Heavenly Father, I long to rejoice in what You have done for me, so that when times are difficult I have songs of joy to cheer me on.
2 Samuel 22:1-30
Consider: "Since we receive everything from God, there is nothing we can render him but praise, and praise to him alone" (Martin Luther, 1483-1546). When we offer praise, the Lord draws near to us in a special way (Psa. 22:3).
Chapters 21-24 form an interlude in the main narrative. They include earlier historical incidents, one of David's songs, his "last testament," and a list of David's mighty warriors and their exploits. (You may wish to read chapter 21, telling the tragic story of the Gibeonites. See Joshua 9 for the story's beginning.) Chapter 22 consists of a long psalm written by David when his victory was complete, his throne assured. The first 20 verses celebrate his rescue and salvation in extravagant verse, comparing the hand of God to dramatic natural events.
Singing songs of praise as part of our worship together is a joyous and heart-lifting experience. As David sang this with his people in Jerusalem, perhaps he recalled the word of the Lord spoken by Nathan: "Your house and your kingdom shall endure for ever before me; your throne shall be established forever" (2 Sam. 7:16). He would not have understood the full amazing truth of this promise until he met his Lord face to face.
Could he still sing it with the same certainty and confidence at the end of his life? In verses 21-28 he celebrates his own righteousness. The psalms have formed part of the public praise of Christians and Jews down the years since David sang them. Yet this is also the personal prayer of a man who knew triumph and shameful disaster. After he wrote this song, he faced internal dissent and rebellion, difficult politics, famine and plague, popular dissatisfaction, and the temptations of sex and power. "You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low" (28) echoes the prayers of both Hannah (1 Sam. 2:8-10) and Mary (Luke 1:52).
Read through verses 1-30 again. What verse or lyric of David's song would you want to claim as your own? Why that particular one?
Lord, as I rejoice in my achievements and Your blessings, help me to walk in Your way with humility. May I always know I cannot see the future nor fully evaluate the past.