2 Samuel

2 Samuel - Lesson 22A

Chapter 21:15 - 22:20

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**2 Samuel series originally taught by Stephen Armstrong. Chapter 20 onwards taught by Wesley Livingston**

  • Tonight, we will pick up where we left off, in Chapter 21 where David transitioned from a famine in the land to mighty battles that he won.

    • The reason for this odd break is because when you are teaching through a narrative, you want to follow the flow of the story line.

      • As a matter of fact, these next few verses we are going to cover would not have made any sense with the previous context of the chapter.

      • However, they do flow quite well with 2 Samuel 22:1-20 in which we will cover tonight.

      • Remember, verses and chapter breaks aren’t inspired, they simply serve as means of breaks within the reading itself.

    • So instead of providing an outline at this point in the teaching we will continue where we left off.

      • With that said pick me up in 2 Samuel 21:15-22.

      • And prayerfully you will see why this break in the reading was necessary and how it flows with our text tonight.

      • Here’s how the text concluded in Chapter 21.

2 Samuel 21:15 Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary.
2 Samuel 21:16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David.
2 Samuel 21:17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”
2 Samuel 21:18 Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among the descendants of the giant.
2 Samuel 21:19 There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
2 Samuel 21:20 There was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also had been born to the giant.
2 Samuel 21:21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down.
2 Samuel 21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
  • Verses 15-22 read as documented battles over a period in which although victorious in battle, David is now older in age.

    • The text mentions in verse 15b that “David became weary.”

      • That word in Hebrew speaks to one that has fainted or is losing consciousness.

      • In other words, although David has become older in years, he still attempts to win a young man’s battle.

      • And this becomes possible not because of David’s personal agility, but because of God’s supernatural abilities.

    • If you recall from earlier in David’s rise to become King, there was a time in which the people chanted, “Saul killed a thousand; David killed ten thousand.”

      • Well, it now seems as if that chant of David’s youthful vigor has begun to fade.

      • This further indicates for us that the writer at this point in 2 Samuel is detailing for us David’s older years as king in Israel.

    • Notice time and again in verses 16-17 that the Philistines are persistent in their pursuit to kill David.

      • Yet each time David’s young men such as Abishai, Sibbecai, Elhanan, and Jonathan go out to battle with David, these men vigilantly protect and defend David.

      • At one point, another descendant of the giants, named Ishbi-benob, who carried a spear that weighed 7.5lbs was about to strike David, yet Abishai struck down the giant.

    • Apparently, David’s weariness gets so bad that Abishai tells him, “You shall not go out to battle with us so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”

      • Did you catch that? “…that you may not extinguish the lamp of Israel”. It’s an interesting phrase worth pausing to consider its meaning.

      • What did they mean that David was the “lamp of Israel”?

    • Well, being that it was through David that God’s Covenant blessings (Davidic Covenant) would flow, so they saw it as David’s life being too precious to lose.

      • And it becomes an even greater picture to witness how even in David’s weakness, God showed Himself strong and mighty through these men and their enemies!

    • This should remind us of the words of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

      • The context here is the means of God’s grace through the ministry of Paul despite Paul’s thorn in his flesh (his weakness). Check out the text:

2 Corinthians 12:9  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 
2 Corinthians 12:10   Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • So even in David’s greatest moments of weakness, it was always God behind David, fighting his battles.

    • And what a principal this is for us to recognize and that is, it is the Lord who is strong and mighty, not us.

    • That we must learn to lean and depend upon our Warrior-King who sees all, knows all, and directs our steps.

    • Understand that these Philistines that Israel went up against weren’t weak men – these were giants, like Goliath in which David defeated.

      • And David defeated Goliath because God was with David, just as God is with us and is our very present help in our time of trouble. (Psalm 46:1-3)

    • Close to four times we see the words, “There was war” which indicates these were multiple instances in which David faced the Philistines and God provided victory.

      • I love how verse 22 summarizes these battles because it’s in verse 22b that we see how these battles were won.

