2 Samuel 22– Lessons from David’s Psalm of Praise Regarding God’s Holy Character

Introduction: This chapter is the longest Psalm that can be proven to be from David. Just as 2 Samuel 21 is told out of chronological order for thematic reasons, many believe the same to be true with this psalm as well. David reigned as king for 40 years (2 Sam. 5:4; 1 Kgs. 2:11). But this chapter begins with David’s praise for God’s deliverance from Saul, which happened before he became king. In this psalm, David also states that he has kept all of God’s “ordinances” and “statutes” (2 Sam. 22:23). With the exception of his multiple wives, this statement was true at the beginning of David’s reign. But it was not true at the end of his reign. God forgave David for his sins of adultery, deceit, and murder. But David and all of Israel suffered for years because of these sins. David’s words in this Psalm are almost identical to his Psalm 18, where he celebrated God’s deliverance in his many battles as a young man. Thus, many believe that he wrote this psalm around the time of 2 Samuel 8:14, when he had taken the throne and defeated his enemies. Even in his old age, David could look back and sing his psalm to celebrate God’s deliverance. Although David’s walk changed over the course of his reign, God never changed. From David’s psalm, God reveals seven reasons to praise Him in your own songs and prayers of praise. Through David, God revealed that He is the God of (1) deliverance, (2) compassion, (3) omnipotence, (4) love, (5) fairness or justice, (6) empowerment, and (7) faithfulness.

First, David sang a psalm of praise for God’ deliverance from Saul and his many enemies. Like David, God wants you to also praise Him as the source of your deliverance from the evil one and your enemies. Second, David cried out to God during his times of distress. Just as God was there for David in his times of distress, God wants you to know that He is compassionate and will also hear your cries for help. Third, David praised God for His awesome and indescribable power. Like David’s psalm, God wants you to know that He is all powerful and able to solve any problem for you. Fourth, David revealed that God saved him because He “delighted” in David out of a deep love for him. Like David, God wants you to know that He also loves you and delights in your fellowship. Fifth, David praised God for His gracious blessings at a time when David walked in faith-led obedience. Your salvation is based upon your faith and not your works. But God wants you to know that He is fair and just to reward your faith-led obedience. Sixth, David praised God for strengthening him to defeat his many enemies and challenges. Like David, God will also strengthen you when you submit to Him in humility. Finally, David praised God for His mercy and grace and faithfulness in granting him a permanent dynasty. This culminated with Jesus as the King of Kings. Just as God was faithful to keep every one of His promises to David, He is faithful and trustworthy to keep all of His promises to you as well.

1. Deliverance: God Will Deliver You from the Evil One and Your Enemies. 2 Sam. 22:1-4.

  • David’s praise for God’s deliverance from Saul and his other enemies. David’s psalm began with praise for God being the source of his deliverance from both Saul and his many other enemies. “1 And David spoke the words of this song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said, ‘The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my savior, You save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”’ (2 Sam. 22:1-4). David used multiple different terms to describe God’s power of deliverance. God was David’s “rock”, his “shield”, his “horn of salvation”, his “stronghold,” his “refuge,” and his “savior.” The multiple different titles reflected that God was everything to David. One title could not fully describe all that God did for him. David’s recognition of God’s invisible hand of deliverance throughout his many near-death experiences is one of the multiple reasons why David was called a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). A person of the flesh would assume that he or she or another person was responsible for their deliverance. As one commentator observes: “David experienced the Lord’s deliverance: · God delivered David from Goliath. · God delivered David from Saul. · God delivered David from backsliding.· God delivered David from Israel’s enemies. · God delivered David from Absalom. · God delivered David from David’s own sinful passions.” (David Guzik on 2 Samuel 22).1 Like David, God wants you to have the faith to trust in His deliverance from the attacks of the evil one, your enemies, or your own self-imposed bondage.

David sang psalms of praise for God2

Turn to God when you are in need of protection3

  • Thank God in songs and prayers for your deliverance as well. As an example to you, many of David’s psalms or Solomon’s proverbs contain tributes to God for His deliverance: “A Psalm; a Song at the Dedication of the House. A Psalm of David. I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.” (Ps. 30:1). “A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?” (Ps. 27:1). “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4). “My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.” (Ps. 144:2). “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). “On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.” (Ps. 62:7). “The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble;” (Ps. 9:9). “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.” (Prov. 18:10). If you feel under attack, give thanks for God’s deliverance.

