Time to Take Stock


Lord, You are not a story in a book, but a living God who comes in the real situations of life.


Read: 2 SAMUEL 22:1-30

[1] David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. [2] He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; [3] my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior- from violent people you save me. [4] "I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. [5] The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. [6] The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. [7] "In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. [8] The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. [9] Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. [10] He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. [11] He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. [12] He made darkness his canopy around him- the dark rain clouds of the sky. [13] Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. [14] The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. [15] He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. [16] The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of breath from his nostrils. [17] "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. [18] He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. [19] They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. [20] He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. [21] "The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. [22] For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I am not guilty of turning from my God. [23] All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. [24] I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. [25] The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight. [26] "To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, [27]to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.[28] You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. [29]You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light. [30] With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. 


Reflect: How has God shown up for you?

This chapter is, more or less, Psalm 18. In most Bibles the psalm is situated in the life of David "when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul." However, the context of 2 Samuel adds more color. This follows the ruthless consolidation of power with scenes worthy of a gangster movie (20:10). David has been involved in desperate fighting to the point of exhaustion (21:15-17), sometimes against enemies of mythic proportion (21:19-22). There have been ritual killings (21:7-9), and these kinds of events have been features of David's life as a whole. Poetic language (22:6) actually describes blood-curdling moments in his life when death was a real possibility.

So this poem is not a list of abstract concepts about God. It conveys hard-learned truth forged in the heat of life-and-death situations.

The statements about David's righteousness (21-25) may seem to contradict the details of his life. But this is a poem about the big picture and the reciprocal nature of David's long relationship with God (26-30). God's grace responds to the overall direction of his life.



Write out a song of praise to God after the pattern of David's song, naming the real-life interventions of God.



Lord, in the details of my life and in the grand picture may I learn who You are and see Your hand.


Syndicated via Scripture Union


Terry Schneider