Wednesday, November 15th. 2 Samuel 22:1-4,17-32

“David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: 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 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…”

 

“He reached from on high, he took me, he drew me out of mighty waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me. They came upon me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my stay. He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his ordinances were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight. With the loyal you show yourself loyal; with the blameless you show yourself blameless; with the pure you show yourself pure, and with the crooked you show yourself perverse. You deliver a humble people, but your eyes are upon the haughty to bring them down. Indeed, you are my lamp, O LORD, the LORD lightens my darkness. By you I can crush a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God–his way is perfect; the promise of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?” 2 Samuel 22:1-4, 17-32

 

Winston Churchill is usually quoted as the first to say “History is written by the victors.”  He also said, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”  So it goes.

 

David is remembered as the greatest king of Israel – but that is to say far more about Israel than about David.  Solomon is remembered as the wisest king of Israel for largely the same reasons.  They sit in the shadows of the past, the glory days.  Theirs are the names that Israel needed to remember as it suffered through a calamitous history.  If David and Solomon were courageous, wise and faithful, then Israel could remember a similar national consciousness.

 

So we come to this passage from 2 Samuel.  This is David’s song of deliverance after a lifetime as a warrior king.  Soon David’s reign would chug chug to an end.  He would be reduced to his bed.  He would be told of one son taking the kingship on his own and then, at the urging of Bathsheba and Nathan, David himself would pass the mantle to Solomon.  But now, in this song, David sings praise to God to whom all glory and honor truly belongs.

 

The “revisionism” in this song isn’t about God but about David.  David claims his own innocence, his personal blamelessness.  Which, of course, is not true.  David was not perfect.  He did some utterly heinous things. And yet God did raise David up as king.  God did protect David.  Israel did move into a new national identity with expanded borders and greater security.  And yes, history is written by the victors.

 

We would do better then to read this song as a song about God rather than a song about David’s character.  God is steadfast, faithful, powerful, a deliverer, One worthy to be praised.  This is the God in whom we trust.

 

Yet we do well to also remember the words of Abraham Lincoln.  In response to a pastor visiting in the White House who said, “I hope God is on our side,” Lincoln replied, “’I am not at all concerned about that for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.'”

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, we are often tempted to see you as “our” God and reduce you to an idea, a motto, an inscription on a coffee cup.  This is our pride and our folly, our projection of you onto a canvas of our own creation.  This is our fear writ large.  Open our eyes to see clearly – forgive us our pride, our fear, our selfcenteredness.  Guide us to walk and live on your side, in your will, as you reveal it to us along the way.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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3 Responses to “Wednesday, November 15th. 2 Samuel 22:1-4,17-32”

  1. Kathy Spennrath-Boor Says:

    Thank you, Pastor!

  2. Joell Says:

    This is so true and so well written. Thank you so much.

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