This song of praise was recorded and written by David possibly written during David’s early days when he was delivered from Saul, it also reflects all the victories he had over the Philistines. The whole chapter can also be read in Psalm 18:1-50.
David’s Song Of Praise
‘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. He said: ‘The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 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 saviour—from violent people you save me. ‘I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies.’ 2 Samuel 22:1-4
In David’s song, we see that he uses metaphors such as rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn, stronghold, refuge and saviour to describe how God protected him when he was on the run from Saul.
‘The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. ‘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.’ 2 Samuel 22:5-7
David again describes how he was feeling when he was on the run from Saul. He again uses metaphors to describe how much distress and anguish he was in when he was running from the ungodly and everywhere he turned, he was facing death.
‘The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence bolts of lightning blazed forth. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. 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. ‘He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.’ 2 Samuel 22:8-19
David here remembers the threat of the environment he was in, he remembers the natural forces of nature, like darkness, wind, thunder, and lightning, which God used to save him from death. Although he was going through the greatest of dangers in his life, God protected him and delivered him from them all.
‘He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. ‘The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I am not guilty of turning from my God. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.’ 2 Samuel 22:20-25
David’s obedience to the Lord and His will is shown here because God once again delivers him from his trials. No wonder he could write in Psalm 23:4 ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’
God used all these difficult times in David’s life to make him the man he was to become, 1 Samuel 13:14 / Acts 13:22.
‘To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low. You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.’ 2 Samuel 22:26-30
David here tells us if God is going to help anyone, they must be obedient to God’s will. When people are obedient to His will, God becomes their Saviour in times of trouble but He also becomes an obstacle for those who are obedient to His will.
He truly is the lamp which lightens up our ways if we are obedient to Him, Psalm 119:105 / John 8:12.
‘As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.’ 2 Samuel 22:31-35
David again recognises the importance of obedience to God and His will. When people are obedient to God and His will, God becomes their strength and they receive power from Him, Ephesians 6:10, and it’s in this way that we become perfect, Ephesians 4:11-15 / Colossians 1:28 / Hebrews 5:14 / James 1:4.
‘You make your saving help my shield; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. ‘I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—to the LORD, but he did not answer. I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets. ‘You have delivered me from the attacks of the peoples; you have preserved me as the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds.’ 2 Samuel 22:36-46
Notice how David gives God the credit for all the victories he had against all those who opposed him. David is well aware that he was God’s anointed, 1 Samuel 16:13 / 2 Samuel 2:4 / 2 Samuel 5:3, which meant if anyone opposed him, they were actually opposing God, Matthew 5:10-12 / John 15:20.
David says if people plotted against him, their plots would come to nothing because they weren’t obedient to God’s anointed king. As long as the anointed walked in the ways of God, God would walk with him and work for him.
‘The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Saviour! He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. ‘He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.’ 2 Samuel 22:47-51
To conclude his song, David praises God and prays that God will continue to help him. He is fully aware that he was only allowed to be king of Israel because God anointed him.
He knows full well, that his authority as king of Israel, solely rested on God’s authority. The people may have desired David to be king, but it was God who made him king.
Go To 2 Samuel 23