2 Samuel 22:
Praise for God's Deliverance
1 Then David spoke to the LORD the words of this song, on the day when the LORD had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.
2 And he said: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
4 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
5 When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
7 In my distress I called upon the LORD,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.
8 Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
9 Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
11 He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
And He was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness canopies around Him,
Dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
13 From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
15 He sent out arrows and scattered them;
Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them.
16 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered,
At the rebuke of the LORD,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
17 He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the LORD was my support.
20 He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.
21 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all His judgments were before me;
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
24 I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
25 Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness in His eyes.
26 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
28 You will save the humble people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.
29 For You are my lamp, O LORD;
The LORD shall enlighten my darkness.
30 For by You I can run against a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.
31 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the LORD is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
32 For who is God, except the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?
33 God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
35 He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great.
37 You enlarged my path under me;
So my feet did not slip.
38 I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
39 And I have destroyed them and wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
40 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose against me.
41 You have also given me the necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.
42 They looked, but there was none to save;
Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them.
43 Then I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I trod them like dirt in the streets,
And I spread them out.
44 You have also delivered me from the strivings of my people;
You have kept me as the head of the nations.
A people I have not known shall serve me.
45 The foreigners submit to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.
46 The foreigners fade away,
And come frightened from their hideouts.
47 The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock!
Let God be exalted,
The Rock of my salvation!
48 It is God who avenges me,
And subdues the peoples under me;
49 He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the violent man.
50 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.
51 He is the tower of salvation to His king,
And shows mercy to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forevermore."
Read it three times. First, from the perspective of David. His son, Absalom has finally been killed after trying to depose his father from the throne, taking over the palace, sleeping with his father's concubines and forcing David from the city with his entire entourage. But even after Absalom spit in his face, David's still not happy 'bout his son's death. As a matter of fact, his captain had to smack some sense into him and tell him to stop crying so hard over this traitor bum.
Shortly after, there's a famine for about 3 years. God tells David that this is due to the fact that Saul's family didn't keep up their end of the bargain when they promised to protect the Gibeonites. So David went through the entire nation and rooted out all Saul's kids and grandkids and beheaded them. Whoa.
So after all that, David finally gets some peace and quiet. Right before his death, he offers this poem/song/prayer to God. If you know anything about the battles David fought in and the enemies he beat into the ground, you'll find the fact that he trembled in battle endearing, as did I.
After you've reflected on David's part, read this a second time from Jesus' perspective (the heir to David's throne -- perfect priest and king). Does the shouting out to God, the blackness of the sky and the rending of heaven remind you of the events surrounding the crucifixion? Does the scattering of arrows remind you of the disciples after Jesus' death? Does the "seated in high places" reference remind you of Christ's heavenly ascension? Does the allusion to "foreigners who serve me" remind you of the inclusion of Gentiles into the Kingdom of God? Does "showed mercy to His annointed" remind you of what the title "Christ" actually means in Greek? Good. It's supposed to.
And lest we forget, the events surrounding the crucifixion were validated by witnesses outside the Christian community. The facts that parallel the preceding poem by King David were proved correct by people who had no interest in admitting their truth -- namely Jews. So to call this poem a prophecy is not at all a stretch.
Third, read this from your own perspective as a grafted-in branch of the tree of David. We are the "foreigners" spoken of. We are the seed of David. We have a share in this heritage. Pretty heavy stuff.