Sunday, December 20, 2015

2 Samuel 22

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Samuel 22. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The song we read here is also in the Bible as Psalm 18. (The Psalms are songs and poems people wrote to and about God.)
  • David had often hid amongst the rocks in the desert (see 1 Samuel 23:25 and 24:2) but he knew his protection truly came from God. He was David's true rock (see verse 3).
  • David uses poetic, metaphorical language in his song, for instance in verse 9 when he describes smoke coming from God's nostrils and in verse 15 when he describes God as shooting arrows.
  • There is more poetic language in verses 21-25, but it's not so obvious that David isn't being literal. David seems to think he is faultless, and that God only blesses us based on our good conduct. Both ideas are not true, and throughout David's other writings we see that he knew he was faultless and that God works not on a system of merit but by grace (He will give people the opposite of what they deserve). So why the two statements here? Probably because David is emotional and is writing a poetic song, not writing a theological treatise. We know it's very normal to write not accurate or exaggerated ideas in songs (think of songs that talk about "you broke my heart" or "I would die without you").

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • When something good happened in David's life his automatic response was to give God the credit (not to his own intelligence or skill or resourcefulness) and  to express his gratitude to God. We should do the same. Any intelligence or skill or resourcefulness we have comes from God, and God is intimately involved in our lives, so we give him credit for whatever happens good and we thank Him. We need to have a "praise habit."
  • David had rocks to hide behind and a whole army to protect him, but he viewed God as his refuge and the one who would keep him safe. In our lives, we need to think of God as "my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge" (verses 2-3).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • When something goes right in your life, who tends to get the credit? Do you congratulate yourself on a job well done, or do you thank God for enabling you to succeed? Do you have a "praise habit" that God is what you automatically think of, give credit to and thank? How could you better develop that habit?
  • When something goes wrong in your life, who or what do you tend to turn to? What is the rock you hide behind? How could you better get in the habit of thinking of and turning to God as your refuge?