THE GOD WHO HEARS
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.
‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.’1
In recent chapters the writer has been raising many hard questions about David and the way he exercised his kingship. Perhaps the inclusion of this wonderful psalm, also found in Psalm 18, is to remind readers that David was a man of many parts. He may have had faults, but there is no doubt he was a godly poet who had, and was able to present, a powerful understanding of who God is and where David and his readers stand in relation to their great God. It is worth noting that this psalm was written right at the beginning of David’s reign,2 well before any of the events that we have been looking at recently. It is important for us to be realistic about our leaders, but here is a reminder to look beyond those leaders to God – and maybe to the good things that they have taught us about him.
Take time to read the whole psalm aloud and reflect on each phrase and the ways in which that might be, or might have been, a reality in your life. David knew God as strong and as safe, as one who protects (vs 2,3). He knew God as one who was always there, always ready, always listening and responding when David was experiencing circumstances which seem totally overwhelming and impossible to cope with (vs 4–7). He knew that God was not to be put in a box, not controlled by outside influences, but was himself controlling the universe (vs 8–16). David would have understood completely what CS Lewis meant in describing Aslan as ‘not a tame lion.’3 He knew that God heard him, but that any action taken would be entirely up to God and might not fit into his own presuppositions as to what God ought to be doing!
Thank the Lord for being your ‘rock, in whom I take refuge’ (v 3); for hearing your voice, and listening to your cry!
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.
1 1 John 5:14 2 See the heading to Ps 18 3 CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
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