      • The text says, “…and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.”

    • Friends, the mere fact that David is the human Messiah-King over Israel yet in his weakened state, demonstrates that the Lord is a promise-keeper.

      • Here is a question worth considering and reflecting on: “How is or has God demonstrated His power through your weakness?”

    • I believe what the writer of 2 Samuel is showing us through these verses are reminiscent moments in which David is reflecting upon the faithfulness of God.

      • I’m sure there are times in your life where you can look back over the years and say, “If it had not been for the Lord who was on my side, where would I be.”

      • Friends, the fact that David’s life was spared even in his weakness is a testament to the grace of God in David’s life and upon Israel as a whole.

      • And it is fair to say that God’s grace has been more than enough for you and I as well.

    • Well, we now move into David’s Psalm of Deliverance in 2 Samuel 22.

      • I like to think of this section of 2 Samuel 22 as David’s personal praise and adoration for Yahweh.

      • As the graphic shows us, 2 Samuel 22 is set up in a chiastic structure.(Slide)

      • David provides the reader with a window into his personal prayer journal if you will.

      • This response of David is not surprising because we too have these moments of expressed and random joy throughout life!

    • It is where you are driving down the street or walking in the neighborhood and it dawns on you through thought, how good God has been to you.

      • For some, this reflection period can bring you to tears as you consider God’s faithfulness throughout your life.

      • How God’s “hesed”, His steadfast faithful love and faithfulness, has kept you from dangers seen and unseen.

    • This is David’s poem of celebrating God personally delivering him from the hands of his enemies.

      • You may notice as we work through the text that 2 Samuel 22 is nearly identical in wording to Psalm 18.

      • Let’s begin with the first four verses of 2 Samuel 22.

2 Samuel 22:1 Now David spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day that the Lord had saved him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
2 Samuel 22:2  He said,
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
2 Samuel 22:3  My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;
My savior, You save me from violence.
2 Samuel 22:4  I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.
  • The chapter opens with the writer addressing this song of praise to Yahweh and provides us with the time period in which David pens these words.

    • It would seem as if these words were composed after David had been king in Israel for several years.

      • And these words express the immense gratitude of David towards Yahweh and how He has provided and protected David, time after time.

      • However, at the time of the composition of these words, David is still on the run from Saul.

      • There is a sense within the opening of the first few verses that David and the Lord have walked with one another for some time, and indeed He has.

    • On the onset of these verses you may notice the word “My” used 10 times between verses 2-3, alone.

      • David’s personal experience regarding Yahweh amidst times of great distress and trouble, show us that David was quite intimate with God.

    • David has seen the Lord as a solid foundation in which holds him up when all ground around him seemed shaky and unstable.

      • Each description in which David writes speaks to the steadiness and fortitude of our great God.

      • Not only that, but it speaks to immense intimacy in the sense that David has experienced God providentially in a multitude of situations.

    • This gives us insight into the God of scripture and that is: He is a personal God that draws near.

      • God is not one in whom stands on the sidelines twiddling his proverbial thumbs as if He is uninvolved in human affairs.

      • No! God is very much at work within the lives of His children and the world, today.

      • And sometimes we must pause and recognize that reality throughout the busyness of life.

    • For a moment, if we consider the constant attacks both externally and internally within Israel towards David, it is clear that he was surrounded by violence.

      • Yet, even when his own son sought to take his life, David didn’t respond in his own might, but rather trusted the Lord.

      • Oh, that we may learn the benefits of leaning not on our own understanding, but rather, upon God’s Divine provision and strength.

      • For it is in God that true deliverance is found!

    • Verse 4 rounds off David’s praise of the Lord by mentioning how when David “calls upon the Lord”, that he is saved from his enemies.

      • Again, David’s means of calling upon the Lord demonstrates how the Messiah-King remains dependent upon God for all His needs.

    • Within Jesus’ earthly ministry, within the Gospel accounts, we see that Jesus is consistently entrusting Himself unto the Father for all provision and needs.