  • When you trust in God and do His will, you have no reason to fear your enemies. Because God was David’s rock and his refuge, he never feared his enemies: “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about.” (Ps. 3:6). “Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war arise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident.” (Ps. 27:3). When Goliath approached David, David charged at him without fear: “Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.” (1 Sam. 17:48). If you are walking in faith in Jesus, you have no reason to fear your enemies. “And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant—” (Lk. 1:69). If you fear any enemy, give that fear to Jesus.

2. Compassion: God is Compassionate and Hears Your Cries for Help. 2 Sam. 22:5-7.

  • David’s praise for God’s compassion in his times of distress. David also praised God for hearing his cries of distress when he was distraught and felt like he was certain to die at any moment: ‘“For the waves of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me; the cords of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, yes, I cried to my God; and from His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help came into His ears.”’ (2 Sam. 22:5-7). On many occasions, Saul’s troops or the Philistines had surrounded or captured David. Death seemed inevitable. David did not respond like a stoic superhero. Instead, he broke down in tears as he pleaded with God to save him. Some might find this undignified. Others might consider his cries for help as a sign of a lack of faith. Some might further assume that the only way to pray to God is in a composed and formal manner. But David’s psalm should shatter these incorrect beliefs. God wants you to cry out to Him.

When you are in distress, cry out to God4

  • Cry out to God when you are in distress. As an example for believers, David’s psalms should encourage believers to give their deepest burdens to God: “A Psalm of David. Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life . . . Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; may I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit shut its mouth on me. Answer me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good; according to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me,” (Ps. 69:1, 14-16). “The cords of death encompassed me and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”’ (Ps. 116:3-4). “Stretch forth Your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, out of the hand of aliens.” (Ps. 144:7). “A Song of Ascents. In my trouble I cried to the LORD, and He answered me.” (Ps. 120:1). When you are feeling sadness or when your world is caving in, it is not a sign of a lack of faith to cry out to God. Instead, it is a sign of faith to do so. He wants you to cry out to Him so that the Holy Spirit can comfort you.

3. Omnipotence: God is All Powerful and Able to Solve any Problem. 2 Sam. 22:8-16.

  • David’s praise and amazement at God’s omnipotent power. David’s psalm also paid tribute to God’s awesome and indescribable power to solve any problem: ‘“Then the earth shook and quaked, the foundations of heaven were trembling and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up out of His nostrils, fire from His mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet. 11 And He rode on a cherub and flew; and He appeared on the wings of the wind. 12 And He made darkness canopies around Him, a mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky. 13 From the brightness before Him coals of fire were kindled. 14 The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice. 15 And He sent out arrows, and scattered them, lightning, and routed them. 16 Then the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were laid bare by the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils.”’ (2 Sam. 22:8-16). David bolstered his faith as he described God’s omnipotent power in anthropological terms. David knew that there was no problem that was too big for the Creator of the universe to solve. God was so eager to use His power to rescue David and demonstrate His faithfulness that David perceived the ground shake as God intervened to help him (2 Sam. 22:8). One commentator observes that: “David called to God for deliverance, and God responded in a way that signaled His sovereignty over all creation. When God heard David’s cry, He responded, as evidenced by all of His creation. God is angered by the enemies who have endangered His anointed king, and all of creation reflects God’s anger. This is not just a description of a God who is eager to save His king, but a God who is intent upon destroying the enemies who threaten His king.” (Robert L. Deffinbaugh (20. David’s Song of Salvation (2 Samuel 22)).5 The Creator of the universe is just as interested in using His power for you.

  • God wants to use His power to help you as well. Other psalms also refer to God’s awesome power: “The earth quaked; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.” (Ps. 66:8). Moses used similar terms to describe God’s mighty power when He appeared at Mount Horeb / Sinai: “Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder.” (Ex. 19:18-19). The judge Deborah also used similar words in her song of deliverance to describe God: “LORD, when You went out from Seir, when You marched from the field of Edom, the earth quaked, the heavens also dripped, even the clouds dripped water. The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD, this Sinai, at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (Jdgs. 5:4-5). “Mountains quake because of Him and the hills dissolve; indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, the world and all the inhabitants in it.” (Nahum 1:5; Is. 64:1; Hab. 3:3-15). God further uses His power to protect His people: “Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were routed before Israel.” (1 Sam. 7:10). He also wants to help you as well.

