To follow the narration, the words are displayed underneath each of the tracks below.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7)
Yahweh Mephalti! Now that is one of the names of God with which most of us may be less familiar, but it denotes an attribute that is central to Who He is and what He does: the One who delivers us. And how very much in need of deliverance the world is in these days when, whichever way we turn our gaze, we see violent and extremist influences and forces at work, and people in great need of help and rescue – and above all of knowing the saving power of the Lord Jesus.
From one end to the other, the Scriptures reveal the precious truth that our God is One who rescues. Deliverance is bound into the very name and saving ministry of Yeshua, the Lord Jesus Christ. He has redeemed us from the very real peril of eternal death, as well as from the many external challenges and internal bondages and blockages that we all face in the course of our pilgrimage.
It is a great joy to release this new and uplifting presentation of prayers and reflections around this significant theme – which I recorded with Elizabeth Hume (from our church) with the help, as always, of our wonderful sound engineer. These are truly ‘Songs of Deliverance,’ proclaiming the power of the One who has raised up so many men and women of faith throughout the course of human history, and who has enabled us to revel in Him even as He reveals more of His ways.
May these simple meditations play their part in making us all the more eager to call out to Him both on our own account, and on behalf of those who have no voice. Indeed, may they make us all the more willing for Him to thrust us out as those who will be counted among the multitude of those who have made their home in Christ, and who are used to bring deliverance and rescue to others in His name.
For the same strong hand and powerful arm with which Yahweh Mephalti Lord brought His people first out of Egypt and later back from Babylon, is the same lifegiving power that He used to raise His Son from the dead, and which is at work in us who believe. (Deut. 7:19; John 5:26; Eph. 1:19-20) Let’s add our voice to the great chorus and declaration of His power that is going out into the world and up into the heavenly places as churches in every corner of our planet sound forth songs of deliverance, reaffirming the Lordship of Jesus over all other powers.
Yahweh Mephalti – The Lord is My Deliverer (Part One)
May the Lord bless you as you listen.
You are Yahweh Mephalti
I love you, LORD;
You are my strength.
You are my rock, my fortress, and my saviour;
my loving God, stronghold and deliverer,
in whom I find protection.
You are my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I call to You LORD, for You are worthy of praise,
and so shall I be saved from my enemies . . .
(merging Ps. 18:1-3 with Ps. 144:2)
You are Yahweh Mephalti, God our Deliverer, the One who hears my cry for help and who makes it possible for me to keep moving forward. You heard the prayers of Jochebed as she launched her tiny son into the Nile, and then sent Pharoah’s daughter to adopt this Hebrew boy. What incredible revelations about Yourself, would have been missed had You not touched her heart to deliver baby Moses. (Ex. 2:1-10; 6:20)
You appointed him to lead Your people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, and then met with him on the holy mountain to reveal more of Your eternal ways.
Just as You sustained Moses during his 40 years in the wilderness, so he would shepherd his flock through the Wilderness of Sinai and finally stand on a mountain and see the land you were promising to your people. Thank You that, millennia later, he would stand with You, Yeshua, on the Mount of Transfiguration, together with Elijah, who had seen the great victory over the false prophets on Mount Carmel, to prepare for the greatest victory of all through the Cross over sin, and to enable each of one of us to die to our sinfulness so that we can walk with You in the power of Your resurrection. (Romans 6:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Galatians 2:19-20; Colossians 2:11-12; Romans 6:18; Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 5:14)
Again and again You delivered Your people from obstacles and dangers, whenever they sought Your face.
For You are Yahweh Mephalti, God of salvation, and to You belongs deliverance. (Ps. 68:20)
You demonstrated Your power when You brought the walls of Jericho crashing down, and You showed Your delivering mercy by rescuing Rahab in their midst of the chaos, and who raised up Cyrus to deliver Your people from exile in Babylon. You were the One who warned Joseph to take the infant Jesus and His mother to Egypt so that You might deliver Him from slaughter by King Herod.
It was You who preserved Paul from many attempts against his life, (2 Cor. 1:10) and it was You who rescued Peter from prison, not once but twice. What a difference Your interventions make – all the difference between victory and defeat, between hope and oppression. ‘You who answer prayer, to You all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions, and answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, O God our Savior.’ (Ps. 65:1-2,5)
Delivered by unseen Angels
Oh Jesus, thank You that it is Your constant labour of love to bring the good news of the Kingdom of God to those who are need of Your deliverance. (1 Samuel 25:28 & Rom. 5:17)
You take such care of all the details, and time them to perfection. I think of the occasion when Winston Churchill was entertaining three ministers at a dinner in Downing Street. He suddenly left the table during an air raid and went and ordered the kitchen staff to head immediately for the bomb shelter. Three minutes later, an explosion completely destroyed the kitchen they had been working in – but not one single person was injured. Praise You Lord God our Deliverer!
