THE GOD WHO ENABLES
Almighty God, you are my rock and my strong tower. You see what I cannot, and you work on a canvas that is vast and infinite. God of love and mercy, I choose to submit to your will and purposes today.
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[a]
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[b] 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[c] 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.”
- 2 Samuel 22:33 Dead Sea Scrolls, some Septuagint manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Psalm 18:32); Masoretic Text who is my strong refuge
- 2 Samuel 22:36 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text shield; / you stoop down to make
- 2 Samuel 22:46 Some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate (see also Psalm 18:45); Masoretic Text they arm themselves
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.
‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.’1
At this stage in his life David might have been overconfident in his own blamelessness (v 24) but there is no doubt that he understood that any abilities he had were given by God. It is God who is his Rock, providing strength and refuge when fleeing from the enemies spoken about in verse 1. God enables him to run safely on the heights, like a mountain deer, but also provides a safe path when his ankles are in danger of giving way. God delivers, preserves, avenges, sets free, exalts, and rescues. It is God who fully deserves all the praise that David can give him.
It is never easy to work out the exact relationship between the work God does for us and the work he expects us to do. David had to fight battles, climb mountains, lead armies, walk the walk; but he could not have done it without God. God was always there helping and guiding, but the work itself had to be done by David. He could not just sit back and let God get on with it. At times it was doing just that that got him into trouble! Many years ago, I met a student coming out of an exam who said, ‘Well, I managed OK in the first half, but the second half I had to leave to God.’ I was very tempted when giving the paper back to write, ‘Well, your bit wasn’t too bad, but the bit you say God did, was very poor!’ Depending on God was not an excuse for not having done any revision! Like David, we must get on and do the work God has given us, but we must be very clear that it is God who enables us to do so.
Talk with a friend about times when you were aware of God working with you and for you – and times when you never thought about God’s help behind the scenes.
Lord, I am uncertain and tentative about many things. But I look to you as my helper and guide to give me the courage I need today.
1 Ps 28:7
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