Lord, Your people look forward to the time of Your full and open vindication on a worldwide scale.
Read 2 SAMUEL 22:31–51
31 “As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;
your help has made me great.
37 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
38 “I pursued my enemies and crushed them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
39 I crushed them completely, and they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
40 You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.
41 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
42 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the Lord, but he did not answer.
43 I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets.
44 “You have delivered me from the attacks of the peoples;
you have preserved me as the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
45 foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
46 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.
47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!
48 He is the God who avenges me,
who puts the nations under me,
49 who sets me free from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.
51 “He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.”
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.
“Then the end will come… after he [Christ] has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:24,25).
David’s song continues in today’s reading, further affirming God’s protection and his enabling power (31–37). The destruction or subjugation of enemies may sound jarring to us, though such language is common in the psalms (e.g., Psa. 9:3–6; 17:13). It highlights God’s vindication of the faithful over those who have ridiculed or oppressed them. The language is stylized to fit different contexts as liturgy, though it corresponds with David’s experiences as well. In verse 42, for example, the Lord does not answer David’s enemy, Saul, when the latter cries to God for help before his final battle (1 Sam. 28:6,15–19). God has delivered David “from the contentions of my people” (44, NASB), reinstating him as king after Absalom’s and Sheba’s rebellions. Even foreigners have come to serve David (45) and pay tribute when defeated by him (2 Sam. 8:2,6,11).
Nevertheless, the reference to God’s “anointed” (literally “Messiah”) and to David’s descendants (literally, “seed”) in verse 51 suggest an eschatological focus beyond the earthly David. Indeed, the whole tenor of the song here is similar to the messianic theme in Psalm 2, which speaks of decisive victory over the enemies of God and of his anointed king. As Christians, we know that Jesus Christ is that Messiah who, like David, suffered persecution and the contention of his people due to his identity and authority (cf. John 7:40–52). He too was vindicated by God, in this case through the resurrection. Moreover, Jesus defeated death and broke the power of Satan, the ultimate enemy. Further, people who did not know Christ (the Gentiles) came to serve him, no longer under duress but willingly. Finally, we look forward to the time when all things will be subjected to him (1 Cor. 15:27,28).
Meditate on 1 Corinthians 15:24–28 and your personal participation therein.
Lord, we rejoice in Your victory and the victory still to come, giving us hope in our struggles against external and internal “enemies”: the mockery of others when we trust you, the corrupt or malicious who wish us ill, or our own sin, sickness or inner discouragement.