On another occasion, for the first and only time, Churchill ignored the door that was being held open for him to get into his car, and chose to walk round it and to get in on the other side instead. Moments later a bomb fell that lifted the car into the air and that would have caused him great damage had he been sitting in his usual place. Thank You that, as he later told his wife, an inner voice told him to STOP – and he obeyed it. And how vital that proved for delivering Britain from the Nazi menace.
You gave Richard Wurmbrand superhuman strength during the course of more than a decade in a Romanian prison, three years of which were spent in a dungeon thirty feet underground, bound with heavy chains and manacles, and being severely and frequently beaten for no other crime than loving and serving Christ.
Though he had no pen, paper or Bible, nor even the slightest sound or colour to cheer his spirits, You were with Him, Lord, and gave him the willingness to spend the night hours travelling the world in spirit, praying for one country after another for your power to break through – as well as to compose hundreds of sermons which he committed to memory and preached to an apparently empty cell, pouring forth from the extreme pressure on body mind and spirit that he was under.
Thank You that despite all the beatings, doping and brainwashing he gave himself no rest when he was finally set free until he had set these remarkable reflections down on paper.
And all the time You were doing a work of deliverance that reached far beyond his own life. Far across the world, also in solitary confinement in a prison cell in Canada, a backslidden Christian was sitting and crying out to the One who delivers: “Lord, if somewhere in the world there is another lonely prisoner who knows You, please bring me his thoughts.”
How creatively You answered His cry Lord, causing him to hear an inner voice telling him to ‘sit quietly and confidently’ – and then miraculously, night after night, to empower him to be able to hear sermons coming from a long way away, purely in the Spirit, which led him to repentance and a renewed faith. And then, after his release, You led him to discover Richard’s book Sermons in Solitary Confinement and recognised the very messages that he had heard!
Thank you, Yahweh Mephalti, that the unseen angels to whom Richard Wurmbrand preached night after night transported his sermons to others who were crying out to You. Thank You that he later received two other letters telling him that they too had heard his sermons in similar ways. And all the time You were preparing him for the vital ministry of mobilising western Christians to pray and act on behalf of suffering church in Communist countries.
Thank You that You do not forget the afflicted, (Ps. 10:12) but find ways to deliver people even in the most distressing of circumstances. Thank You for the prayers You inspire in the secret whispers of the night and the tucked away corners of the day. Thank You for those who feed the hungry and visit those who are sick and in prison, and who You use to bless and strengthen people by their very presence.
You are our strength, our rock, our fortress, our place of safety. You are worthy of praise and we love You, Lord.
Delivered from Deception
When we were dead in our sins, thank You Lord, that in Your great love for us, You, who are rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. It is by grace we have been saved! (Eph. 2:5) What a glorious truth! You set us free from our bondage to sin, and bind us securely in the ‘bundle of the living.’ (Rom. 7:25; 1 Sam. 25:29)
Thank You that our relationship with You is not dependent on our own efforts but by Your gift of grace through faith, and You empower us to respond in love with all of our heart and all of our soul, all of our mind and all of our strength. (Eph. 2:8; Mk. 12:30) You are wonderful!
You shepherd Your people with justice, and look for ways to bring back those who have strayed. You bandage up the hurt and the wounded, and You strengthen the weak and the sick. (Ezek. 34:16)
Lord Jesus, it was Your life and mission to seek that which is lost. Above all, You came to deliver us from the reality of an eternity of torment and horror. Dear Jesus, so many do not see it, do not believe it. So many reject any thought that they are in deadly peril.
Even Your own sheep do not believe it. We dare to think that we can sidestep the things You say I Your word, and refer to trust in our own assumptions about Heaven, and hell and the supernatural, just because we have not personally experienced some particular spiritual reality.
