Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. — Ps 91:3
God delivers His people from the snare of the fowler in two senses. From, and out of.
First, He delivers them from the snare—He does not let them enter it.
Secondly, if they should be caught therein, He delivers them out of it.
The first promise is the most precious to some; the second is the best to others.
“He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler.” How?
Trouble is often the means whereby God delivers us. God knows that our backsliding will soon end in our destruction, and He in mercy sends the ‘rod’. We say, “Lord—why is this?” not knowing that our trouble has been the means of delivering us from far greater evil. Many have been thus saved from spiritual ruin—by their sorrows and their crosses; these have frightened the birds from the snare of the fowler.
At other times, God keeps His people from the snare of the fowler by giving them great spiritual strength, so that when they are tempted to do evil, they say, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
But what a blessed thing it is that if the believer shall, in an evil hour, come into the net—yet God will bring him out of it! O backslider, be cast down but do not despair. Wanderer though you have been, hear what your Redeemer says, “Return, O backsliding children; I will have mercy upon you!” But you say you cannot return, for you are a captive. Then listen to the promise, “Surely He shall deliver you out of the snare of the fowler!” You shall yet be brought out of all evil into which you have fallen and though you shall never cease to repent of your ways—yet He who has loved you will not cast you away; He will receive you, and give you joy and gladness, that the bones which He has broken may rejoice. No bird of paradise shall die in the fowler’s net!
Martha was cumbered about much serving. — Luke 10:40
Her fault was not that she served—the condition of a servant well befits every Christian. “I serve,” should be the motto of all the princes of the royal family of heaven. Nor was it her fault that she had “much serving.” We cannot do too much. Let us do all that we possibly can; let head, and heart, and hands, be engaged in the Master’s service. It was no fault of hers that she was busy preparing a feast for the Master. Happy Martha, to have an opportunity of entertaining so blessed a guest; and happy, too, to have the spirit to throw her whole soul so heartily into the engagement. Her fault was that she grew “cumbered with much serving,” so that she forgot Him, and only remembered the service. She allowed service to override communion, and so presented one duty—stained with the blood of another.
We ought to be Martha and Mary in one—we should do much service, and have much communion at the same time. For this we need great grace. It is easier to serve—than to commune. Joshua never grew weary in fighting with the Amalekites; but Moses, on the top of the mountain in prayer, needed two helpers to sustain his hands! The more spiritual the exercise—the sooner we tire in it. The choicest fruits—are the hardest to rear. The most heavenly graces—are the most difficult to cultivate.
Beloved, while we do not neglect external things, which are good enough in themselves, we ought also to see to it that we enjoy living, personal fellowship with Jesus. See to it that sitting at the Savior’s feet is not neglected, even though it is under the specious pretext of doing Him service. The first thing for our soul’s health—the first thing for His glory and the first thing for our own usefulness—is to keep ourselves in perpetual communion with the Lord Jesus, and to see that the vital spirituality of our piety, is maintained over and above everything else in the world.