“GOD IS MY LIFE”
2 Samuel 22 (Psalm 18)
How would you describe your life?
Imagine you are at a party or travelling on a plane and a person you have just met says, “Tell me about yourself!”
Most of us would say what we do – teacher, nurse, student, businessperson, housewife ……
We would tell where we live – if we are married or single – and go on to tell about our families, where we come from, etc.
We tend to describe our lives in terms of what we do, where we come from, our educational / sporting / artistic achievements.
If nothing else, David, the King of Israel, has had an eventful life. He is coming to the end of his life and we are coming to the end of our studies about David. In many respects David’s life is no easier at the end than at the beginning. He started off fighting the Philistines and running from King Saul. In his latter years he has had to flee for a rebellion led by his son Absalom. Absalom is murdered and David is heartbroken. He returns to Jerusalem and then has to go out again to fight his old enemy, the Philistines.
However, David is not as young as he once was as we read in 2 Samuel 21:15
15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted.
Chapter 22 is probably David’s last psalm. It is repeated almost word for word as Psalm 18.
In many ways it is an expression of what God is to David – what God means to David – what he has done for him and trough him.
We could break this Psalm down into many section and I have done so into (No not 3) six.
In summary David is saying in this psalm, God is My Security, My Rescuer, My Righteousness, My Success/Light, My Resources, My Hope!
As he looks back over his life from his twilight years David gives testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of his God.
David has known many uncertain times in his life, in the early years when he was on the run from the murderous King Saul and in later years fleeing from his ambitious son. He has known times of deep sorrow for his sin. He has known times of exuberant worship and personal and political success.
Through it all he has learned that he is not the one “who can look after himself” – He acknowledges that he has a deep need for God in every area of his life. In fact without God he is nothing.
Look at how he describes God in the first few verses ~ 2 Samuel 22:2-3 2 ..
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
3 ….. my shield and the horn of my salvation. (Strength)
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour —
David is saying “I don’t have the where-withal to protect and look after myself only in God am I safe and secure”.
Maybe we don’t feel this deep desire and need for God because we fail to realise just how pathetically weak and feeble we are. We feel invincible, we feel secure! After all, we have the NHS, the DSS, our insurance policies, we have our human rights to protect of freedom BUT we fail to grasp just how very vulnerable we are. Our lives hang by a very delicate thread.
As David looks back on his life he praises God who has keep him secure through all the changing scenes of life.
David has faced death many times ~ vv.5-6 ~ waves of morality, torrents of destruction, strangled by the grave, trapped by death.
To David God is no some distant deity – he is personal and intimate – “I run to him for refuge, I call to him, I sing to him, I cry to him ….I pray!!!”
David was immersed in God.
Do you and I know God like that?
Psalm 18 has an extra verse at the beginning ~ Psalm 18:1
1 I love you, O Lord, my strength. (NIV)
Is that your testimony today? Can you say openly and honestly to God, “I love you Lord”?
2. My Rescue. (v. 8-21)
In these verse we have vivid and very descriptive picture language of the power and greatness of David’s God.
2 Samuel 22:8-16 ~ Earthquake ~ fire ~ lightening ~ Thunder ~
The might and power of the God who comes to David’s rescue. His troubles and his enemies who seemed so big and strong overwhelmed David. Then God rescues him and David realises that these troubles and enemies are insignificant compare to his God.
He describes God like a mighty earthquake. People who have experienced earthquakes say it is a terrifying thing. Buildings wobble as if they were like jelly. The ground moves like water. People scream and rush into the streets. Everything that seems so threatening and so powerful suddenly turns to instability and weakness when God appears on the scene.
2 Samuel 22:20
20 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me. (NIV)
We have little difficulty believing difficulties that David faced because we face them. Not Philistines and murderous kings but the trials and tribulations of everyday life ~ the hurts and heartaches, the failures and disappointments and it is in those times that we find it so difficult to believe that God loves us. But he does. He delights in us David says. He cares for us. He feels our ache.
Sometimes like David we may feel exhausted from the battle. Maybe you are going through a rough time right now. You put on a brave front and possibly others think you have got it all together but you know in your heart that things are not right. You feel threatened, insecure, overwhelmed by life itself ~ cry out to God – he will come to your rescue. He may not remove the problem but he will rescue you. (We will see how in a moment).
Sadly, sometimes, instead of crying to God for help when we are in trouble we do pray. However, we think we can work it out and we pray simply to tell God what he should do.
God rescues me because he delights in me BUT he does so on his terms not mine!
As we read these verses in which David says he has been blameless and pure and faithful we do a double take and ask, “Well what about his sin with Bathsheba? What about the murder of Urriah? What about David’s lying to the priests of Nob that resulted in their massacre?”
Wait a minute! David how can you claim to be so righteous and holy??
David’s words here are not a claim to personal purity of character. Remember that this is the same David who wrote ~
1 … blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
4 … 5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (NIV)
David has no illusions that he is a sinner. At this point he is not writing as a sinner standing before God but as God’s king facing the enemies of God who wish to destroy him. In as much as he is involved in God’s work his cause is a just and righteous one.
We can never appeal to our righteousness when we are asking God to bless us as though we were without sin. There are times when we are standing for God against all that will oppose him that we know our cause is a righteous one.
David knows that in spite of his sin and wrongdoing he has basically wanted to do God’s will.
David knows that although our position before god is one of receiving mercy and grace, it is also true that in those who have received God’s grace and mercy, God honours faithfulness and integrity.
