2 Samuel Lesson 24
By Msn Joseph Han (11/5/23)
2 Samuel 22:1-51 (Ps 18)
Key Verse 22:33
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”
This song of praise was written probably after David became a king of the united kingdom Israel. David had experienced great victories from many wars, challenges and hardships. David’s song is mainly about God of David during those times. It is identical with Psalm 18. It means this song was publicly spoken among the people. In Psalm 18:1, the poet starts with this expression, “I love you, Lord, my strength.” This is David’s love song. Each one of us may have different life situations and experiences. So we have personal stories to tell, don’t we!
The Lord is my Rock
Let us read verses 2 and 3, He said, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 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.” David sang of God mainly as his savior and his refuge. Throughout verses 4-7, he repeatedly said that he called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise. In his deep distress David called to the Lord. He was sure that God would continue to deliver him out of waves of death, torrents of destruction and confrontation to the snares of death.
Here we see that David’s unwavering trust in the Lord in times of trouble. Since the prophet Samuel had anointed David to be the ruler of Israel when he was a shepherd boy, his hardship began. The jealousy of the king Saul pursued him; the evil spirit in Saul threatened him to death and he was a fugitive for many years. He had to leave the land of his own to save his life and lived in the foreign country in constant suspense and fear. When he was delivered from all these troubles, he confessed God as his defender and shelter for his soul. He said, “My---” nine times in two verses. “My rock, my fortress and my deliverer, ---.”
When we read many names of God in his song, we understand that David learned of God in each occasion. It was David’s personal life testimony. His Psalm is characterized as stories between God and him as he learned about his life in the view of God. While we meditate on David’s song of praise today, can we be reminded of what deliverance we personally experienced? It would be a wonderful time to build our lives with God. We may write many poems. I believe we can come out of the dark tunnel and live in the light of God all the days of our lives.
I was a country boy living with happy family, being educated with good support. My father was well-known in the community with his financial stability and mother was a good housewife; faithful and religious. In high school year, my father tried to build a business. He lost most of his financial resources. During these years, my four siblings became members of a religious group, led by my mother. People said that it is not right religion. My sisters and brother were smart with great potential to build a bright future. But they were not interested in worldly success.
Out of seven children, I the youngest was the only one who experienced college life. However, I was not smart or talented. I had struggled with inferiority complex and fatalism. A giant negative force inside of me threatened my ego and tried to bring me down. Even so, I moved to Seoul out of the hilly countryside. I am thankful to my mother and siblings’ support to study though it was against their belief and my family’s poor financial situation. God is my Deliverer.
In freshman year, I was invited to Genesis Bible academy in UBF. I wanted to know what is right or true about the Bible and religion. This desire motivated me to attend Bible study further. Genesis 1:31 taught me that I was created by God with a clear purpose. God especially saw me that I was very good in His eyes. My heart was uplifted to see my life differently. I realized that focusing on my negative self and problems are sinful habit because these thoughts made me pitiful and fatalistic. I tried to find positivity in me and practiced. God is the horn of my Salvation.
I volunteered to enter the military academy after the college graduation. One day, after finishing shooting practice. I accidentally triggered. The bullet suddenly flew into the air. It was crucial mistake because I missed to confirm that the rifle had no bullet left. If anyone were hit, what would be happened! At that time, I felt I was rescued from the fatal mistake. God is my Fortress.
After discharged as an army officer, I married Msn Sarah. God is my Shelter. A year later, I came to New York. In order to learn about New York as a part of missionary training, I worked in different jobs. Taxi driving in the city was challenging because I had to learn geographical locations while getting to the customer’s destination. Thankfully, no accident happened and I made some money and lots of driving experience. God is my Guide.
Finishing nursing study was really breath-taking suspense and struggle for eight long years journey. I learned to overcome my limit and received God’s provision and help from many good instructors and professors. Finally I got a job in nursing area and have stayed until today. God is my Warrior and my Reward.