David praised God’s omnipotent power6

  • Sing praises to God’s power to boost your faith in times when it is weak. Like David, God wants you to trust in His absolute power to solve your problems. He also wants you to boost your faith by including similar praises for His mighty power in your prayers and praises (Ro. 10:17). ‘“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,’ . . . ‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”’ (Jer. 32:17, 27). “And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”’ (Matt. 19:26; Gen. 18:14). If God does not respond to your prayer request, it may be because you are asking amiss or it is not His will. Yet, if He does not respond, it will never be because He lacks the power to do so.

4. Love: God Loves You and Delights in Your Fellowship. 2 Sam. 22:17-20.

  • David’s praise and amazement that God rescued him out of love for him. David also praised God as a loving God who saved him because God delighted in him: ‘“17 He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. 18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. 19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. 20 He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.”’ (2 Sam. 22:17-20). Many people perceive God to be a cold and distant creator. But this is not who God is. David knew that God loved him and delighted in David’s fellowship. God also wants you to know that He loves you and wants your fellowship as well.

  • God also loves you and delights in your fellowship. Like David, God loves you and delights to have you in fellowship with Him: “It will no longer be said to you, ‘Forsaken,’ nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate’; but you will be called, ‘My delight is in her,’ and your land, ‘Married’; for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married.” (Is. 62:4). “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation.” (Is. 60:15). “The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zeph. 3:17). Thus, our God is not a cold or distant Creator.

  • God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you. Jesus’ death on the cross is a testament to God the Father’s loving character and His desire to be reconciled to you: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16). “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (Jo. 10:11). “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (Jo. 15:13). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). Jesus does merely want to save you. He wants to delight in your fellowship, symbolized by His desire to dine with you: ‘“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20). Are you seeking out His love and fellowship?

5. Fairness / Justice: God is Fair and Just to Reward Your Obedience. 2 Sam. 22:21-28.

  • David’s praise and amazement for God’s fairness and His just character. At a time when David was walking in most areas of his life with God, He praised God for rewarding his Spirit-led obedience: ‘“21 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. 22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not acted wickedly against my God. 23 For all His ordinances were before me, and as for His statutes, I did not depart from them. 24 I was also blameless toward Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity. 25 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness before His eyes. 26 With the kind You show Yourself kind, with the blameless You show Yourself blameless; 27 with the pure You show Yourself pure, and with the perverted You show Yourself astute. 28 And You save an afflicted people; but Your eyes are on the haughty whom You abase.”’ (2 Sam. 22:21-28). With exception of David’s multiple wives, David walked in Spirit-led obedience to God’s Commandments, His statutes and His ordinances when he first became king. God did not grant David eternal salvation because of his obedience. He was a sinner. But David correctly praised God for His fairness and His just character for rewarding David’s Spirit-led obedience when he walked in obedience. Your obedience also will not result in your salvation. Only your faith in Jesus’ atoning death on the cross will do that. Yet, like David, God will also keep His promises to reward you when your faith produces the fruit of obedience (Dt. 28:1-4). Conversely, without taking away your salvation, God may remove His hedge of protection and allow you to experience Satan’s curses when you rebel (Dt. 28:15-68).

  • God did not exalt David or the Jews because of their personal righteousness. Like David, every person is a sinner (Ecc. 7:20). Thus, Moses warned the Jews not to assume that God had exalted them because of their righteousness. “Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you, ‘Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people.” (Dt. 9:4-6). But God still blessed the Jews when their faith led to their obedience.

  • God blessed David with mercy because he was merciful. David showed mercy on many occasions. For example, on two separate occasions, he spared Saul from death when Saul was pursuing David and trying to kill him (1 Sam. 24:10-13; 26:7-11). He also spared Shimei when he had an opportunity to kill him (2 Sam. 16:7-12). God was fair and just to show David the same mercy that David showed to his enemies (2 Sam. 22:26; Ps. 18:25; Prov. 11:17). “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matt. 5:7; Jam. 2:13). God will also be merciful to you when you show mercy to others.

  • God exalted David as king because David was a humble servant. David praised God for sparing “an afflicted people” while abasing “the haughty”. (2 Sam. 22:28). David grew up a humble shepherd. He then served as a humble servant to Saul. He then served Israel as a humble outcast when Saul pursued him and tried to kill him. Because David was humble in his service and even in his victories, God rewarded him by exalting him to become the King of Israel. Like he did with David and his enemies, God will resist those who are prideful and exalt those who are humble. “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (Prov. 29:23). “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (Jam. 4:10). “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk. 14:11). “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,” (1 Pet. 5:6). If you are humble, God will also bless you by exalting you in heaven.

