2 Samuel 22:1-15
1 David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. 4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. 5 The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 6 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 7 “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. 8 The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens[c] shook; they trembled because he was angry. 9 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. 10 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 11 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared[d] on the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness his canopy around him— the dark[e] rain clouds of the sky. 13 Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. 14 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 15 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
This psalm was written earlier in David’s life and seems to be included here to reflect back on his life.
After a seemingly endless series of struggles against enemies intent on destroying David: from Philistine giants and almost every nation surrounding Israel, to his own king and father in law, Saul, and his son, Absolom, there is now a time of peace.
It would be so easy to look back and say “I did it”, but David recognises that it was God who brought him through; that God gave him the strengths and abilities he needed. He knows that it is God who gave the victories. He sees how God acted dramatically and mightily in the spiritual as well as the physical, in ways that would be missed by those who only believe what they see with their eyes.
It’s ironic that David’s hardest times were not when he was being pursued by Saul or in the thick of battle, but when he had peace. When Saul was on his heels the necessity of making God his refuge, and the importance of doing what was right was clear. It was in success that David fell into sin (such as with Bathsheba or taking the census).
David correctly sees that God blessed him because he delighted in him (v20). Though David’s desire to do what was right was important (v21-25), it was his heart for God that was most important. In his later years he learnt the importance of repentance when he fell and that God also loves to forgive and heal a broken relationship.
Father, give me eyes to see the reality that you are my rock, my fortress and my saviour; and a heart for you, that longs to please and longs for restoration when I hurt you.
Written by David Cornell