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God Is Our Savior, Part 1
Characteristics of God, God is a Provider
When was a time in your life when you needed to be saved? Were you in a bad situation and you needed your parents or a teacher or friend to come rescue you? Or maybe you had car trouble and you were in danger of being hit on the side of the road. What happened in that situation? Who came to save you?
Now think about your spiritual life. Do you recognize that because of your sin, you need saving? Who are you counting on to save you? Do you think that you can be saved by being a “good” person? Or are you counting on money, success, power, or popularity to save you? What about Jesus? Have you called on him to be your Savior?
The last few weeks, we’ve touched on a central theme in the Bible—salvation. Jesus came to earth to be our Savior and to save us from our sins. But this idea of our Savior and salvation goes so much deeper than that when you really study Scripture. The Old Testament and the New Testament have a different focus when it comes to this topic. In the Old Testament, the focus is on God the Father as our Savior. In the New Testament, the focus is on Jesus as our Savior. We’ll look at these topics over the next three weeks.
Part 1: God the Father as Savior: Physical Salvation
Part 3: Jesus as Savior
God the Father as Savior
Looking through the verses about God as our Savior, the verses are essentially divided into two categories: physical salvation and spiritual salvation. Sometimes, the verses appear to have a double meaning and apply to both of these categories. Other times, the verses clearly speak to one or the other. This week, we’ll focus on physical salvation.
Throughout the Old Testament, God acted as Israel’s Savior. What did he save them from? Most of the time, it was a physical enemy—think about the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and other oppressors. For example, after the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea when they were delivered from Egypt, Moses and the Israelites sang this song in Exodus 15:1-2:
1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.
2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
David is another person who often focused on God as his Savior. David was often pursued by enemies, particularly Saul. David wrote these words when God delivered him from the hand of Saul and his other enemies:
Psalm 18:2: The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:35: You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
Psalm 18:46: The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
Elsewhere in the Psalms, the focus is not on a specific enemy but simply on wicked people in general, such as in Psalm 37:39–40:
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
Not only did God save people from their enemies, he also saved them from their earthly troubles and afflictions.
Psalm 34:6: This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalm 69:29: But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect me.
This focus on saving people from earthly or physical situations is primarily in the Old Testament when God was very active on this earth on behalf of Israel. He often stepped in to save them to preserve the line of Israel, through which he would send the ultimate Savior—Jesus. But saving us from trouble physically is not the main point of God being our Savior. The main point of God being our Savior is to save us spiritually. Come back next week to learn about God’s spiritual salvation!
Each individual characteristic of God study will come with two resources: a word search just for fun (including an answer key), and a list of verses for if you want to investigate that individual characteristic of God more completely.
You can access these resources by clicking here: God Is Our Savior Resources