Devotional: ‘Rescue the Perishing’


One day a family of four was driving along the highway when suddenly their car hit a patch of ice and plunged over the side of a bridge and into an icy river. After a few moments, three of the family members reappeared, but the fourth child remained trapped in the car below. A man who had witnessed the crash quickly dove into the frigid water, followed by a nurse. Together they were able to rescue the child and bring him to safety. Once the family was safely on the shore, they repeatedly thanked the man and the woman for their heroic act of rescue.

It’s not hard to make spiritual application from this story. We read from the book of Proverbs –

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”  (Proverbs 24:11-12)

As believers we are called upon to rescue those who are headed towards eternal death. Like the man and the nurse who witnessed the accident, we must plunge into the river of life and seek to bring to safety all who will listen.

Many years ago the great gospel writer, Fanny Crosby, wrote a song that should be the mission statement of every believer. Carefully read the words to his old hymn.

Rescue the Pershing
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.


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