2 Samuel 22

[22:1] And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:  

David, the O.T. king of Israel, knew the source of his deliverance from both unknown, unseen enemies, and individual enemies (Saul).  To God David wrote a song of gratitude in the day that he was delivered. For all who trust in God there IS a day of deliverance.

[2] And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

David begins his song to Jehovah (“LORD”) by reminding himself just who God is and why He is able to deliver. 

The LORD-Jehovah is:

  My (individual, personal) rock (“a crag, a cliff, a secure stronghold”).  God is the only place of safety and security.

  My (individual, personal) fortress (“a strong place, a strong hold, a defense”).  To be “shut up” in God is to be in a “strong place” against your enemies.  God alone is our defender.

  My (individual, personal) deliverer (“to cause to escape and to bring to safety, security”).  It is God who makes a way of escape, and that way leads to the safe harbor of God Himself.

The LORD is first a stronghold, then a defense, and then a deliver.

[3] The God of my rock; in Him will I trust: He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; Thou savest me from violence. 

David now speaks of the God (Elohim: triune God) of his Rock (Jehovah, v2).   In the N. T. the word Rock is ascribed to Jesus Christ who is the O.T. Jehovah (“Lord”).  David trusts (“to seek refuge, flee for protection; confide or hope in”) in the fulness of the Trinity to be his:

  My (individual, personal) shield (for protection from attacks)

  My (individual, personal) horn (container or touchstone) of my salvation (“deliverance”)

  My (individual, personal) high tower (“secure height, retreat”)

  My (individual, personal) refuge (“place of escape”)

  My (individual, personal) saviour (“one who saves, delivers”)

God is a place of protection, a container of deliverance, a secure retreat, a place of escape, and One who is willing and able to save/deliver.  Thus David can state that God has saved him from violence (“wrong, cruelty, injustice”). 

[4] I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

David knew that though deliverance was available, he had to determine (“I will”) to avail himself of it by calling on (“cry out to”)  Jehovah/Jesus, for the LORD is both worthy to be praised and worthy to be trusted. Because of who God is, and because of your cry to Him, you can be saved/delivered.

[5] When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; 

Fear is the common lot of humanity.  When our eyes are off God and on our circumstances we become afraid (“overtaken by sudden terror”).  There is the:

  Fear of being overcome by the waves of death (“breaking sea of separation, both from this world, and from God”).  Death is not an end, but an eternal beginning, either in the presence of God or in the place of torment.

  Fear of the floods (“torrent of water”) of ungodly men (those who reject God’s standards of right and wrong, who break God’s laws), and the wicked results of their ungodliness.

[6] The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; 

From fear, David moves to immobility as the “cords of Sheol, the place of the dead, encircled/surrounded” and seemed to hold him fast.   The “trap” of death (“separation”) confronted (“prevented”) him at every turn.

[7] In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and He did hear my voice out of His temple, and my cry did enter into His ears. 

But David, in his distress (“tight straits”) knew where to turn.   He called, he cried to his (individual, personal) God.  This God, not of nations but of individuals, and despite being in His temple (“heavenly palace”) heard David’s voice and the cry of that voice entered into His consciousness.  God hears the cry of His children and David knew it.

[8] Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. 

[9] There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 

[10] He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.  [11] And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.  [12] And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.  [13] Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.  [14] The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.  [15] And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.  [16] And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. 

[17] He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters; 

But God is not just a God who hears, but a God who responds.  Here God is pictured as residing in Heaven, yet to God distance has no meaning.  From where He was, God took (“lay hold of, seized, taken/brought unto”) David, and drew him out of many waters (“danger, violence”).  Only God, who seems so far, can deliver you from circumstances that seem so close.

[18] He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. 

David knew his foe, and his own abilities.  Those who were too strong for David, David knew were weak before God.  Your enemies may be strong (“mighty, fierce”), and they may hate all you stand for, but God will deliver you.  It is not the enemy that should command our attention, but the God who delivers.

[19] They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.  

David does not deny that you will suffer distress, burdens, and disasters (“calamities”).  David does not deny that your enemies will use these times to confront and challenge you (“prevent”).  But David had more faith in deliverance than destruction.  The LORD was his stay (“shepherd’s staff, support”).  Who do you have to trust in the day of your calamity?

[20] He brought me forth also into a large place: He delivered me, because He delighted in me.  

The LORD not only took David, delivered David, and was David’s support, but brought David from his tight straits to a large place (“broad, wide, roomy place”).  God’s abundance always extends beyond man’s expectations.  Notice that God’s deliverance of David is based on God’s delight (“take pleasure in, be pleased with”) in David. The Bible says that David, though a sinner, was a man after God’s own heart.

[21] The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. 

The Lord's blessings fall on the just and the unjust, yet God’s rewards are reserved for the obedient.  David knew that God rewarded (“to deal fully with, to repay”) and recompensed (“to bring back, to restore”) him:

  According to my (individual, personal) righteousness (“right acting, right thinking, according to God’s standard”).

  According to my (individual, personal) cleanness (“purity”) of hands (activities).

Have you measured your thinking, your actions, and the purity of your activities against God’s standard lately?

[22] For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.  

David’s confidence rested in keeping (“guard, observe, give heed”) the ways (“the paths, manner of life”) required by the LORD, and not wickedly departing from my (individual, personal) God.  He was assured that his testimony was in harmony with God’s requirements.

[23] For all His judgments were before me: and as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. 

