Shmuel II Twenty-Two: A Song of David

“And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul (Samuel II 22:1).” Does this indicate that in the end, Saul was one of David’s enemies? Or is it not meant to equate the two, but rather to note all that David overcame, both with regards to Saul and his enemies? Either way, this is a song of David, something that I imagine I’ll be typing for months once we get to the psalms. David is a poet and a lyricist, so it’s obviously beautiful, but higher on flowery language than content.

David describes God as his rock and shield, which makes sense, as he’s thanking God for saving him from his enemies. “When I am in distress, I call upon the Lord, yes I call upon my God: and out of His abode He hears my voice, and my cry enters His ears (Samuel II 22:7).” This seems to speak to the very personal relationship that God and David has. David speaking to God is almost like calling a friend who you turn to when things get tough. It’s just that David’s friend has infinite power and the ability to both bless and curse.

God is greatly anthropomorphic in this chapter. David describes Him in humanized terms, which I guess makes sense, because it’s the only way that human beings can begin to relate to an unknown deity. “And He bent the heavens and He came down; and thick darkness was under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub and did fly; He was seen upon the wings of the wing (Samuel II 22:10-11).” God is, of course, everywhere, all the time. So what does it mean for Him to be in a specific place or doing a certain thing? Does this mean that His presence was concentrated there, and therefore that’s where it was felt, or most in evidence? Is David being literal, which would be beyond belief in many ways, or is all of this a metaphor for God’s strength?

“With a kind one, You show Yourself kind. With an upright mighty man, You show Yourself upright. With a pure one, You show Yourself pure; But with a perverse one, You deal crookedly (Samuel II 22:26-27).” This seems to say that God deals with all of us on our own terms. Just as a parent doesn’t parent each of their children the same way, our own behaviors are reflected in how God treats us. We get what we deserve from our relationships with Him. David, having been victorious, knows that he is worthy of his rewards, because God wouldn’t have saved him if he hadn’t been righteous. It must be very validating to have that kind of unshakable faith. I like it because it makes people responsible for their actions, because God’s treatment of us is based on what we do.

God has done a lot for David. “Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and to Your name I will sing praises (Samuel II 22:50).”


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