And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. — 2 Samuel 22:2
Not too long ago, I was traveling on a scenic highway in the northern region of Washington State. The mountains, the autumn colors, the streams, the clear skies, and the terrain were breathtaking.
Then, while standing on a ridge of solid rock, I noticed something that seemed to be a little out of character. Right in front of me was a small tree with a trunk as gnarled as any I had ever seen. It was projecting out over a 600-foot drop-off in an almost horizontal position. This tree did not compare in beauty with the majestic pines in the mountains nearby, yet the leaves were a beautiful green.
In this terrain and high altitude, the winters are harsh. Looking at that small tree, I wondered how it could have survived through the rough conditions winter brings. Looking more closely, I found that the base and the roots were right under the platform of rock where I was standing. It was safe and solidly anchored, no matter what came.
This can be compared to our Christian walk. Trials and temptations will come our way, and at times we may feel as though they could overwhelm us. Yet, like that tree, we know that our Rock, Christ Jesus, will never move.
David was like that tree. He knew that he was rooted and grounded in a strong Rock — his Fortress and Deliverer. The first verse of this chapter explains that David sang this song as a prayer, thanking the Lord for delivering him from his enemies and King Saul. Being in exile and running for your life would be quite a trial. Yet, David found peace knowing that God was on his side.
There is nothing more comforting and assuring than knowing that our Foundation is secure!
This song is also recorded, with minor changes, as Psalm 18, being modified to worship with groups of singers. It is thought that David composed this song early in his reign, probably after the victories recorded in 2 Samuel 8 and 10. It is significant that Saul is not named as one of David’s enemies, even though he tried at least five times to kill him. David considered Saul to be God’s anointed, and would not harm him even when he had the opportunity, waiting instead until he was removed in God’s time.
In verses 2 and 3, David used the following words and phrases to praise God and describe his reliance on and experience of God’s care and protection:
Saul had hunted David for approximately ten years. Many times David must have felt “there is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3). But David cried to God, trusting Him for deliverance.
In verses 8 through 20, the Lord is pictured as moving with irresistible force to disperse and destroy David’s enemies who would have killed him. Then God rescued David and moved him to a place of safety and freedom.
In verses 21 through 28, it may seem as though David was boasting that his own abilities enabled him to please God and secure His blessing and protection. However, the word “afflicted” in verse 28 can also be translated as “humble.” David understood that the only way to please God is through submission to Him.
In verse 29, David thanked God for being his “lamp,” and “lighting his darkness.” He then acknowledged that God was giving him safety and victory. Verse 36 states, “thy gentleness has made me great.” David was amazed that God would reach down and reveal His will to him, but he wanted to give Him the credit for his success. In verses 38 to 43, David declared in graphic language the total victory God had given over his enemies.
God’s love gave David victory after victory and placed him on a secure throne. No wonder he exclaimed “The Lord liveth!”(verse 47). The gods of the nations around him were dead idols, made from wood, stone, or metal, but God heard David’s prayers and answered them!
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
C. The song of David’s deliverance from Saul (22:1-51)
1. The occasion for praise (22:1-4)
2. The sorrows of the past (22:5-7)
3. The praise for the Lord’s intervention (22:8-20)
4. The fact of the Lord’s reward (22:21-28)
5. The judgment of David’s enemies (22:29-43)
6. The exaltation of David over his enemies (22:44-49)
7. The concluding praise (22:50-51)
This psalm of praise expresses David’s reliance on God, his humility and desire to let others know what God can do for them if they rely on Him. He obeyed God’s law and saw the great value in having a “conscience void of offence toward God and toward man.” (Acts 24:16).
The trust David had put in God while he was a shepherd had grown to include every aspect of his life. We can follow in the steps of humility, trust, and obedience, knowing God will provide our needs each day.