      • And Jesus does this even unto death.

      • And furthermore, Jesus teaches His disciples to depend upon the Father for their provision, protection, and the like.

    • So as David is fulfilling his role as Messiah-king for Israel, so does Jesus Christ, the Son of God accomplish this with full submission and obedience to the Father.

      • So, David’s dependence and obedience to the Lord serves as a pattern for the believer even today.

      • That despite our shortcomings and frailty, we too must remain ever dependent and submitted upon the Lord for all we need – even in our greatest time of need.

      • And isn’t that what we even see from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who sinned not? He entrusted Himself to the Father even unto death!

      • Check out verses 5-7

2 Samuel 22:5 For the waves of death encompassed me;
The floods of destruction terrified me;
2 Samuel 22:6 The ropes of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
2 Samuel 22:7 In my distress I called upon the Lord,
Yes, I called out to my God;
And from His temple He heard my voice,
And my cry for help came into His ears.
  • David provides great words of encouragement and comfort here in verses 5-7.

    • And he does so by use of metaphorical language with phrases such as “the waves of death” and “floods of destruction”.

      • Anyone familiar with the nature of the sea knows that waves and winds at sea can provide either direction or destruction.

      • That if one is not familiar with the steering of the ship and the proper protocol of the sea, they can find themselves in a bit of a conundrum.

    • So, although waves and floods are used in a metaphorical sense, the reality of death and destruction surrounding David was a serious matter.

      • If it was not Saul who sought David’s life prior to his rise as King, it was his own son Absalom who sought to kill his father for prominence and power.

      • And to make matters worse as we witnessed a few teachings back, Sheba brought about even greater threat to the kingdom.

      • These devastating actions from merciless men were quite a scare for David, and he spares no expense in expressing that outright.

    • You must love and appreciate David’s candor in these instances because he makes it known that although he was in position of power, that position did not push aside his fear and trepidation.

      • Verse 6 mentions that “the ropes of Sheol surrounded him; the snares of death confronted him.”

      • The word for Sheol here is not to be confused with hell, although in other contexts it can refer to hell.

      • So, David is not saying that the ropes of hell surrounded him.

    • Sheol in other contexts can mean death and in this context that is what David is referring to.

      • Death is ever present around him as if it were seeking to draw him in.

      • And this is true of David’s rise as King and even within his occupancy as King of Israel.

    • What I find most interesting within this text, especially as it relates to the parallel verse of Psalm 18, is how there seems to be “Exodus” type language.

      • It is almost as if David is recalling back the history of Israel becoming a nation as Moses delivered the Israelite people out of Egypt.

      • The waves of death most definitely encompassed them as Moses used the staff to split the Red Sea that they may cross over into safety. (Exodus 14,15)

      • We will see similar language a little later on tonight.

      • Imagine those waters in its great heights as the people of God walked between them on dry land to safety and refuge on the other side.

    • David can recall not only the faithfulness of God in the lives of those in the Exodus generation, but also God’s faithfulness to David himself.

      • If that wasn’t praiseworthy enough, David goes a step further as he mentions the ever-present help of God amid trouble.

      • Notice at the start of verse 7, David writes, “In my distress I called on the Lord”

    • David seems to know where his help came from and that he need not look to his left or right for relief.

      • David knows exactly who he needed to go to and that was to the Lord.

      • And how does David do that; He calls on the name of the Lord.

    • If we were to be honest, calling on the Lord during our time of great need is not the go to scenario – at least for some.

      • In some cases, the Lord tends to be the last resort if we haven’t depleted all of our energy trying to find a way on our own and in our own strength.

    • If you are familiar with Jonah, you may know that Jonah utters similar words to that of David.

      • Jonah too found himself in a fishy situation (all pun intended).

      • The composition of David, as you know, came before Jonah which means that Jonah was able to draw on the words of 2 Samuel even in his time of distress at sea.

      • Check out Jonah 2:1-2.

Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish, 
Jonah 2:2 and he said,
“I called out of my distress to the Lord,
And He answered me.
I cried for help from the depth of Sheol;
You heard my voice.
  • So, with the distress of David’s troubles surrounding him from both an external and internal aspect, He is able to find refuge, comfort, and strength in calling upon the Lord.

    • Not only did David call upon the Lord for help, but the text mentions that the Lord responded to his very need.

    • The Lord’s response to David wasn’t a “one and done” type of engagement, but when David called upon the Lord, He responded.

    • Perhaps this confidence that David has in calling upon the name of the Lord stems from the relationship that David has established with the Lord over time.

      • That as David’s intimacy with the Lord increases, his comfort and dependency on the Lord grew as well.

      • And this holds true in the life of the believer too. That the more that we grow in intimacy with the Lord, the more we call upon Him knowing He will make a way.

    • If I were to put it differently, with greater dependency comes greater intimacy!

      • The more that we come to know Jesus in our walk with Him, the greater we can lean upon Him, because He has shown Himself tried and true.

    • I’m reminded of the prayers of the children of Israel in their captivity in Egypt under Pharaoh.

      • The people had prayed and cried out, seeking the Lord because of the great oppression faced in Egypt under the hand of an oppressive ruler, Pharaoh.

      • Check out Exodus 3:7-8.

Exodus 3:7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 
Exodus 3:8 So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
  • In this context, when the Lord was called upon, not only did He see the condition of His people, but He responds with the very care and attention needed.

    • This confidence we see in David as well, over a period of time.

    • And might I suggest, this is the assurance that you and I as believers in Jesus Christ should have as well!

    • To know that when we call upon the name of the Lord, that He hears our prayers and is faithful to respond!

    • I pray that as we grow in our obedience and dependence upon the Lord, that we too will have the confidence of going before the throne of grace to pray like what we find in David’s writing in Psalm 116:2.

Psalm 116:2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.
  • What a great mercy it is to know that the Lord responds to the needs of His own and He responds in great love.

    • What great confidence we have in our great God to know that He is not only Sovereign in all His ways, but personal in His Person.

    • Well, it’s from this point that we see, after David’s call to the Lord for deliverance David sees the response of our mighty God.

    • Check out verses 8-18.

2 Samuel 22:8  “Then the earth shook and quaked,
The foundations of heaven were trembling
And were shaken, because He was angry.
2 Samuel 22:9  “Smoke went up out of His nostrils,
Fire from His mouth devoured;
Coals were kindled by it.
2 Samuel 22:10 “He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With thick darkness under His feet.
2 Samuel 22:11 “And He rode on a cherub and flew;
And He appeared on the wings of the wind.
2 Samuel 22:12 “And He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.
2 Samuel 22:13 “From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.
2 Samuel 22:14 “The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
2 Samuel 22:15 “And He sent out arrows, and scattered them,
Lightning, and routed them.
2 Samuel 22:16 “Then the channels of the sea appeared,
The foundations of the world were laid bare
By the rebuke of the Lord,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
2 Samuel 22:17 “He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
2 Samuel 22:18 “He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.
  • Within these verses we can witness the mighty response of a Holy God to the desperate cries of His royal son in whom He is in covenant with.

    • This response is regal in demonstration and catastrophic in its measure.

      • For not only does the response of the Lord rumble the very earth but it causes the very heavens to tremble at His anger.

      • In other words, there is nothing and no one that can escape the wrath of our Great God nor can thwart His plans or his chosen king.

    • Verses 8-10 speak metaphorically of how God moved and rearranged the political landscape for David.

      • Literally, the Lord moved heaven and earth, if I were to use the expression, to solidify David as King of Israel.

    • The imagery of God’s response to David’s need is one that should not only grasp our imagination but garner the very attention of our lives!

      • The sense of “fire coming from His mouth” speaks to the Lord as an all-consuming fire, completely obliterating any who stand against Him. (Hebrews 12:29)

      • The same fate awaits the enemies of the Lord and all who stand against God and His plan in the end.

