Sermon Notes & References

“Deliver Us from Evil”

Matthew 6:13

August 12, 2018

A. The Seventh Request

    1. A Community Prayer 1

 

    2. Six or Seven?

 

B. Deliver Us

    1. Describe This! 2

 

    2. Some Biblical Descriptions 3

 

C. The Evil

    1. A Specific Danger in View 4

 

    2. A Terrible Danger in View 5


1 Matthew 6:13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  “Deliver Us from Evil”

 

A. The Seventh Request

    1. A Community Prayer

        a. we already noted this fact in looking at some of the previous requests

            (A)    particularly the man-ward requests, although we did not point it out specifically last week with “Lead Us Not into Temptation”

                 (1)    but it is even true of the God-ward ones – “Thy kingdom come” – not only seeks the exaltation of the King, but the good of the citizens of the kingdom

                 (2)    consider how the prayer begins: “Our Father” – we are part of a great brotherhood, children of the family of God

            (B)    in writing to the worldly church at Corinth, Paul reminded them of this fact at the very start: “to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:” (1 Corinthians 1:2)

        b. and Jesus, in giving to His disciples and to us this model prayer, makes clear this same lesson – salvation places us in the community of saints

            (A)    look at the last four requests

                 (1)    give US

                 (2)    forgive US

                 (3)    lead US

                 (4)    and today, “… but deliver us from evil.” – deliver US

            (B)    Satan and sin destroyed God’s intended community upon the earth so that Cain asked “Am I my brother’s keeper?

            (C)   the new birth restores community:”So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (Galatians 6:10)

                 (1)    as an aside it is interesting to note that in the OT it is always “my Deliverer” or “my Saviour”; in the NT, “our Saviour”

            (D)   and that is an important lesson for us from this prayer


 

    2. Six or Seven?

        a. the first part of Matthew 6:13 reads, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: …” (AV)

            (A)    is this one request or two?

            (B)    some very noted scholars have said that it is only one

            (C)   Jean Calvin’s reason is that the word “but” links together the two parts, so that it is one request

            (D)   but another responds, ‘The “but” connecting the two petitions is an insufficient reason for regarding them as one, though enough to show that the one thought naturally follows close upon the other.

            (E)    indeed, we have remarked that each request flows naturally from the previous, even between the God-ward and the man-ward: daily physical need for bread is followed by daily spiritual need for forgiveness; and so on for others

        b. so I have presented the model prayer as having seven requests

            (A)    not because seven is the perfect number

            (B)    but because the two requests are distinctly different

                 (1)    temptation can come from both within and without

                 (2)    evil here, we shall see, is strictly from outside of ourselves

 

B. Deliver Us

    1. Describe This!

        a. the lexicon merely defines this Greek word to mean, “save, deliver, rescue, or set free”

            (A)    sitting in a chair to pray these can become just words

            (B)    what we need is a picture that describes when these words are spoken: the situation; the emotions; the actions

        b. to start with, this Greek word was used to translate the Hebrew in the OT Septuagint version, giving some concrete examples of “deliver”

            (A)    “But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued [delivered, snatched] it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.’” (1 Samuel 17:34-35)

            (B)    or, “’Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I shall demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I shall deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.’” (Ezekiel 34:10)

            (C)   “Deliver” – that is spoken in times of peril, danger; it could be likewise the cry of one who has fallen overboard from a ship

            (D)   and it is a word that expresses a strong relationship between the deliverer and the one delivered: the shepherd and his sheep; God and His people, His flock.

        c. perhaps the single word that conveys all this to us best is “rescue”

            (A)    think back a month to the dreadful news from Thailand of those twelve young boys, a soccer team, visiting a cave with their coach

                 (1)    this was given to them as part of a special treat

                 (2)    then the weather changed, the cave flooded, they were trapped

                 (3)    rescuers came from near and far

                 (4)    one, a trained diver, lost his life in the attempt

                 (5)    the rain let up; then four were delivered, then another four

                 (6)    finally after 18 days underground, the final four boys and their coach were rescued, suffering only non-fatal injuries 2

            (B)    let us look further at such rescues

 

    2. Some Biblical Descriptions

        a. Paul had experienced such physical rescue more than once

            (A)    on His first missionary journey: “But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me!” (2 Timothy 3:10-11)

            (B)    “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves in order that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,” (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

