2 Samuel 22:3-7,17-19 God Delivers On His Promises, But On His Terms & Timing
2 Samuel 22:3-7,17-19
3 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.
4 “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.
5 “For the waves of death encompassed me; The torrents of destruction overwhelmed me;
6 The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.
7 “ 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. …
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.
This psalm celebrates David’s achievements, at the same time attributes them to God’s faithful interventions. This psalm surfaces the critical attitudes and mindsets that led David through insurmountable challenges. In today’s passage, we discover David’s approach to facing the challenges of life. His instincts to depend on God in the moments of distress speaks of his total abandonment to God’s faithfulness to deliver on God’s terms and timing.
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation – A rock is immovable and impenetrable, a place of protection from the fatal arrows of the enemy. He describes God as his rock, reliable and dependable at all times. Not only is God his refuge and defense, He is also David’s offense and power to overcome the enemy. The shield refers to armory and weaponry that equips David to put on an offensive attack against the enemy. The horn or antler of an animal depicts a lethal weapon capable of overrunning the opponent. With God as his rock and horn, he is able to overcome enemies many times greater than him.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies – Because God is his constant rock and horn, his only alternative in the face of danger is to call upon the Lord. “Worthy to be praised” refers to David’s unwavering trust in God’s faithfulness to save him and to conquer his enemies. The key points to David’s instinct to call upon God every time he is in distress; he is not given to doubt or prideful independence despite his giftedness giving glory to God for every victory.
For the waves of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me – David describes the multiple instances in his life where destruction is imminent. While being pursued by King Saul, he came face to face with death as Saul led a few thousand elite men after him. He recalls the trauma of seeing his city burned to the ground and entire families kidnapped by raiders while they were out on a campaign. He never forgets the dilemma of risking more casualties by pursuing their kidnappers while in state of shock and distress.
Yes, I cried to my God; and from His temple He heard my voice, and my cry for help came into His ears – David speaks about the certainty of God’s favorable response towards his cries for help. For not a single time, did God ignore his call. Even though God is transcendent, high up in His heavenly abode, the cries of David never fail to reach His ears.
- Our cries towards God must be undergirded with the immutability of His promises. When we cry out to God in the midst of our distress, we must allow the Spirit to permeate our minds with the promises of the word that gives faith. It is the word that inspires faith, otherwise, our cries achieve nothing. Hence, we must go beyond the act of presenting our requests to God to receiving strength and guidance through His promises. It is through prayer that we direct our focus onto the immutability of His promises. The apostle Paul says concerning the unchangeableness of God’s promises,
For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20
Jesus, through His death and resurrection has forever broken the stranglehold of Satan over us. Hence, nothing can stand in the way of our victory.
Having girded ourselves with the immutability of the word, we create a conducive environment within our soul to receive divine guidance as well as the strength to execute It. In 1 Samuel 30:6, David cries out to God, he strengthens himself in the promises of God and receive divine guidance whether he should pursue the raiders and recover the families. Worrying about the current reality only blind us to the hope that God has predestined for us. Worrying deafens us to the guidance of the Spirit. Crying to God releases our burdens to God to receive strength and guidance towards victory.
- Our dire predicament presents an opportunity to exercise faith in extreme conditions. Many however, during protracted times of difficulties unwittingly come to the conclusion that God is fickle in His faithfulness to deliver them from their troubles; they supposed if God is faithful He would never have allowed them to suffer in the first place. Yet, it never occurs to them their present predicament is the direct consequence of their self-centered mindset. Hence, they could not emerge from their comfort zone of error and stupor. Therefore, in pursuit of a breakthrough, one must submit himself to the ways of God and trust Him to deliver on His terms and timing. The prophet Isaiah says concerning the mystery of God’s ways,
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
Our protracted suffering may be God’s way of creating a zone of discontent for us so that we may grow tired of our way of error and submit to His terms and timing.
How do you deal with difficulties that are protracted? Do you insist on your own ways expecting God to deliver you in your terms instead of His? It is time to give God a chance to show Himself wise and faithful to bless. Seek to understand His will and obey Him one day at a time while celebrating the faithfulness of God to deliver.
Dear Lord, I reject my tendencies to depression and being self-absorbed in my perception of the future. Reveal to me your ways and your thoughts and lead me to a prosperous and glorious future. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.