We get a sneak peek at David’s song writing. He sings a song of deliverance. One that praises God for His work in David’s life.
I believe that David’s life is steeped in music. Not that he sits around playing music but that it flows from his very pours. When his soul is low, he turns to song. When his heart is happy he expresses that joy in song. When he doesn’t know what to say or pray, he lets the music say it for him.
I relate very well with this part of David. I don’t write songs like he did but they are just as essential to me as they were to him. When I’m feeling low or depressed, the right song can turn everything around. When I’m feeling happy I can’t help but sing out! And when I don’t know what to say or pray, singing in the Holy Spirit’s language lets Him choose the words for me. I NEED music!
The song we share with David isn’t pinned down for us exactly when he wrote it. It could have been penned any time between when he first fled from Saul until the battles we just read about. We aren’t told ‘when’. Instead we see ‘why.’
Why did David sing this song? Because he wants to give credit where credit is due. David didn’t do any of these exciting feats alone. He did them through the hand of the Lord. God did wonders for David beyond our comprehension. Some of the images David uses leave me breathless! Others I can clearly visualize and see myself ‘hiding’ right beside him.
Let’s take a few of them and examine the word pictures David leaves for us to find. I want to start with David’s very first word picture; the fortress.
When I picture the ‘fortress’ I see a house where the storm is raging right outside the door. But inside is warm and safe. Those who shelter there have nothing to fear. The walls are solid and straight. The roof has no leaks. There are windows where you can see out but there are no leaks around them. There is a fire in the fireplace and plenty of food in the pantry. Safe, secure, and provided for.
This is where I run to whenever there is trouble. Or when I feel afraid. I know He is waiting there for me to wrap me in His arms.
The next section that really speaks to me reminds me of depression. “For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me” (verses 5-6). This is how I feel when the waves of depression drag me under.
I wrote a poem a while ago about this. It’s called Water Everywhere. It speaks of being pulled down and covered by the water. It is so deep there is no light. But finally a light pierces the darkness and lights my way to freedom. That light was from calling out in distress and GOD answering me. He is faithful to answer when we call!
Verses 8-16 are awe inspiring! When I first read them I tried picturing what David was describing but it was beyond my imagination. Reading them again brings to mind a mother bear and her cubs. He cubs are in trouble and calling out to her. There is NOTHING going to stand between her and her child who is in trouble. Her nostrils flare, her eyes spew fire at whatever is tormenting her child. Her feet slap the ground as she runs so hard it could leave craters. The roar of her voice shakes the branches of the trees. ANYTHING in the way better move; be it beast or boulder. She will pulverize it to get to her cub. Her claws will dispatch any attacker. I pity the fool who gets between a mother and her cub or a child of God and the Father. BOTH are in DEEP TROUBLE!
From verse 17 to 20 reminds me of a time my oldest son nearly drown. He thought he was big enough to work his way around the public swimming pool by himself along the edge. I told him not to go any further than where he could touch but young children don’t always listen. I had two other of my children I was watching but was keeping an eye on him too.
I got momentarily distracted and when I looked back up I saw a hand sticking up from the water. In my heart I knew immediately that it was my son. Don’t ask me how, but the next second I was beside him pulling that arm and all that was attached back to the surface. He clung to me for dear life and I held him tighter than ever. I pulled him from his ‘strong enemy’; death.
It turns out that there were people in his path along the edge and he figured he could go around them and get back on the other side of them without any trouble. Definitely a ‘calamity’ for he did NOT know how to swim well enough for deep water.
God can rescue me even when my ‘calamity’ is of my own making. He still loves me and holds me tight while the danger passes.
The next portion of David’s song speaks of God’s complete forgiveness. David says; “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from gilt. And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His sight” (verses 21-25).
We KNOW that David sinned. There is no doubt about it. His relationship with Bathsheba and all that it resulted in is one glaring example. But when he repented, God saw him as righteous; “according to my cleanness in HIS sight.” That is the key right there. I believe he also had a habitual sin of not disciplining his children but it was not done intentionally, “wickedly” but probably out of parental ineptitude. He wasn’t good at being a parent who doles out discipline. Which is funny because he had to rule a kingdom and that takes discipline. There were times he was VERY heavy handed with his reactions. It may be he was afraid of being too heavy handed with his children.
But God saw him as righteous. And that is all that matters. God forgave his sins and David was able to forgive himself because God did. I would LOVE to learn how to do that myself. I keep bumping up against seeing all the sins of my past; seeing my ‘righteousness’ through my own eyes and coming up short.
God deals with us where we are. He rewards those who show His character in their lives. Do not be misled. You will reap what you sow. If not in this lifetime then in the next. God is forgiving but sin has consequences too. And habitual sin will ruin us.
But when we place ourselves in His hands we can do all things. “By You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall” (verse 30). “He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him” (verse 31b).
HE gives me victory. HE makes my enemies flee. HE brings me back from the brink of defeat and death. HE gives me strength to stand one more day. And HE loves me as His own! Because of this I will PRAISE HIM.
Thank You Father for rescuing me SO MANY TIMES! Thank You for forgiving me and giving me a new heart. Thank You for ALWAYS being just a cry away. Thank You for NEVER turning loose of my hand. I CAN run through a troop with You. I CAN leap over a wall with You. And I CAN be certain that when I stumble You WILL pick me back up, set me on my feet, and walk with me again.