            (C)   Paul knew well the personal meaning of the prayer “deliver us”

        b. “Just in time, every time”

            (A)    you may have heard that expression, although it became a slogan for business several decades ago: the idea being to have inventory come in just as it was needed rather than wasting space for it; and later it became a principle of planning ahead to be ready for events

            (B)    if ever a person knew God’s deliverance in this way, it was Daniel

                 (1)    the trickery of some fellow rulers put him in the lions’ den

                 (2)    next day he explained his deliverance by God to King Darius

                 (3)    then Darius wrote, “I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:26-27)

            (C)   that was just in time deliverance

            (D)   perhaps that event was in Paul’s mind when he was in need of the same just in time rescue, that he wrote in a literal sense to Timothy after his first defence: “… and I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:17b-18)

        c. rescue foregone for a greater purpose

            (A)    as the religious rulers, at Christ’s crucifixion, unthinkingly quoted from that Messianic Psalm 22:8, when they said

            (B)    “‘He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, “I am the Son of God.”’” (Matthew 27:43)

            (C)   but God allowed His Son to die to bring salvation to mankind

        d. finally, there is spiritual rescue, rescue from evil as in this prayer

            (A)    as wisdom from God given “To deliver you from the way of evil, …” (Proverbs 2:12)

            (B)    or God’s promise of a spiritual rescue of Israel in Ezekiel 37:23, “And they will no longer defile themselves with their idols, or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God.”

            (C)   or Paul as he laments his old nature, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free [rescue me] from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! …” (Romans 7:24-25)

        e. and that brings us to look at the second part of this request, for we are to pray, “deliver us from evil”, or, in the Greek, …


 

C. The Evil

    1. A Specific Danger in View

        a. in the original language, it literally, “deliver us from the evil”

            (A)    so this prayer is not dealing with generalities

            (B)    prayer is not the saying of mere words as in the platitudinous “Bless you” when we hear someone sneeze

        b. now, there are some places where the Greek leaves no doubt that the words “the evil” are referring to a person, and not an event or thing

            (A)    as describing the fate of some seed, “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.” (Matthew 13:19)

            (B)    and again, “… I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. …” (1 John 2:13, and also 14)

            (C)   in those verses, the Greek allows us to see it means a person

        c. but in other verses. as here, the Greek can mean either person or thing

            (A)    as Jesus prayed for His followers, “I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil [one].” (John 17:15)

            (B)    so that we can pray this request in view of some great evil or harm that may be threatening us

        d. yet even in these doubtful cases, we can readily conclude that it is a person, not an event, a thing or an idea involved

            (A)    “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” AV, wickedness (1 John 5:19)

            (B)    and, “not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother …” (1 John 3:12)

        e. so that this rescue prayed for, even if it be from some harm or hurt, is ultimately from him who is ultimately the source of evil, the god of this world, Satan, that old serpent and deceiver.

 

    2. A Terrible Danger in View

        a. as we spoke on temptation, we noted that the prayer is two-fold

            (A)    a confession that God is sovereign and in His wisdom may allow us to face temptation in His ultimate purpose for us

            (B)    and of our total dependence upon God to overcome temptation

        b. and in this seventh request there is likewise an expression of that same dependence upon God for deliverance from this spiritual foe the devil

            (A)    “Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint upon his knees”

            (B)    but we need to recognise the danger of this arch-enemy to pray as fervently as we should

        c. do not take this enemy lightly or jokingly – Jude warns against that

            (A)    as does the section of spiritual warfare & armour in Ephesians 6

            (B)    but for today let us look at these warnings which should encourage us to pray against this foe

            (C)   and of his tricks we are told, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

            (D)   fulfilling Jesus’ own words, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

            (E)    so we are to pray: “casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, …” (1 Peter 5:7-9)

 

    3. So pray, “Deliver us from evil.”




Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              NLT         New Living Translation © 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust

              NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

              JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              RSV        Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

              WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth


Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:


              Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

              Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

              EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

              EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

              Lightfoot –      Commentary on the New Testament by Bishop John Lightfoot

              RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TTB      Thinking Through the Bible, Rev’d John McNicol, D.D., © 1944 by the author; The Upper Canada Tract & Book Society.

2

A detailed account is found on the internet, e.g.:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2018/jul/03/thailand-cave-rescue-where-were-the-boys-found-and-how-can-they-be-rescued