What can one learn from 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18 in a day and age so removed from the time of David? Why are these two passages so important that they are in His Word twice? Is it that it was important to God, or to His people? Have the sorrows of death compassed you about in your life? Have the “floods” of ungodly men made you afraid? Have the sorrows of hell compassed you about at one time or another? Have the snares of death confronted and come upon you? What makes David so sure when he says, “I will love thee, o Lord, my strength?”
2 Samuel 22 opens by David speaking to God in words set to song, declaring that the Lord had delivered him from his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul. This was a major feat in the mind of David. Notice what he gives in return. He calls unto the One that is worthy to be praised. (2 Sam. 22:4) David declares his love to the God who is his strength. (Psalm 18:1) And then he describes the magnificence of God: the earth shook and trembled and the foundations were shaken, because He was wroth. God is pictured as one with smoke coming out of His nostrils and a devouring fire coming out of His mouth. He discomfited the enemies of David even as he cried unto Him! David rejoices in the fact that God destroyed those that were his strong enemies, those that hated him and lastly and humbly, those that were too strong for him.
Do we serve the same God as David? Yes, we do! Do we recognize that the god of this world (Satan) has no chance against the God we serve? We should. In the book of Revelation we read of Christ meting out justice for wrongdoing similar to what David wrote in song. Not only that, but we have promises from God that He will execute vengeance and justice on those that persecute us and oppose Him. (2 Thes. 1:6-9, Rom. 12:19) Do we find satisfaction when we read in Isaiah 63:1 concerning the one who came that is glorious in His appearance, traveling in the greatness of His strength, that is mighty to save? It was said of Him, “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” (Isa. 63:4) God will not let the enemies of His people escape judgment. He will not let HIS enemies be unavenged, therefore they will see condemnation and the fire of hell firsthand. We can be assured of this!
What if the sorrows of death have compassed you about? Is your faith stronger or weakening? What did David say? “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer!” (Psalm 18:2) What does it mean in your life for Christ to be that Rock? What about God being your fortress? What about Him being your deliverer? If you are faithful, He will not move and His words of comfort stand sure! If your faith stands strong through the shadows of death He will be your first line of defense in prayer and your last line of defense in walking through the valley of the shadow of death. If you have been faithful you will not be alone. He will deliver you where there is no fear of evil.
Do you fear the ungodly and the destruction they leave in their wake? They will challenge you to stand fast in your faith. Do you tremble and fall or do you stand the test as David did? “My God, my strength, in whom I will trust,” was said by the faithful one.(Psalm 18:2) My strength, my strength, is my God in whom I will trust. My God is my refuge in whom I will confide in and have assurance of everlasting hope against my enemies! David is amazing and poetic in his use of words. Through Christ we have the hope and promise of eternal life where there will be no more enemies.
The sorrows of hell here on this earth are nothing compared to the condemnation of hell if we fail God as a Christian. David said, “The Lord is my buckler, and the horn of my salvation.” (Psalm 18:2) A buckler is a shield, a sure defense that compasses one about to protect him or her from the fiery darts of the wicked. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:16 that our buckler is the shield of faith! The horn of our salvation is Christ. He is the peak of our deliverance. In Him we have gained the victory over the sorrows of hell. One must not fear those sorrows of hell while here on earth, but rely wholly on Christ and the power of His Word!
Finally, the snare of death – Christ has overcome this powerful enemy and in Him we shall overcome too. David said that God was his high tower. This is a place where we reach God and it is inaccessible to the things of the world. This was a place for David where he and God came together as one and they could commune without interference. Whether it be in thought or prayer or song or tear, this was a place that was sacred to David. We each have a place that is unique in our lives that we feel closer to God. This is not nature. This is not skipping out on worship and finding a “more holy place.” This is where we can pour our hearts out and pray to the Father or go to His word and search diligently for answers. This is a place where we can come unmolested by the world. This may be many places, but it is sacred to you and is a place of refuge.
Like David, we are servants to the most high God. While living and serving our God and our Savior, we have these many advantages over the worldly ones. Therefore, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength!