A HAUNTING SONG
In the ordinariness of my life and the simplicity of this moment, I come to you. I open myself to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and pledge myself afresh to you.
Read 2 SAMUEL 22:1-16
David’s Song of Praise
22 David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2 He said:
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
from violent people you save me.
4 “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and have been saved from my enemies.
5 The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
6 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
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.
8 The earth trembled and quaked,
the foundations of the heavens[c] shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
9 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
10 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
11 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared[d] on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness his canopy around him—
the dark[e] rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of his presence
bolts of lightning blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at the rebuke of the Lord,
at the blast of breath from his nostrils.
- 2 Samuel 22:3 Or sovereign
- 2 Samuel 22:3 Horn here symbolizes strength.
- 2 Samuel 22:8 Hebrew; Vulgate and Syriac (see also Psalm 18:7) mountains
- 2 Samuel 22:11 Many Hebrew manuscripts (see also Psalm 18:10); most Hebrew manuscripts appeared
- 2 Samuel 22:12 Septuagint (see also Psalm 18:11); Hebrew massed
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat things do you think you will be most remembered for by those who love you? What stories about your walk with God will they tell?
This song of praise has quite a history in David’s life. Its setting in this chapter suggests that these are his final words (see 23:1). But this is the work of a young man.
With only a few variations, we are in Psalm 18, ascribed to David as he sang to the Lord when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. This incident is chronicled in 1 Samuel 31 and 2 Samuel 1, but it may also have been written during the period leading to David’s enthronement (2 Samuel 2-5). It’s a long psalm of extravagant praise and imagination.
Once David’s cry is heard in God’s temple, there are earthquakes, fire, smoke, and drama as the Lord acts on his behalf. So why does this psalm crop up again at the end of his life? Maybe David regarded this psalm as his signature tune. Maybe this poem encapsulated the deep song in his heart. Maybe we, too, have a signature tune that speaks of God’s dealings with us.
What are the words, images, and experiences that have shaped your spiritual life? Can you speak them out to God or turn them into a piece of writing or music?
Heavenly Father, thank you for countless provisions and blessings that are mine because I belong to you. My heart’s desire is that my life be one of praise for all you are and have done.
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