During Lent we will be focusing on the benefits of our salvation from Psalm 103. Each week we will have a devotion from someone in our church body to help encourage you along the way. This week’s devotion is written by Liz Hansen on Psalm 103:4 – God Redeems Our Life from the Pit. You can also find the devotion on our Facebook page each week in addition to the newsletter.
When David authored Psalm 103 and wrote of the God “who redeems your life from the pit,” he spoke from deeply personal experience of a God who came through for him in the dark moments, over and again.
But perhaps David also thought of his ancestor Joseph, who also found himself in a pit—quite literally.
In Genesis 37, Joseph’s brothers are so jealous of their father’s favorite (not to mention angry about being demoted in Joseph’s dreams) that they attack him. Instead of killing him, they are convinced by their eldest brother Reuben to toss their kid brother in a dry cistern. A pit.
There Joseph sits — separated from his father, abandoned by his brothers. Alone, with zero control over what happens next.
But then his brothers haul Joseph out! He’s saved! … only to be dropped right into the next pit: slavery.
Joseph is sold to slave traders, and then to Potiphar in Egypt. There, he works hard and rises to the top — only to be lied about and locked away in another pit: jail.
Even in prison, Joseph acts with integrity and finds a role, ultimately interpreting his cell mates’ dreams. One of them is released… but forgets his promise to help Joseph.
Again, Joseph sits in the pit, with no clear view to what God might be doing.
At long last, Pharaoh, ruler of all Egypt, has a vision. Joseph’s former cellmate, the Pharaoh’s cupbearer, remembers Joseph. Pharaoh calls for Joseph, who interprets the dream, and is elevated to second in command of the entire nation of Egypt!
Joseph’s ultimate redemption from the pit was years in the making. And through this release, God made a way for Joseph to rescue his family — the fledgling nation of Israel—from the pit of famine.
Sometimes it’s easy to relate to Joseph. I like to say that my life has steadily improved since middle school, which most people would agree is, indeed, “the pits.” But over the past few years, I’ve experienced a series of chronic health issues. I plead for rescue from one pit, only to find myself slipping into another one. I’m grateful that none of them have been fully debilitating, but some days it feels like a game of whack-a-mole — with me as the mole.
On those days, I find deep peace in Joseph’s story. Even if there’s another stumble ahead for me, there’s no limit to the times God will rescue. It’s who he is. It’s one of the benefits of living as a Son or Daughter of the Redeemer. And even at the very bottom of the pit, He’s still at work.
You may feel trapped in a pit, too, right now. Or a series of pits, one after the other. Health issues. Parenting. Finances. A difficult work situation. A marriage crisis. Take heart in knowing that it’s at the very heart of the nature of God to come through for you. It may not be according to your timeline or preferred method — but He is already at work to redeem your life from the pit.
Ready to join us?
At StoneBridge, we are committed to seeing our community transformed by God. We invite you to join us in this journey of personal and community transformation.