We also need to remember that the OT looks forward to the coming Messiah. This Psalm is a case in point. It is quoted in Romans 15 and applied to Jesus. It points to a greater and truer David, the One who is a man after God’s own heart even more than David was.
It is ultimately in Christ that true righteousness is found. It is in him that we receive it by faith. It is in Him that David received it evenly though it was retrospectively.
David knows of God’s heart. “His life is characterised by God’s mercy, God’s grace, God’s love. There is no spiritual symmetry [equally] between David and God; it’s totally lopsided on the side of God. Unknown David is named and known. Unequipped David is triumphant. Undefended David finds refuge. Undeserving David is forgiven. Unworthy David recovers his kingship”. [Peterson]
David’s story is a gospel story. God doing for David what he could never do for himself. A sinner saved. It is that story that is completed in the Jesus story.
2 Samuel 22:29-30 29 You are my lamp, O Lord;
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. (NIV)
David speaks in these verses of the great accomplishments he has been able to achieve, entirely by the protection and help of God.
It is God like a burning oil lamp that gives light, and warmth and understanding to David. God has inspired him and given him energy enough to leap over walls ~ maybe as he writes this, sitting in his palace in Jerusalem, he recalls how God enabled him to capture the fortress of Jerusalem in the first place. [2 Sam.5]
David has been king now for many years ~ he has had a few set back but he has survived. He could have patted himself on the back and said “I am the come-back-kid” He could have put it down to his own ingenuity and skill. BUT David has learned that without God there is no success.
It is a lesson we all must learn or we will fail. People may acclaim us and we may be proud of our accomplishments BUT God will not be and in the end that is all that matters.
David knew that God was his success.
It doesn’t matter how clever or gifted or talented we are ~ it is of little consequence which school / university we went to ~ it doesn’t matter how popular we may be or how much money we have IF our achievements are not God’s then they are failures.
In these verses we have David acknowledging that all that he is, all that he has achieved, all the skills and abilities he has are given to him by God.
God hasn’t removed all the obstacles and difficulties in his life but he has strengthened and equipped him to overcome them.
2 Samuel 22:34
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights. (NIV)
God has trained and taught David to be the man God wants him to be. God has taken him along a certain road of life and David has learned the lessons of faith, in the fields with the sheep, in the battles with Saul ~ all those years as a fugitive God was training David for kingship.
God not only gives us our natural talents and abilities he also wants to train us to have a heart for him and if we think we can serve God without a heart for him we are fooling ourselves. So we need to develop the habits of prayer ~ the study of scripture ~ the disciplines of discipleship ~ ONLY with this kind of “God-training”, relying on His resources will we be useful in God’s kingdom.
David didn’t learn these things living in a monastery. He learned them in the rough and tumble of life. There were times when he was alone with God. His godliness was worked out in very difficult circumstances.
If we are waiting for a better time to serve God ~ when things are easier at the office ~ when the children are grown up ~ when we have paid off the mortgage ~ when … when …. when … THEN we will never have a Heart after God’s own Heart. There is no easier time coming in this life.
David’s life didn’t get easier ~ David became more and more dependent on God ~ “My Resources”
2 Samuel 22:47
47 “The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God, the Rock, my Saviour! (NIV)
The Lord lives therefore I have Hope. I have a future. I have a destiny.
The most significant thing about David’s life is that he is alive to God.
The Context and conditions out of which David lives his life are not conducive to godly living. His life was influenced by God BUT it was also influenced by the surrounding culture – Philistine Culture and Canaanite morality – that is violence and sex. Yet here is David born and living in the Iron Age of violence and sex – not exempt from their influence but not restricted by them either.
The conditions we live under are also not favourable to godly living. The climate of violence, sex, war and immorality seemed to have changed little since then. These are human conditions and therefore the only conditions in which we are called to live for God.
David lived a full life – a God life!
The kind of life that Jesus promised his disciples ~ John 10:10 …… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (NIV)
If we attempt to live life without God – it doesn’t just make us ungodly but small and puny.
It is easy to live our lives in a way that pays lip service to God. We come to Church, we doff our caps, we may even have a ministry in the Church BUT we can still live following our own agendas ~ doing our own thing ~ fitting God in were it is convenient to our prearranged lifestyles.
If that is the case we will miss the glorious way of life God has for Christians – the extravagance of what he wants to do in us.
“David with all his rough edges never got around to loving his enemies the way his descendant Jesus would do it; his morals left a lot to be desired. These are told to us not to legitimised bad behaviour but show us that we share the same conditions.
They are set before us to show us that we don’t first become good and then get God. First we get God – [rather God gets us] – and then over a patient lifetime we are trained in God’s way”. [Peterson]
If we want to be “Davids” – those who have a heart after God’s own heart – then God must not simply be part of My Life – He must be MY LIFE.
When the greater Son of David, Jesus, came he showed us in a way that David never could what a God-life really is – he called us to be “in Him” ~ “in Christ” – to share his life – to give us his life –
Colossians 3:4 4 .. Christ, who is your life, …(NIV)
What is my life? >>>>>>>>>>>> What I do? Where I come from? What I have achieved?
These are not unimportant BUT they remain of little consequence unless GOD IS MY LIFE.
WHAT IS MY LIFE?
2 Samuel 22:1-51.
1. God is My Security [1-7]
2. God is My Rescue [8-21]
3. God is My Righteousness [22-28]
4. God is My Success [29-30]
5. God is My Resource [31-46]
6. God is My Hope [47-51]
What Who is My Life?
GOD IS MY LIFE!