Our experience is so paltry, Lord, and so constrained by our own tiny perceptions Our unbelief cries out against. Forgive us, Father God. Open our eyes and often our hearts. Keep us reaching out to Your lost sheep with all diligence and gentle determination. Deliver us from deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. (1 Tim. 4:1; cf Matt. 24:4-5)
Yahweh Mephalti, You who sent Your Son to earth not only to deliver us from our sins, but to rescue us from both external dangers, and spiritual sideshows and deceptions of every kind. Keep us walking in the commandment of Your love so that we may not be deceived but instead receive the reward of those things we have worked for. (2 Jn. 1:7)
You see the satanic forces that are at work in the world today, Jesus, as the Deceiver moves into high gear, in the Church as well as in the world. You did not mince Your words in warning about what to watch out for, whether the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, end-time deceivers, any more than Paul did when he warned the Galatians that they had been “bewitched” into putting their faith in the flesh instead of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:1, 5) and by accepting immorality in the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 5:1) that you warned of when You delivered Your messages to the early churches in Revelation. (Rev. chapters 2 and 3)
It is Your unceasing labour and Your joy, Holy Spirit, to make unseen things and truths plain and visible. Jesus, You have revealed and made Yourself known to those Your Father gave You. (John 17:6) You deliver our soul from its spiritual blindness through a process of revelation until we reach a way of thinking and living that enables us to reach others, as the body of Christ moves in the fullness of the Spirit and in unity together.
Jesus, You invite us to partner with You in Your work, rescuing those who have been caught by alien doctrines and confused emotions have led astray and are holding in prey. May we strengthen and encourage one another in such a way that strongholds be demolished, unbelief banished, and ground be taken for Your Kingdom.
Make us vigilant in defending our unity, (John 17:23) for the more we are in You the less we will puff ourselves up with a sense of our own self-importance, and the more readily we will think and act as You Yourself do.
Release many from the captivity of doctrines of these demons, which may feel very impressive to the people caught up in them, but which bind them about with rules and regulations rather than the true grace and power of God. (1 Tim. 4:1; Gal. 1:6-9; Cf 2 Cor. 11:4)
Keep us within the bounds of Your Word and the fellowship of mature and diligent believers from many different streams, so that we do not fall into deception. Make us a discerning people, able to refute error and to restore the lapsed.
Lord Jesus, You prayed for Your disciples to be delivered from the ways of the world and to be protected from the whole world system. (John 17:15) You long and intend for us to be together with one another and with You where You are, sharing in Your unity and glory.
You alone are our Deliverer, and there is no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved. (Acts 4:12) Even though many of the struggles and battles that we go through are fierce and prolonged, requiring the utmost depths of stamina, compassion and determination, thank You that We fight from the victory of Your Cross rather than for victory. Praise You!
Delivered for a Purpose
Yahweh Mephalti, You have delivered me for a purpose. I am Your masterpiece(!), Your living poem, created new in Christ Jesus, to do the good things You planned for me long ago. (Eph. 2:10)
You have delivered me into life, so that I might sow to the Spirit and bear harvest of eternal fruit. Keep me from living only for what is here today and gone tomorrow. May I have both the desire and the resolve to look to You before I rush to pursue my own interests, or to invest time and resources in projects that I may be skilled and equipped to do but which You would not necessarily want me to take up. You have delivered me for a purpose, and You want me to be thorough in exploring and developing it. Deliver me from the orbit of my own preoccupations and concerns.
You have not called me Your slave or Your servant but Your intimate friend.* You call me beloved! You have known me since before the foundation of the world, and cared for me since I was in the womb – and just as a mother does not forget her child, You never forget me.
You chose me. I did not choose You, but You hand selected me, picked me out and commissioned me to serve You in the world. (John 15:16)*
Your Holy Spirit is ever my companion, the Spirit of Truth, Comforter, Counsellor, Encourager, Intercessor, Advocate. You talk with me and walk with me, now alongside quiet waters and through green pastures, and now on narrow paths of steep trials and mountainous obstacles. But You made the mountains, and it is You who guides my feet safely in the high places, and leads me into the low ones so I might serve people in their need.
Yes, Lord. You are the mover of mountains, and You look to us to be Your hands and feet on Earth. It is a privileged and blessed place of companionship, where I am free to ask for whatever I need to accomplish Your work. (John 15:7,16; see also 1 John 5:14) As I seek You more and more, and open more of myself to You, may I find the fulcrum and the balance of Your leading, knowing when to work, and rest or play. May I find delight in Your word, just as David did, so that I might be trained in righteousness and be thoroughly equipped for all good work, and to share more of Your heart. (See 2 Tim. 3 14-17)
Even the prayers I pray in secret take me further into Your heart. And the more my heart is attuned to Yours, the more I am able to take on in our service for You. You are a rewarder of those who seek You, and give the authority I need for every situation.
