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Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 22

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Verse 1

The Song of David

When the time to fight is over because one is too old, it is time to sing. When everything around us is gone, God can still be praised. The reason is the deliverance from the power of the enemy through the redemption of the LORD (Psalms 34:20). If we want to serve the Lord in faithfulness, we should not be surprised if we have enemies (John 15:18-Psalms :). We will experience His help and salvation all the more in it, giving us all the more reason to praise Him. We should not wait until we are with the Lord. David did it “in the day that the LORD delivered him”, so immediately after his deliverance. Thus we should do it immediately after we have experienced His help.

This song consists of almost the same words as Psalm 18. In this song we hear from David Who the LORD is for him and what He has done for him. It is a testimony that each of us will be able to give in our own way from the experiences we have had with the Lord. The fact that this song is also included as a psalm in the book of Psalms means that David’s experiences are also recognized and shared by others. These words also express the feelings of those who have been in similar circumstances and have been saved from distress and who want to praise the LORD for it.

Something similar we have in a spiritual song of the believer. A believer can poet a song in which he expresses his feelings for the Lord. He can even set it to music or have it set to music, which sometimes makes the feelings even more penetrating. What emerges in that song is recognized by others. It gives words to the feelings that someone has at that moment and therefore often works enlightenment and joy. This makes something that was first only a personal expression of a faith experience, useful for others to express themselves to God.

There are four ways we can look at this song:
1. In this psalm we see David’s personal experiences. In this way we have here a historical description. It’s about the history of David.
2. We see that David’s history in this psalm is a model for that of Israel. We can think of the redemption from Egypt. What Israel has experienced, David experiences too.
3. We see that everything in this psalm has been fulfilled in the life of the Lord Jesus, the life of the true David. This psalm is therefore an expression of Christ’s feelings. The Spirit of Christ is active in David as he closes this psalm.
4. This psalm expresses the feelings of the remnant of Israel in the future. With them the Lord Jesus connects Himself in the most intimate way.

David commemorates all that God has been to him, all that he has found in Him in his needs and dangers. He looks back on the power of God Who has worked for him and what the blessed result of that power is. All this is expressed in this song, an expression of feelings that are fully present in Christ.

This song, which can be divided into seven parts, begins and ends with praise. It is the story of sadness and suffering that ends in joy and triumph. Because the song reflects past experiences, it can also begin with a praise to the LORD.

Verses 2-4

First Part

All the deliverances from the grip of all kinds of enemies and from the hand of Saul in particular bring up in David a hymn of praise, a psalm. He begins by mentioning the LORD with a number of names in 2 Samuel 22:2-Leviticus :. All acts of God in the past and promises for the future are based on Who He is. All these names fit in a special way in the context of this song in which it is about fleeing, struggle and victory.

At the same time David makes the LORD a very personal experience through the word “my”. Thus Paul could also speak of God as “my God” (Philippians 4:19). The Lord Jesus also spoke of “My Father” and “My God” (John 20:17). David praises that Naam because of salvation.

Verses 5-7

Second Part

This part describes the feelings of David – and also of the faithful remnant of Israel during the great tribulation – when the enemy was out to kill him. We also see it with the Lord Jesus on the cross. He brings this suffering into the memory of His people when He comes to them. Of the Lord Jesus we read that He “in the days of His flesh, … offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death” (Hebrews 5:7).

David describes his need and his call for help to “my God”. His distress was so great that he despaired of life, for death was imminent. The enormous powers he saw in front of him went beyond human control. All he could do was call to God, for he had a God to whom he could call. God heard his voice in His palace, the house of His reign. God was not too busy with other things, but had His ears open for the cry of distress of His chosen king.

Verses 8-20

Third Part

God listens to the call for help in need made in 2 Samuel 22:5-Judges :. In 2 Samuel 22:8-Nehemiah : David tells how the LORD has answered in His mighty appearance to deliver him and his people. He describes what became visible of God when He began to act in his favor. It made David not distressed, but filled him with awe. That God performed for him! Smoke and fire, wind and water, thunder and lightning, God used all these natural phenomena for his deliverance.

From 2 Samuel 22:16 we see various salvations: of Israel from Egypt, of David from the hands of Saul and of the Lord Jesus from the dead in the resurrection. The deliverance by the LORD is expressed by several verbs: “sent from on high”, took me”, “drew me”, “delivered me”, “recued me” (2 Samuel 22:17-Proverbs :). In these verses David experiences the salvation in an almost tangible way.

Verses 21-27

Fourth Part

This section is about the perfection of the Lord Jesus. David was not perfect. Here David does not speak, but here the prophet speaks of Him Who is truly and only perfect. What David is in perfection, he owes to the LORD; what the Lord Jesus is in perfection, He is personal. By virtue of that, He is King.

The end of 2 Samuel 22:20 is the introduction to 2 Samuel 22:21-Lamentations : where David says why God had a pleasure in him and stood up for him. As said, this description in its fullness is only true for the Lord Jesus. Yet this also applies to the believer, whose sins have been reconciled. David does not argue here on the basis of a life without failure. He knows his sins too well. However, he knows, to quote the New Testament, that he is made pleasant in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). If God also acts for his benefit, He does so in accordance with His perfect righteousness. This righteousness comes to the fore in 2 Samuel 22:26-Daniel :.

Verses 28-37

Fifth Part

The fifth to seventh parts tell about the glorious consequences of the work of the Lord Jesus. In the previous part He is delivered, in the coming part He is the Deliverer.

After David has told who God is and how He has acted in the saving, he sings in 2 Samuel 22:28-Haggai : about Who God is for him. He does so in the knowledge of what he says in 2 Samuel 22:31. Declaring God’s way perfect is the secret of rest in Him. By this we know that God is not getting out of control.

It should be remembered that God’s way always runs parallel to His Word. His Word is pure. We can rely on it. The way God takes with one of His own or with His people as a whole is always in accordance with His Word. When we experience surprises in the way we are going, it is often because we don’t know God’s Word, in which He tells us how He sees things. When we surrender to God in the way He is going with us as the best way and we trust His Word, we hide with Him and He proves Himself as a shield. In short: way, Word, shield and hide, that is what God offers us.

We also hear in these verses a wonderful testimony of the Spirit of Christ in the remnant of Israel. This remnant receives strength to hold out to and overcome all enmity in the great tribulation.

Verses 38-49

Sixth Part

In this sixth part David sings of the consequences of deliverance and the glorious reign of the kingdom of peace. In 2 Samuel 22:38-1 Corinthians : we see that God did not defeat the enemies Himself, but He gave David the strength to do so. So it is ultimately God Who did it. Therefore David gives Him all honor in 2 Samuel 22:47-Ephesians :. In “the violent man” (2 Samuel 22:49) we can see both the antichrist and the king of the north (Daniel 11:29-Romans :).

Verses 50-51

Seventh Part

Because of the deliverance he sang in the previous part, David praises the LORD in 2 Samuel 22:50. Not only does he do this in an expression toward Him, but he makes His Name great among the nations. David is aware that everything is the result of God’s mercy and faithfulness to His Anointed. This mercy will never fail, because the Anointed, the Lord Jesus, is the Christ, the Man of God’s pleasure. In Him are all the promises of God yes and amen.

Because of “His Anointed” God will also “lovingkindness “mercy … to David and his descendants forever”. What a great prospect. The faithfulness of God to His Anointed is also for us the basis that God will act for our benefit. Nothing in ourselves, everything in Him.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 2 Samuel 22". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/2-samuel-22.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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