  • God also blessed David with forgiveness. Although most believe that David wrote these words before he committed his terrible sins of adultery and murder, God forgave David when he repented (2 Sam. 12:13). David and Israel would still suffer the consequences of these sins. But God created a clean heart in David after he repented of his sins and later healed the land. “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14). This was another one of God’s blessings. If you repent, He will also bless you by forgiving you (1 Jo. 1:9).

  • Jesus can also clean your heart of sin and allow you to go boldly into the throne room. David spoke with boldness regarding his righteousness. “3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” (Ps. 23:3-5). Unfortunately, David’s ability to speak boldly in God’s righteousness would not last because of his sins. Unlike David, you can act with boldness before God, even if you have committed terrible sins. Through His death on the cross, Jesus has made you blameless with His righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). Through His righteousness, you can then approach God the Father in the throne room in boldness as you pray for others (Heb. 4:16). Are you praying boldly for others?

  • 21 specific blessings in the Torah for those who are faithful and obedient to God. In the four books of the law, God reveals at least 21 specific blessings for those who are faithful and obedient to Him. These blessings are unrelated to Jesus’ blessings of eternal salvation. In Exodus, God revealed at least three conditional blessings that come from faithful obedience. These include: (1) protection from diseases (Ex. 15:26); (2) a prolonged life (Ex. 20:12; Dt. 5:16, 32-33; 4:40; 6:1-2; 12:28; 22:6-7; 25:13-16; Lev. 18:5; Eph. 6:2-3); and (3) God’s holy presence (Ex. 40:34-35). In Leviticus, God revealed seven other conditional blessings that He may use to bless a person or a nation for obedience. These include: (1) provision (Lev. 26:3-5); (2) peace (Lev. 26:6); (3) protection (Lev. 26:7-8; Ex. 23:22); (4) fertility (Lev. 26:9); (5) abundance from giving (Lev. 26:10; Ps. 92:12-14; Mal. 3:10-12); (6) guidance (Lev. 26:11-12; Ps. 32:8); and (7) freedom (Lev. 26:13; Ex. 20:2). In Deuteronomy, He revealed 10 other conditional blessings. These include: (1) exaltation for the nation (Dt. 28:1-2); (2) exaltation for the individual within the nation (Dt. 28:1-3); (3) growth (Dt. 28:4); (4) food (Dt. 28:5); (5) success (Dt. 28:6); (6) the defeat of your enemies (Dt. 28:7); (7) prosperity (Dt. 28:8); (8) holiness (Dt. 28:9); (9) respect (Dt. 28:10); and (10) the fullness of God’s blessings (Dt. 28:11-14). Finally, in books of the law from Exodus through Deuteronomy, God reveals the blessing of forgiveness from the blood sacrifices (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). Jesus became the final one-time sacrifice to fulfill the Old Testament sacrificial laws (Heb. 10:12). The only act of obedience required to receive this blessing today is to believe that He died for your sins and that He is both your Lord and Savior (Ro. 10:13; Acts 2:21; Jo. 3:16; 1 Jo. 1:9). Are you obedient to God to receive His many blessings?

  • Meditate upon God's law. At this point in his life, David memorized God’s Word to keep himself on the right path: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” (Ps. 119:11). “. . . Your law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:8; 1:2; 119:16; Jer. 15:16). Solomon also memorized the law: “Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.” (Prov. 6:21-22; 7:3). Joshua also told the people to meditate day and night on the book of the law (Josh. 1:8). Moses also exhorted the people to internalize God’s Word into their lives: “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul. . .” (Dt. 11:18). Jesus also memorized the law and quoted it from memory throughout His entire life. In addition to the 21 blessings listed above, the law will keep your ways pure (Ps. 37:31; 119:9). It will teach and admonish you (Col. 3:16). When you follow it, David promised that you will bear fruit in God like a tree planted by water (Ps. 1:1-3). Are you meditating on His law and His Word to receive these blessings?

