Read 2 Samuel 22
David’s Song of Praise
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 and the horn 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 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 on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness his canopy around him—
the dark 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.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke of the Lord,
at the blast of breath from his nostrils.
17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
20 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
23 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
24 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
27 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
28 You save the humble,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
29 You, Lord, are my lamp;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
30 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.
31 “As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;
your help has made me great.
37 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
38 “I pursued my enemies and crushed them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
39 I crushed them completely, and they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
40 You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.
41 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
42 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the Lord, but he did not answer.
43 I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets.
44 “You have delivered me from the attacks of the peoples;
you have preserved me as the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
45 foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
46 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.
47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!
48 He is the God who avenges me,
who puts the nations under me,
49 who sets me free from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.
51 “He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.”
One of the main themes we see in 2 Samuel 22 is that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves; God is solely responsible. But if only God can save us, what does David mean when he says in verses 23-24, “I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight”? David does not boast about being perfect, but speaks to God’s work of sanctification.
When we surrender ourselves to God and allow Him to “lighten our darkness” (v. 29), God begins to transform our lives. “He trains our hands…”(v. 35), and “by Him we can run…” (v. 30). God enabled David to walk blamelessly and righteously. David makes clear that rewards follow righteousness and judgment follows wickedness—there are real consequences to our actions. God is a just God who will not let wrong-doing and injustice go without His judgment.
When we fully grasp the justice of God, we should be filled with joy and terror. Joy— because when we see the injustices in our world, we know that God will bring ultimate justice to wrongs done. But we should also be filled with terror, knowing that we too have committed sins, worthy of God’s judgment. But, this is where the gospel comes in. If we take another look, we see that David’s worship actually points us straight to the gospel message.
We are all surrounded and doomed by our own sinful natures (v. 5-6). But, when we call upon God to save us, He hears us (v. 7) and in His great mercy and love, He peels back the heavens and rescues us from our judgement (v. 8-19). After accepting God’s leadership, He brings us to a safe place where we can walk in righteousness and experience his mercy (v. 21-31). While we submit to God’s Lordship, He trains us and prepares us to fight for Him in our family, community, and our world (v. 32-40). Ultimately, with God, we are on the winning side of history and will experience victory (v. 41-46)! We can experience His salvation, protection, preparation, and justice, not because of anything we have done, but because of God’s incredible love for us.
The gospel changes everything.
- Take a few minutes and reflect— how does the gospel change your life?
- In what ways have you seen God protecting you?
- How is God currently preparing you for battle, or in which areas of your life is he strengthening you?
Read this Quote!
“It is because Jesus Christ experienced cosmic thirst on the cross that you and I can have our spiritual thirst satisfied. It is because He died that we can be born again. And He did it gladly. Seeing what He did and why He did it will turn our hearts away from the things that enslave us and toward Him in worship. That is the gospel, and it is the same for skeptics, believers, insiders, outcasts, and everyone in between.”
Dr. Timothy Keller
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