After ten years of homecare nursing, I moved to hemodialysis center. At the beginning of this new job, I was being attacked by the unit manager along with senior coworkers with unreasonable cause. Without proper orientation, they expected me to be an efficient hemodialysis nurse. He humiliated me a few times without listening to my side of the story. As a new employee, I was helpless and defenseless. Yet, out of nowhere, the manager transferred to another site. With new manager, I was able to function as a confident HD RN. God is my Supporter.
However, I was drained physically with developing heart problems with heavy workloads. I got a position at Blood Replacement Therapy Center recommended by UBF some coworkers, which is manageable. He reached down from heaven and took hold of me with sufficient provision with unfailing kindness. God is my Rock.
When I see my life, everyone would agree that I was in bad shape without goodness in me. When I was young, I was timid and indecisive. Yet, through many ups and downs, God has trained me to be strong and faithful in Him.
Throughout verses, David described his God as a mighty warrior. He fought like thunder that made earth trembled; He was like consuming fire. He shot arrows, scattering the enemy. He routed them with great bolts of lightning. It means God himself actually fought for David against his enemies. At the same time, God gave David strength to advance against the troop and untiring feet like a deer, caused him to stand on the heights. David didn’t turn back until the enemies were destroyed completely. From the attacks of the peoples, God also delivered him. God eventually raised him as the head of nations. When foreigners heard of his name, they came with trembling and obeyed him. We recognize David as the great warrior. Today, we learn it was not by himself, but by the help of God. “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?” (32)
David’s song of praise was composed mainly based on his victories and he sang about God who gave him victory. What are his victories?
First, David entrusted in God. Let us read verse 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.” David repeatedly testified that he was surrounded by the enemies and attackers. Many occasions, we notice that David prayed and asked God to deal with his enemies. He didn’t fight with them nor retaliated them with bigger blows. When someone is in troubles, disasters and hardships, his heart and mind become hard and narrow. He would do many bad things, following his emotion and desire.
However, David was able to deal with humility, patience, justice and love. David received these godly characters through his trust in God. Many victories were given to David because of his spiritual fight against human nature, asking God to deal with his enemies rather than himself doing it.
Second, David kept the ways of the Lord. Let us read verse 20-22, “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I am not guilty of turning from my God.” These confidence of David seemed over exaggerated. Soon after this song of praise, David committed adultery and murder. God dealt with him very seriously about his sin. He received God’s punishment and experienced many sorrows as a result of his sin.
Still God delighted in David. He rescued and rewarded him. So David’s song is relevant because he became righteous and clean before God through is repentance. David didn’t turn away from God though he was crushed by his sin. He cried out, “Mercy me! Mercy me!” God accepted his repentance. God’s forgiveness led him righteous and clean. God rewarded David because he didn’t turn away from God. God raised him as a shepherd of His people. God promised to David that the Messiah would come through him. What a glorious and victorious life David had lived! We see it was not by his righteousness, but God made him righteous. God delighted in him because David trusted in God no matter what.
Third, David followed God’s set principle of life. David experienced many victories in battle. However, in his song, David talks about another victories which God granted him. They are more like inner characters. Let us read verses 26-28. It says that God is faithful to the faithful, blameless to the blameless, pure to the pure, but to the devious, He deals shrewdly. He saves the humble, but brings down the proud. David’s inner victory came from his understanding of God’s set principle of life and he tried to live by the principle.
David is very famous in history. Why do we like David very much? There are many heroic stories about him and they inspire us. But the real greatness of David is he was a man after God’s own heart. He desired to know God and loved Him. He struggled to be right in the view of God. What is our righteousness? It is not our perfection. It is our struggle to obey the word of God and love Him.
It is the epilogue of David’s Song. Let us read verses 47-50. “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior! He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. Therefore, I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.”
Do you think we are in battle field? Or we live without any enemy or struggle with? If the world today is like battle field, who are our enemies? To whom we go when enemy attacks us? Are we fighting or retreating? How can we experience victory with our lives? David exclaimed through his mouth three thousand years ago, “The Lord lives! He is my Rock! He is my Savior. It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” It is effective today. May the grace and power of God be with us and we may live with shout of victory until our battles end.