I meditate on Your ways, Lord my God, and give myself wholly to You. (1 Timothy 4:15)
Delivered by handing Himself over
All of us have been through times when for all the world it feels as though the Lord is not delivering us, or rescuing us from our trials. Do we find ourselves wanting to turn our back on Him and to walk away? Or will we, like Job, accept both good and adversity from God? (Job 2:10)
Let’s think of our troubles from ‘the other way round’ for a moment: from the outcome backwards, as it were, rather than from the challenges forward. Think of the many millions who have been encouraged and strengthened by the words and examples of heroes of the faith like Richard Wurmbrand, Corrie Ten Boom, Joni Eareckson and Watchman Nee who the Lord did not supernaturally intervene at the outset to deliver from all their troubles. But their faithfulness during their trials enabled Him to bring about so many amazing deliverances, things that would never have happened if their path had been easier – rather as it is the extreme pressure olives must undergo between the millstones that release their precious oil. (James 5:11)
If the Lord does not appear to be delivering you at this time from some pressing trial, perhaps this is the very time to lift up your head and remember that He may well be doing far more on the blind side than you realise at the moment.
Yahweh Mephalti, we can never make afford to make doctrines out of even the most blessed of deliverances. For although Paul recovered from being stoned and left for dead, You did not so rescue Stephen when he was being stoned to death. And although You sprung Peter from prison not once but twice, he still died a martyr’s death in Rome. You are our Rock and Defender, but deliverance does not always come in the way we might want or expect.
Your Father kept You from infancy onwards, Lord Jesus, delivering You from the baying crowds who wanted to throw You off a cliff, and from stones thrown by the Jews (John 8:58-59), rescuing You time and again from the hand of scribes and Pharisees, priests and synagogue leaders who wanted to do away with You. But the time still came when He allowed You to be handed over to Your enemies; and You quietly bowed Your head and accepted the suffering You knew full well You were destined to meet with in Jerusalem.
And how amazing it is, Lord, that with that handing over came the real power: the salvation of the whole world, for until that time You had only reached a certain number of people, multitudes to be sure, but still only so many, but because You handed yourself over, Your Father raised you up from the dead, the powers of hell were defeated and the full release of Heaven was made available for all.
So when you shed drops of blood in Gethsemane, You could have called on legions of angels to come and help You; You could have turned Your back on Your calling and said, ‘I cannot do this.’ But instead, You said, “Shall I say ‘Save me from this hour’? You knew it was for this very reason and this very hour that you had been sent into the world. (John 12:27)
Holy Spirit, You enabled Peter to serve You wholeheartedly and joyfully even whilst knowing that he was not destined to die a peaceful death in old age. You alerted Paul’s friends, too, to the truth that he would not return from Rome should he go there – but still he went in obedience to Your call.
Empower us to pick up our crosses and to carry them for You Lord. Deliver us from every fear and from every trace of reluctance. For though it may sometimes seem as though You hand us over to external evils rather than delivering us from them, You still have specific plans and purposes in mind. You will never leave us, never forsake us. You will always be Yahweh Mephalti, our fortress, rock and deliverer.
In You alone we find our Peace
Yahweh Mephalti, although it sometimes seems as though cruelty and violence will never come to an end, there will come a day when You will overthrow evil in all its forms forever, and wickedness, injustice and tyranny will be no more, for Your Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and it is not of this world. (2 Thess. 2:8, Daniel 4:3, 34; 7:14, 27)
So many forces are fighting against You and Your truth, Lord Jesus, but You remain forever the refuge and strength of Your people, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Thank You that You meet with those who joyfully remember You in all their ways. You defuse danger, defend us in our minds and garrison our hearts with a peace that comes from realms far beyond human understanding. In You alone do we find our peace.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth is transformed
and the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas,
though their waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake in the surge.
Nations rage, kingdoms crumble;
the earth melts when He lifts His voice.
But the LORD of Hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
You call us to come and see Your work, LORD . . .
You make wars to cease throughout the earth;
You break the bow and shatter the spear
. . . and command the nations to
and Know that You are God;
That You will be exalted among the nations,
and exalted over the earth.”