David could be sure because God’s judgments (“righteous decisions”) were available to him (O.T.), therefore David could be assured of not departing (“turn aside”) from God’s statutes (“ordinances, laws”).  Like David, we have the Book of Law and Grace to be our guide.

[24] I was also upright before Him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.  

The advantage of living by God’s laws?  David could know that he was upright (“complete, whole, entire”) before God.  Therefore he was able to kept himself from his own (individual, personal) iniquity (“consequence or punishment for sin”).  David understood that the requirements were God’s, but the sin is ours.

[25] Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in His eye sight. 

It is always the LORD who restores or brings back (“recompenses”), but it was according to David’s right acting/thinking and purity in God’s presence (“eye sight”).  Positionally we are made righteous when we put our faith and trust in Christ, but practically we are righteous according to our obedience to God’s laws.

[26] With the merciful Thou wilt shew Thyself merciful, and with the upright man Thou wilt shew Thyself upright. 

[27] With the pure Thou wilt shew Thyself pure; and with the froward Thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.  

God’s mercy (“acts of grace”) is shown to those who are merciful (“full of mercy”).  God’s uprightness (“to deal in integrity”) is shown to those who walk in integrity.  God’s purity (“clean, bright, selective”) is revealed to those who are pure. Here is the challenge of the Christian life, to walk in mercy, integrity, and purity.

Yet for those who are froward (“twisted, distorted, crooked, perverse”), God will show Himself to be unsavoury (“twisted”; i.e., different from what was expected).  God always deals with men according to their relationship to Jesus Christ, which marks their behavior.

[28] And the afflicted people Thou wilt save: but Thine eyes are upon the haughty, that Thou mayest bring them down. 

David knew that God was not a respecter of persons.  There are those, the afflicted (“poor, humble, needy”) that God will save (“deliver”), not because of their affliction, but because of their heart attitude.  God also sees those that are haughty (“to exhalt, magnify oneself”).  These God will bring down (“to lay low, humiliate, humble”).   It is all a matter of the heart.

[29] For Thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness. 

David knows who the LORD is and what the LORD can do.  Man uses many methods to lighten the darkness, but David considered the LORD as his lamp, for the darkness (“obscurity”) dispelled by God’s light reveals all the secret places, leaving evil no place to hide.

[30] For by Thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. 

David recognized that it was by the power of his God that he could triumph.   No obstacle could stand in his way, whether an army troop, a marauding band, or a high wall.  Where God lead, no earthly obstruction would hinder him.

[31] As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him. 

 David now turns from what God means to him, to direct statements of truth concerning the LORD.  “As for God,” in contrast to men:

  His way (“course of life”) is perfect (“complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful”).  Man’s way is just the opposite.  God’s course leads to life, man’s path leads to death.

  His word (“His words as revealed in His written revelation, the Bible”) is tried (“refined, tested, proved”).  God is not a man that He should lie, and this is borne out by the fact that His Word is time-tested and proven to all who will follow it.

  His protection (buckler = “shield”) extends to all who will trust in (“confide in, hope in”) Him.

There IS a perfect way, based on a tested Word, for those who trust in Him.

[32] For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? 

David asks the eternal question, “Who is God?”  For David the question is not, “Is there a God?”, or “Which God shall I choose?”, but only, “Who is God?” 

The answer is, “Who is the triune God, save Jehovah?”  Here we have the revelation of God as a Trinity, and as the self existent, ever present Jehovah.

David then asks the personal question, “Who is a rock (“cliff, strong boulder”), save our God?”  Just as there is only one God, there is only one place of protection and safety.

[33] God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.  

Because God is both LORD and Rock, David trusted in God without limitation.   God was his (personal and individual) strength (“protection, refuge, stronghold”).  So David had all he needed for life’s journey.

God made (“let loose, be free”) David’s way (“course of life”) perfect (“completed, whole, sound”), so David had the direction he needed for life’s journey.  David had a choice, God’s way or man’s way.  David chose God’s way!

[34] He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places.  [35] He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.  [36] Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.  [37] Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.  [38] I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.  [39] And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.  [40] For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.  [41] Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.  [42] They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.  [43] Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.  [44] Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.  [45] Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.  [46] Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.  

[47] The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.  

God is not a cold, dead idol fashioned by men’s hands, but David knew by personal experience that the LORD liveth (“is living, alive”)!  David could do no less than bless (“praise, adore, cause to kneel”) this One who was his (personal, individual) high, strong place (“rock”). 

Blessed because of who God is, but exalted (“lift up, raise, extol”) for what God did (salvation = “deliverance”).  Here we see the Trinity (“God”), Jesus Christ (“the Rock”), and your deliverance from the penalty of sin (“salvation”).

To know that God lives is one thing, but to experience the salvation freely offered in Jesus Christ is quite another.  David knew in whom he had believed!

[48] It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,   [49] And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. 

[50] Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. 

Gratitude is an attitude toward God.  Because of all God is, and all God had done for David, he did not neglect his responsibilities:

  First, to give thanks (“to laud, praise, confess”) unto the LORD.

  Second, to give those thanks publicly among (“in the midst of”) the heathen (“peoples, nations” that know not God).

  Third, to publicly and privately sing praises (“sing, make music”) unto God’s Name (“the representation of all that He is, therefore the totality of His being and attributes”).  

This was David’s song (v1).  David knew that there was only One God, and that One God, revealed in Jesus Christ, is the only One able to save, and worthy to be praised.  Is David’s God your God?

[51] He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.  2 Samuel 22:1-51

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