But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
- Genesis 50:19-21
May those who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
turn back because of their shame.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
- Psalm 70:2-4
So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the Lord at the place the Lord would choose. And that is what they are to this day.
- Joshua 9:26-27
Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now.”
- 2 Samuel 19:5-7
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
- Ephesians 2:8-9
This collection of Scriptures may be an odd one, but the first two have the word “saving” in them. What the brothers of Joseph had in mind was evil, but what God did was use their evil impulses to put Joseph in the right place at the right time to save many people. Then the psalm is mildly imprecatory, wishing bad upon those who have done us wrong, but, including those who have done us wrong, if any seek God’s saving help and praise God, then all would be forgiven.
The next two Scriptures have the word “saved” in them. The Gibeonites tricked Joshua into protecting them, but Joshua made them slaves instead. He saved them from destruction, but at a cost. Then Joab admonishes David. His army had just killed Absalom and David mourned, but Absalom had set out to kill David, and David had to be the leader of the men who had saved his life.
Then the scriptures end with the declarative statement by the Apostle Paul that we are saved by grace through faith.
And that is all that needs to be said, other than why this idea, this wonderful feeling of love flowing from within me.
I love spreadsheets. I used spreadsheets before Microsoft came out with Excel. I used it to provide a guide as to how well I was doing on my projects. It is a wonderful tool.
But as a tool, if you do not maintain it, the blade gets dull. Okay, to cut out the metaphor. With spreadsheets open as I modify them throughout the day, some are automatically saved, while others have some formatting that is not supported by that automatic function. And if the computer has a hiccup or the internet goes down, I can have spreadsheets that are not saved. Thus, I save when I think about it.
And I have finally figured out how to remind myself, other than at the end of the day getting lucky that something did not go wrong. At the top bar, there is a place for the file name. It then says “Compatibility mode.” Afterwards, if says “19hr.” Yikes! I first made modifications to this file 19 hours ago. I better save those changes. I click the save icon. The amount of time then changes to say “saving.” And then, depending on how big the file is, a few seconds or longer later, it says “saved.”
As I watched that transition, I had a warmth all over me.
God once sought me out. And in turn I sought him, as the Psalm says above. Being lost was bad enough, but that time of God letting me know that I needed Him was gut wrenching. But the exhilaration that came when I was saved was a moment of pure ecstasy.
I do not know, other than God putting that into my head at that moment, why God did that, but then I do know.
Ever since that point, I look at how long it has been, then the fact that it is saving, and then I silently cheer for the mundane. I saved a spreadsheet to the cloud on the internet.
But no, having made that mental image, each time I save a spreadsheet, I am reminded that God loved me so much that He saved me.
“Hours ago” > “Saving” > “Saved” > Hallelujah! Praise the Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
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