2 Samuel 22:20-28 The Secret to God’s Favor
2 Samuel 22:20-28
20 He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
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.
In this section, David speaks about the secret of God’s favor in his life. He attributes God’s favor to the virtues that he possesses – purity, kindness and perseverance to fulfill his life call.
He also brought me forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me – God brings David to a “broad place”, a large piece of land or a big house depicting prosperity and hope of a glorious future. David explains God’s favor upon him as not arising from a vacuum but from the virtues he possesses. In other words, there is something about David that attracts the favor of God.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not acted wickedly against my God – David accorded his divine favor to his obedience towards God’s instructions: For I have kept the ways of the Lord. David’s favor before God is unquestionably attributed to his unwavering obedience to God. As opposed to popular Christian teachings which supposes that God’s favor and blessings are “unconditionally” given to all men. While God’s invitation to salvation and blessings remains unconditional, still, there are those who are undeniably more blessed than others. God’s blesses with honor and glory those who give of themselves unreservedly to walk in His truth and for the work of His kingdom.
With the pure You show Yourself pure, And with the perverted You show Yourself astute – David further elaborates on the spectrum of God’s countenance: “Pure” as in sincere, intimate and transparent. To those who are reverent and transparent in relating to Him, He shows Himself transparent and intimate. To those who are deceitful, He shows Himself “Astute” as in veiled and incomprehensible. To those who love Him, He is ever near and intimate. But to the disobedient, He appears distant and aloof. Popular Christianity portrays God as having no capability of showing displeasure even to the most repulsive sinner. This robs God of His righteous nature and deprives men of the intimate fellowship of the Spirit. God disapproves sin but He shows His love when He forgives the repentant. But to the unrepentant, He disciplines with love and exercises His patience desiring all to repent. However, there will come a final judgement when He judges all according to their works.
With the kind You show Yourself kind, with the blameless You show Yourself blameless – God repays with kindness and favor those who are compassionate towards the helpless. In the same vein, for the “blameless”, which refers to those who persevere in the truth and commission of God, “You show Yourself as blameless” in bringing them to a glorious and perfect future.
- Those who are pure at heart shall see God. Purity denotes sincerity and transparency; it describes a person who is without guile or pretense. Purity does not mean perfection in character, but it refers to one who does not veil his own darkness because he trusts in God’s mercy to forgive. David prays,
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way of everlasting. Psalms 139:12-24
Purity causes even the vilest of sinners to find grace to approach God in boldness and confidence. Therefore, the first quality that God finds desirable in a person is purity. The flip side of purity is hypocrisy or pride where God makes it explicitly clear that He will reject without exceptions.
- Those who are kind shall experience God’s enduring kindness and favor. Kindness is empathy; it is a spontaneous act of empathizing and identifying with the sufferings of another. Kindness motivates one to help the helpless by lifting them towards greatness. Kindness reveals itself in seemingly insignificant gestures that touch the heart giving hope and relieve to the hopeless. While it is impossible to be kind without the accompanying works of charity, it is possible to do charitable works without genuine kindness. Works arising from kindness is ubiquitous and continual. Whereas works without kindness is occasional and motivated by self-benefit. God does not credit a person’s work per se but the virtues of his heart. When David was expelled from Saul’s court, he gathered those who are in debt, who are worthless in the eyes of the society and turned them into mighty men of valor. David’s kindness attracts God’s kindness and moves noble men to his aid. When Absalom stirred up a rebellion against David, God showed His kindness by enlisting the forest on his side killing 20,000 rebel soldiers.
- Those who endeavor to fulfill their calling shall be honored and glorified. While purity attracts the intimacy of God, faithfulness and obedience attracts His glory. A person may be genuinely repentant and sincere in approaching God, but if he does not exercise discipline over himself and persevere in his calling, he will not receive his due glory. It is one thing to be saved from condemnation, but quite another to be glorified and honored. Those who give their lives unreservedly for the fulfillment of the highest commission shall be called “blameless”. David, despite his troubles, never gives up on his calling to rule Israel with righteousness. God in turn honors David by building him an everlasting kingdom through his descendant Jesus Christ.
- Do you go to God only when you’re in trouble while having no interest to understand or internalize His truths? Purity causes us to confess our sins without veiling or justifying ourselves knowing that God is merciful to forgive.
- Do you place the value of money above the value of the human soul? Are you preoccupied by the desire to enrich yourself sparing little thought and time for those who are helpless?
- Do you know the present calling for your life? Do you seek to understand your role in God’s kingdom work? God will show you in the days to come greater clarity concerning your in His kingdom’s work.
Dear Lord, search me and reveal to me my darkness within. Forgive my sins and bless me in your mercy. Give me a compassionate heart that readily empathizes with the weak. Show me my calling and role in your kingdom so that I may fulfill it. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.