(2 Sam 22:1–51)
To the leader. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so I shall be saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of perdition assailed me;
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens, and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew; he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering around him, his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him there broke through his clouds hailstones and coals of fire.
13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice.
14 And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high, he took me; he drew me out of mighty waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity; but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his ordinances were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt.
24 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 With the loyal you show yourself loyal; with the blameless you show yourself blameless;
26 with the pure you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.
27 For you deliver a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 By you I can crush a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God except the Lord? And who is a rock besides our God?—
32 the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand has supported me; your help has made me great.
36 You gave me a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them; and did not turn back until they were consumed.
38 I struck them down, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.
39 For you girded me with strength for the battle; you made my assailants sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine, like dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
43 You delivered me from strife with the peoples; you made me head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart, and came trembling out of their strongholds.
46 The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation,
47 the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me;
48 who delivered me from my enemies; indeed, you exalted me above my adversaries; you delivered me from the violent.
49 For this I will extol you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.
50 Great triumphs he gives to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.
Sometimes your faith is rewarded. This psalm represents David’s heart pouring out in praise to God who has delivered David from his enemies. I encourage you to read through this psalm several times. The poetic praise is moving.
One thing to take away from this psalm begins in verse 25. David writes:
25 With the loyal you show yourself loyal; with the blameless you show yourself blameless; 26 with the pure you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.
Spend some time reflecting on these two verses. To the loyal God shows himself loyal, to the blameless, blameless, and to the pure, God shows himself pure. But to the crooked, God shows himself perverse. While I don’t want to take these two verses too far, I does seem like those who choose to allow God to be the source of their lives see God much differently than those who choose to reject God as their source.
Take some time reflecting on your view of God. Can you honestly pray this psalm of David? Do you really look to God each day, or do you rely on your own abilities and resources? When we place our trust fully in God, like David, we will see him as loyal. We may still have to go through battles, but God will give us the victory.