      • Check out what Revelation 11:5 says regarding the two witnesses and those who try to bring harm to them.

Revelation 11:3  And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” 
Revelation 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 
Revelation 11:5  And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.
    • Therefore, any interference of God’s plans from His enemies results in total destruction on a massive level.

    • Furthermore, in verse 11, David describes the swift actions of the Lord!

      • The language in Hebrew for “the wings of wind” suggest that the speed of His coming is with great haste.

      • That He delays for nothing and no one, as His royal king has called upon Him.

    • This is comforting to note because even within our own lives as believers, we can confidently go before the Lord seeking a response from Him, too.

      • For He hears the cries of His children and will respond to the need.

    • In verses 12-13, we find that the very canvas of the skies is rearranged to accommodate Yahweh’s response.

      • For not only does this speak to the fact that God is Creator, but it also recognizes Yahweh is powerful and strong.

      • Most certainly, the crushing might of Israel’s army against her enemies was accomplished through the mighty deeds of God on their behalf.

    • If we need to, we need look no further than seeing how Gideon led an army of 300 to defeat thousands – nobody but the Lord. (Judges 7)

      • When we consider the verses we covered at the start of this teaching and how David’s men defeated these giants with unusual features…

      • It was nobody but the Lord fighting for His chosen people.

    • Surely, if the Lord spoke and the very world was brought into order, how much more can the Lord act and His creation respond to His very will.

      • Verses 14-16 offers no less a sense of the majesty and grandeur of God.

    • Verse 14 begins with David describing the thunderous voice of the Lord from the heavens.

      • Notice the name distinction of God in verse 14b alone.

    • David begins by saying “Yahweh thundered from heaven…”

      • To which he then says “And the Most High (Elyon) uttered His voice”

      • Here we find another name given to God regarding what He has done and who He is.

    • Elyon is a title or name given to God which means “the Most High” or highest.

      • It is a title for the true God with an emphasis on Him being supreme and high in status.

      • We see this name given to God in numerous passages in Scripture. (Genesis 14:18,19,20,22;Numbers 24:16; Deuteronomy 32:8; 2 Samuel 22:14; Psalm 7:18;9:3, etc)

    • Lastly, one detail to note in verse 14 is that the Most High speaking in a thunderous voice should bring about the Israelite people’s experience with God at Mount Sinai.

      • In Exodus 19:16, the people of God on the third day are standing at the base of the mountain and can hear the voice of the Lord in thunderous sounds!

      • As my professor of Christian Framework, Dr. Charlie Clough once said, “If the people there at Mt Sinai had a digital recording device, they would have been able to hear the Lord speaking in Hebrew.”

      • This, once again, demonstrated how our Great God who is invisible and dwells in unapproachable light is willing to come down to man and speak in verbal language.

    • This is why we can rest assured that the verbal and written words of scripture are in fact God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and made known to us.

      • One must consider how God communicated and communed with Adam and Eve in the garden.

      • It wasn’t through osmosis or through telepathic communication, but rather through a known language that Adam could understand and comprehend, and most importantly through communing with Him to provide intimacy with His creation.

    • Therefore, in the same way, God’s response to the needs of David in battle was heard and the surrounding nations came to know about the God of Israel!

      • So, all that we need to know about God and the means by which we can hear Him speak is through these 66 books and the leading of His Spirit as it relates to the word of God!

      • I want to re-read verses 16-18 so that we can grasp both David’s historical record of the faithfulness of God through Israel’s history, but also God’s faithfulness to David and those who trust in God.

2 Samuel 22:16 “Then the channels of the sea appeared,
The foundations of the world were laid bare
By the rebuke of the Lord,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
2 Samuel 22:17 “He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
2 Samuel 22:18 “He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.
  • David, once again, figuratively speaking, describes how the Lord on High has dispersed his enemies.

    • That where there once was chaos and devastation surrounding him, he now seems to be walking on solid ground.

      • In other words, David’s enemies are laid waste and he and Israel are able to walk on sure footing and not plundered under the burden of defeat.

