1 I love you, Lord. You give me strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fort. He is the One who saves me. My God is my rock. I go to him for safety. He is like a shield to me. He’s the power that saves me. He’s my place of safety. 3 I call out to the Lord. He is worthy of praise. He saves me from my enemies. 4 The ropes of death were almost wrapped around me. A destroying flood swept over me. 5 The ropes of the grave were tight around me. Death set its trap in front of me. 6 When I was in trouble, I called out to the Lord. I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice. My cry for help reached his ears. 7 The earth trembled and shook. The base of the mountains rocked back and forth. It trembled because the Lord was angry. 8 Smoke came out of his nose. Flames of fire came out of his mouth. Burning coals blazed out of it. 9 He opened the heavens and came down. Dark clouds were under his feet. 10 He got on the cherubim and flew. The wings of the wind lifted him up. 11 He covered himself with darkness. The dark rain clouds of the sky were like a tent around him. 12 Clouds came out of the brightness that was all around him. They came with hailstones and flashes of lightning. 13 The Lord thundered from heaven. The voice of the Most High God was heard. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered our enemies. He sent great flashes of lightning and chased the enemies away. 15 The bottom of the sea could be seen. The foundations of the earth were uncovered. Lord, it happened when your anger blazed out. It came like a blast of breath from your nose. 16 He reached down from heaven. He took hold of me. He lifted me out of deep waters. 17 He saved me from my powerful enemies. He set me free from those who were too strong for me. 18 They stood up to me when I was in trouble. But the Lord helped me. 19 He brought me out into a wide and safe place. He saved me because he was pleased with me. 20 The Lord has been good to me because I do what is right. He has rewarded me because I lead a pure life. 21 I have lived the way the Lord wanted me to. I haven’t done evil by turning away from my God. 22 I keep all of his laws in mind. I haven’t turned away from his commands. 23 He knows that I am without blame. He knows I’ve kept myself from sinning. 24 The Lord has rewarded me for doing what is right. He has rewarded me because I haven’t done anything wrong. 25 Lord, to those who are faithful you show that you are faithful. To those who are without blame you show that you are without blame. 26 To those who are pure you show that you are pure. But to those whose paths are crooked you show that you are clever. 27 You save those who aren’t proud. But you bring down those whose eyes are proud. 28 Lord, you keep the lamp of my life burning brightly. You are my God. You bring light into my darkness. 29 With your help I can attack a troop of soldiers. With the help of my God I can climb over a wall. 30 God’s way is perfect. The word of the Lord doesn’t have any flaws. He is like a shield to all who go to him for safety. 31 Who is God except the Lord? Who is the Rock except our God? 32 God gives me strength for the battle. He makes my way perfect. 33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He helps me stand on the highest places. 34 He trains my hands to fight every battle. My arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 Lord, you are like a shield that keeps me safe. You help me win the battle. Your strong right hand keeps me going. You bend down to make me great. 36 You give me a wide path to walk on so that I don’t twist my ankles. 37 I chased my enemies and caught them. I didn’t turn back until they were destroyed. 38 I crushed them so that they couldn’t get up. They fell under my feet. 39 Lord, you gave me strength to fight the battle. You made my enemies bow down at my feet. 40 You made them turn their backs and run away. So I destroyed my enemies. 41 They cried out for help. But there was no one to save them. They called out to you. But you didn’t answer them. 42 I beat them as fine as dust blown by the wind. I poured them out like mud in the streets. 43 You saved me when my own people attacked me. You made me the ruler over nations. People I didn’t know serve me now. 44 As soon as they hear me, they obey me. People from other lands bow down to me in fear. 45 All of them give up hope. They come trembling out of their hiding places. 46 The Lord lives! Give praise to my Rock! Give honor to God my Savior! 47 He is the God who pays my enemies back. He brings the nations under my control. 48 He saves me from my enemies. You have honored me more than them. You have saved me from men who want to hurt me. 49 Lord, I will praise you among the nations. I will sing praises to you. 50 The Lord helps his king win great battles. He shows his faithful love to his anointed king. He shows it to me and my family forever.
This Psalm was included as Chapter 22 of 2 Samuel as a summary of David’s life. We saw, in the dramatic events of David’s life how God acted time and again to rescue him, to give him the strength he needed and give him victory when sense said there should be defeat.
But what God did is described much more dramatically here than even the dramatic events he would have seen with his eyes. The “reality” that David saw with his eyes was only the ripples on the surface showing the deeper and greater things God was doing.
Paul put it his way: “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12 NLT)
Seemingly little things in my life may form more significant parts of what God is doing. The simple word of forgiveness may be a decisive defeat for Satan’s plan to cause division. Telling a friend about something God has done in my life may form part of their dramatic rescue from death to life.
I’m sure that at the time it would not have been much fun for the surrounding nations to be conquered by David. Yet what Paul got out of this Psalm was blessing for the Gentiles, quoting it in Romans 15 “(Jesus) also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote: ‘For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing praises to your name.’” Through pain they recognised God’s faithfulness, but we are also blessed by that faithfulness.
Father, give me eyes to see things your way.
Written by David Cornell