The LORD of Hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Ps. 46:1-3, 6-11)
O God, You speak to the raging, striving, spinning nations and command them to be still! For You are in Your holy temple, and all the Earth must be silent before You. (Hab. 2:20)
For You will return to the Earth, Lord Jesus, and creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Rom. 8:20-21) You are Yahweh Mephalti – the King of kings, the Judge of all the Earth, and the God of gods, and all the glory belongs to You.
The Day is coming
Lord God of history, we are living in the overlap between what is and what will be – and sometimes this feels like a contradiction. Strong and mighty forces are on the move around the world. We watch and cry out as wars and the danger of world war increase, and authoritarian states wield remorseless control over their own and other nations. We see legislation and many types of technology shifting the world further and further away from Your heart, and threatening Creation itself, while multitudes continue to trusting in themselves and to worship other gods.
We see delusion and intransigence rooted into so many political agendas around the world. It saddens You that so many people fall into a Christ-less eternity through acts of violence and warfare, because nations and leaders refuse to come into agreement or understanding with one another.
You have many ways to deal with evil, not just to violently overthrow each tyrant who rises to power, but often to turn the other cheek and to woo and win by ways of loving kindness, even whilst calling it out. For the real battle is ultimately not against flesh and blood.
Give us grace to see things from one another’s perspective, and to cross whatever bridges we can that lie between us in order to seek reconciliation. After all, have we not all at some point resisted a particular doctrine, person or policy only to see it later in such a different light that we have come to love and embrace it! Deliver us from the desire to call down fire on that which offends our tastes and sensibilities.
Yahweh Mephalti, look with mercy on our riven lands. We pray for You to be at work challenging and dismantling many of these great strongholds of intransigeance. Keep us from the total implosion our ways and actions so richly deserve. May common ground be found between opposing factions, and many be restored to each other and to You – not least in order to avoid the inevitable fate that awaits the truly intransigent of heart.
And still You call us to rejoice and look up, and pray with You in spirit, for the day is coming when every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess You as Lord – whether that be joyously out of love for You, or with fear and trembling because they recognise You for who You are. (Phil. 2:10–11)
Delivered into Glory
‘Peace on Earth and goodwill to men:’ this is the message of Heaven. And just as we look to You to be our Defender, so You look to Your people to be witnesses to You, and defenders of the Faith – neither defensively nor offensively, but rather rejoicing together that You have lavished Your great love on us, so that we might all be called children of God! (1 Jn. 3:1) Your gospel is the gospel of joy, and peace for our soul.
Grow in us the skill, the determination, the ingenuity and the compassion to bring Your purposes to pass, those who will proclaim afresh the message that lies at the heart of everything: ‘Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God.’
For even when the deliverance we need comes down to the consequences of our own faults and failures You are still the shield and defender of those who seek You, and still our very great reward. (Gen. 15:1)
Thank You for raising up so many courageous rescuers who looked to do more than just to preserve their own lives; heroic men like Oscar Schindler and Nicholas Winston who did so much to save many Jewish people in the Second World war, and women like Gladys Aylward as she led many children in China to safety.
You remain a very present help in trouble for all who love and seek Your face. The promises of Your word are tried, tested and fulsome. You do not promise and then fail to deliver. And you say, ‘Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me.’ (Ps. 50:15)
We call upon You now, Holy Spirit, to convict us of our sin, of our blindness, our presumption and our unreality. Keep us faithful in all we are delivered to be, to do and to become.
Our eyes will see you as King in all your splendour and majesty in a beautiful land that stretches far. The arrogant will be no more, just as there will no longer be any sorrow, sighing or tears. For just as there is neither treachery nor pain in the courts of the Lord, so will these things pass when You return to reign in power.
How right CS Lewis was when he wrote of the real adventure beginning when we die and go to be with the Lord. As for how things will be when the new Heaven comes to the new Earth – now that really is quite beyond our ability to imagine!
For You are going ahead to prepare a place for us, Yeshua, a place that was prepared for us from before the foundation of the world. (Matt. 25:34; Jn. 14:2) The highest places in Heaven have been reserved for those for whom the Father has ordained them, (Matt. 20:23; Mark 10:40) but no eye has seen, nor ear has heard all that You have prepared for all who love and serve You wholeheartedly. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
What matters for now is that Your grace has got us under way, Lord, and if we will allow it, Your grace will continue to set us free to share ever more of Your heart, and go ever further on and ever further in, never wearying in Heaven of Your presence that surrounds and imbues and empowers absolutely everything.