every now and then.

But the God who delivered Daniel from the lion’s den, who delivered Jonah from the belly of the whale, who delivered the Hebrew children from the fiery furnace can deliver you, too.

Faith sometimes means acting when the results aren’t guaranteed, putting yourself out there when you feel you aren’t quite worthy, and putting good into the world even when your “good” seems inadequate.

You have been delivered. You are being delivered. You will be delivered. Amen.

He said,
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold and my refuge,
my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
2 Samuel 22:2-4

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4

Andy Eaton
Director of Music
First Presbyterian Church