“Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” 2 Corinthians 1:10 (KJV)
I remember my very first experience with a rip current. It was in June 1995 at Fort Lauderdale Beach. My wife and her sister accompanied me on some business with the Broward County School System. Before engaging in my business with Broward schools, we elected to entertain a beach excursion. We were not as enlightened as your everyday beach person so both the environment and the experience were new to us.
Our eyes enthusiastically embraced the ocean, sun and the palm trees. It was indeed an incredible Chamber of Commerce “Postcard Day!” We also noticed a red flag waving at us enthusiastically, so we were encouraged by the welcome. Because we were novice beach-goers we were oblivious to warning of the red flag with respect to rip currents. Needless to say, our fun in the sun became a considerable concern. It was not long before that warm welcome was wrestled away by the wind of worry. We were only about ten yards or so from the shore when my wife noticed that she was being pulled out to the ocean. She could not get back to shore!
Little did we know the height and gravity of the peril in which we found ourselves. The rip current was carrying its prey to sea. I am absolutely persuaded that the power of God provided me with the strength to prevail over the panic, exceed the exhaustion and rescue my wife from the rip current.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches. They typically extend from near the shoreline, through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves. (The surf zone is the area between the high tide level on the beach to the seaward side of breaking waves.) People perish when they are pulled offshore and are unable to keep themselves afloat or swim to shore. This may be connected to any combination of things including fear, panic, exhaustion, or a poor swimming skill set. Rip currents are a considerable surf zone hazard to all beachgoers. They have the capacity to carry a champion swimmer out to sea.
Now let’s consider a spiritual application for this discussion on rip currents. Have you ever given consideration that we were rescued by the redeemer from the rip current of rebellion? Before coming to Christ (B.C.), we reveled in our rebellion, cemented ourselves in carnality, stood strong in our self-sufficiency and advanced and attached ourselves to autonomy! Listen to what the Scriptures have to say about this state:
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” Psalms 2:2-3 (KJV)
Now let’s consider the application for exoneration and liberation from the flesh and conformation to the image of the Son. In viewing our culture today, you will note that we have self-appointed and elected leaders (Government) that consult with each other to arrogantly align themselves against Almighty God and His Anointed (the Messiah also known as Jesus Christ). It is the goal of the flesh to sever our connection to His laws and principles as we seek to be subject to no authority but our own.
“He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.” Psalms 66:7 (KJV, emphasis added)
The rebellious rip current of the culture pulls us to our ruin and eternal destruction. However, when we call out for help, the earthly rulers, kings and politicians cannot pull us out of the rebellious rip current. Neither can we deliver ourselves due to our fear, panic, emotional and physical exhaustion or, most importantly, deliver ourselves from our sentence of death due to our sins. Our opening text emphatically echos that the Lord Jesus personally took it upon Himself to rescue us from the rebellious rip current that was pulling us to our death! Only the Lord Jesus can rescue us from the powerful pull of this world and our polluted passions!
For the Glory of God,