6. Empowerment: God Will Strengthen You When You Submit to Him. 2 Sam. 22:29-43.

  • David’s praise for God’s empowerment to guide him and to defeat his enemies. David also praised God for strengthening him and empowering him to either defeat his enemies or face his many challenges: ‘“29 For You are my lamp, O Lord; and the Lord illumines my darkness. 30 For by You I can run upon a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall. 31 As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. 32 For who is God, besides the Lord? And who is a rock, besides our God? 33 God is my strong fortress; and He sets the blameless in His way. 34 He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places. 35 He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 36 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your help makes me great. 37 You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped. 38 I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, and I did not turn back until they were consumed. 39 And I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise; and they fell under my feet. 40 For You have girded me with strength for battle; you have subdued under me those who rose up against me. 41 You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me, and I destroyed those who hated me. 42 They looked, but there was none to save; even to the Lord, but He did not answer them. 43 Then I pulverized them as the dust of the earth; I crushed and stamped them as the mire of the streets.”’ (2 Sam. 22:29-43). God strengthened David and empowered him because David submitted to God and trusted God in humility. David conceded that his enemies were too strong for him to defeat on his own (2 Sam. 22:4-7, 18). Even when David sinned, he quickly repented and submitted to God. This always allowed God to strengthen David when he confronted his many far stronger enemies.

Let God guide you out of darkness7

  • God will empower you by guiding your path out of darkness. Before praising God for empowering him with strength, David praised God as his “lamp” who “illumines my darkness.” (2 Sam. 22:29). Before God could use David to defeat his enemies, He first guided David to a place of safety. God, for example, likely guided David to caves to hide as Saul’s army encircled him (1 Sam. 22:31). Thus, David sang God’s praises for guiding him: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Ps. 119:105). If you read His Word and pray for guidance, the Holy Spirit will also guide your path.

  • God is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. David praised God as his “shield” from his enemies when he took refuge in Him: “He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” (2 Sam. 22:31). “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Ps. 5:12). From David’s example, his son Solomon also called God his shield: “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Prov. 30:5). When God is your refuge, He is also your shield.

  • God gave David the talents or skills to defeat his enemies. David gave God credit for all of his skills. He praised God for giving him quickness in battle (2 Sam. 22:34). He also praised God for “train[ing] my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” (2 Sam. 22:35). He praised God for guiding his shield to block the blows of his adversaries and for keeping his feet from sliding during combat (2 Sam. 22:36-37). He further praised God for giving him the strength to overpower and defeat his enemies (2 Sam. 22:38-40). “The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.” (Ps. 29:11). He also praised God for filling his enemies with terror and causing them to flee from David (2 Sam. 22:41). Finally, David gave God credit for giving him all these skills to obtain complete victories over his enemies (2 Sam. 22:40-43). If God has blessed you with skills, use them for Him and praise Him.

  • Find strength in God through your weakness. Like David, God wants you to find strength in him to confront your enemies. “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:7-10). Are you boasting in your weakness so that Jesus can strengthen you?

7. Faithfulness: God is Faithful and Trustworthy to Keep His Promises. 2 Sam. 22:44-51.

  • David’s praise and amazement for God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises. David’s psalm concluded with praise for God’s faithfulness for keeping His covenant and promises to David as God’s anointed him King of Israel: ‘“44 You have also delivered me from the contentions of my people; You have kept me as head of the nations; a people whom I have not known serve me. 45 Foreigners pretend obedience to me; as soon as they hear, they obey me. 46 Foreigners lose heart, and come trembling out of their fortresses. 47 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be God, the rock of my salvation, 48 the God who executes vengeance for me, and brings down peoples under me,49 who also brings me out from my enemies; You even lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent man. 50 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name. 51 He is a tower of deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.”’ (2 Sam. 22:44-51). Most of the time, David’s most harrowing near-death experiences came at the hands of his own people. Thus, David praised God for delivering him from his own people (2 Sam. 22:44). Without regard for David’s merit, God formed a covenant with David that the true kingship would run through his descendants. This covenant would last forever (2 Sam. 7:12-16). David faced both domestic and foreign challengers to his reign. But God was always faithful to keep His Word and uphold his covenant. God also wants you to have faith in his Word. Like David, God wants you to sing His praises to non-believers to bring them to faith.

Praise God because He is faithful to deliver you8

  • Praise God because He is faithful even when you are not. David did not deserve to receive an eternal covenant. His sins were worse than Saul’s sins. Yet, God remained faithful, even when David was not. He will also remain faithful to you when your faith fails you: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). Are you singing God’s praises for remaining faithful to you when you are not?

  • David praised God to the nations around him. In response to God’s faithfulness, David promised to go “among the nations” and “sing praises to Your name.” (2 Sam. 22:50). David knew that God’s victories were for His glory so that other nations would also bow down in reverence to the true King of Kings. Paul later quoted David to state that he would also proclaim Jesus to the nations: “ . . . as it is written, ‘Therefore I will give praise to you among the gentiles, and I will sing your name.” (Ro. 15:9). In response to Jesus’ faithfulness, will you also praise Him to non-believers (Matt. 28:16-20).