    • Now, if we were to just stop here and see how the Lord has responded to David’s need and ignore this similar language, we would miss how God has done this before!

      • Notice how David describes his deliverance from his enemies.

      • The “channels of the sea” appeared. Channels meaning that a division of some sort has occurred.

      • And by that division, the foundation of the world was laid bare, meaning, there was dry ground.

      • That where things may have been rocky or uncertain, it was now settled.

      • Well, who else within scripture experienced a similar situation – Moses and the Israelites through the Red Sea.

    • Not only does God use Moses to lift the rod to divide the waters, but as a result of Moses’ obedience, they walk across on dry ground.

      • The fact that the waters on both sides are upheld alludes to the fact that the Lord was upholding the waters’ flow.

      • What a picture of God’s Divine deliverance amid coming devastation!

    • So as David draws from the Exodus historical experience, He too finds that God has done the same for him!

      • And maybe you have seen God in your own life part some situations that seemed extremely overwhelming for you.

      • If you haven’t, continue walking with God a little while longer and you will see Him blow your mind.

    • It’s in verse 18b that we see that God’s strength was shown strong and mightily in David’s weakness!

      • David does not try and alter this personal account as if to paint himself as the valiant one.

      • No! Rather, He ascribes the praise, adoration, and thanksgiving to Yahweh for all He has done despite David’s frailty.

      • As one Pastor said, “I don’t walk with a strut. I walk with a limp!”

    • The limp signifying weakness and frailty and many times brokenness.

      • And I pray that when you see me walking, and teaching, and preaching, that you know WHO is holding me up – God alone!

      • And that’s how David summarizes this section of the chiasm in verses 19-20. Check out the text!

2 Samuel 22:19 “They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
2 Samuel 22:20 “He also brought me forth into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
  • As we come to a close in tonight’s teaching, take note of David’s confidence as mentioned earlier.

    • That though his enemies confronted him in the day of calamity, “the LORD (Yahweh) was his support.”

      • This is such an interesting section of the text, especially when you consider the Hebrew language within this poetic structure.

    • David mentions that the Lord was his support.

      • That word “support” in Hebrew is mis’an (mesh-an).

      • It means to support for basic needs of life or help, however it can also mean a staff.

    • This use of the word would become quite familiar for David because before his rise to prominence as king, he served as a shepherd boy.

      • And as a shepherd, David would use a staff to both direct the sheep and bring them in as a means of discipline when they wandered off.

      • And as you think through the many psalters, which one comes to mind – Psalm 23.

      • Let’s read just a section of that text:

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
  • The Hebrew word for “staff “here is mis-i-net which shares the root word of mis’an. ( In the same family word structure)

    • So, David sees the Lord as both His Shepherd, leader and corrector.

    • That even in David’s failures, he still knew who he needed to run to for forgiveness, correction, and direction.

    • And this becomes the means by which the Lord responds to David’s needs so urgently and readily. Check out verse 20.

    • The Lord has rescued David, why? Because the Lord delighted in him!

      • That word “delighted” is ha-pes which means to be pleased with or be favorable towards.

    • Now, as we will see in the coming weeks, there are many commentators and theologians who find David’s next sections to be egotistical or haughty.

      • However, as we approach these verses next week, we will see that the Lord taking pleasure in David is not because David is perfect.

      • But rather it’s because of David’s obedience to the Lord that he finds favor with the Lord.

    • And we will see that obedience to the Lord is what He has always desired of man.

      • This reality is seen even in the Shema in Deuteronomy 6.

      • That in all that we do, we are to obey the Lord for that is how we demonstrate our love and reap the reward of His righteousness.

      • No work or pursuit of pleasure outside of God can achieve this response and so is true of our faith in Christ.

    • No one can be saved apart from faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone to the Glory of God alone.

      • Let’s Pray.


  • Victor Hamilton, Handbook on the Historical Books (Baker Academic, 2008)
  • Swanson, James. Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997

  • Brown, Francis, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs. Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977