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II Samuel Chapter 22


Memory verses for this week:  Job 31:23  For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.


Overview of II Samuel 22: This lengthy chapter is a psalm of David, undoubtedly written in his old age. It is a psalm of praise to God and of victory. It may have been written after the recent war with the Philistines. It closely parallels and is almost identical with Psalm 18.  

I.              David's Song of Deliverance

2 Sam 22:1  And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:

David evidently looked back over the many battles of his lifetime and how that God had delivered him from them all.    While David had moments of failure, he was a man who stayed in touch with the Lord through out his lifetime, and made prayer an important part of his life daily. 

2 Sam 22:2  And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

2 Sam 22:3  The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

2 Sam 22:4  I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Notice how David described Jehovah as (1) his rock, (2) his fortress, and (3) his deliverer.    The word translated as fortress  refers to the impregnable rock west of the Dead Sea of which David undoubtedly was familiar.     It was a place which was militarily impregnable.     A very interesting study that gives you great peace about God's providential care comes from studying about fortresses in the bible.    God is that strong impregnable tower to which we can run to seek shelter from the storms of this life. 

David said that God was also a shield to him.    He then referred to the Lord as “the horn of my salvation.”    A horn was a symbol of strength and power. God was the strength of his salvation.    In ancient times, a high tower as a place of military strength wherein one could hold    up against an enemy.  It often was a part of a greater fortress.  

Therefore, the Lord was his refuge and savior. He had delivered David on numerous occasions from violent attacks.   David determined to continue to call on the Lord for help because He is “worthy to be praised.”   He knew he would be saved from his enemies.   The greater truth is that the Lord is a Savior not only from the battles of life but also from the second death itself.  

2 Sam 22:5  When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;

2 Sam 22:6  The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

2 Sam 22:7  In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

David likened his brushes with death as mighty waves.  Ungodly men over the years had frightened him.   The word translated as hell here (lwav sheowl) also has the sense of the ‘grave.’ In this context, that likely is the sense.   The greater thought is that as David had faced death on many occasions. Yet, in his distress, he had called upon the Lord and God heard his prayer. 

2 Sam 22:8  Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.

2 Sam 22:9  There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

2 Sam 22:10  He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet.

2 Sam 22:11  And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.

2 Sam 22:12  And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

2 Sam 22:13  Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.

2 Sam 22:14  The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.

2 Sam 22:15  And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them.

2 Sam 22:16  And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

2 Sam 22:17  He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; 

David described the power of God and how He had on various occasions come to the rescue of David.   This may be an allusion to the power of God demonstrated at Mount Sinai at the giving of the Law.   There does not seem to be any specific historical event to which David here refers. He again described God as riding upon the wings of the wind.  

Psa 103:3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Psa 103:4  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 

David once again likely looked back to the mighty work of God at Mount Sinai when He in awesome power revealed Himself to Israel.   He also referred to the parting of the Red Sea. Even as God had in mighty power delivered Israel in those days, He had also delivered David.    He used the analogy of being delivered from many waters to compare God’s   deliverance of him through the years.    In each of our lives, we can see God's provision and protection.    There most likely isn't a person here this morning that could not name several times when they know God delivered them from either sickness or situations that we as  men and women could not deal with own our own.    If you know Christ as Lord and Savior, you know Christ did for you what no one (including yourself) could do when he saved you from your sins. 

II.  David Continues his Song of Praise 

2 Sam 22:18  He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.

2 Sam 22:19  They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

2 Sam 22:20  He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

2 Sam 22:21  The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. 

Verse 18 finds David continuing his great song of praise.   The strong enemy referred to may have been Goliath.   As Goliath’s sons had again challenged David, noted in the preceding chapter, he no doubt was reminded of that original battle and the continuing hatred of his sons.   The word translated as prevented (Mdq qadam) can also have the sense of ‘confronted.’   Though David had been confronted with calamity (trouble) on numerous occasions, the LORD was his stay.  

The word translated as stay (Nevm mish`en) also has the sense of ‘support.’ In all David’s battles, the Lord had helped him.   His reference to a large place is a metaphor of victory.   The reason is that God delighted in him.  David knew that he had walked before the Lord in righteousness and holiness.    He also knew God loved such obedience. Therefore, he attributed God’s deliverance as a recompense   for his righteous living.   There is no pride or arrogance here. Rather, David realized that God will bless righteous living.    The focus is not so much upon David, but rather on how that God will reward the righteous.                  

Psa 5:12  For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. 

2 Sam 22:22  For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

2 Sam 22:23  For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

2 Sam 22:24  I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

2 Sam 22:25  Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

David continued to describe further concerning how he had lived before the Lord.   David rehearsed the fact that he had sought to be obedient before God and live righteously to the best of his ability before Him.   That is why God had delivered him as will be noted next.    

In verse 25, we have record that David wrote for the benefit of others. God had delivered him because he had lived righteously before God.   David knew that.   Even though David had sin in his life as all men do, David sought forgiveness from the Lord and tried to live right day to day.   The implication is that God will do the same for others.


III.   God Will Show Mercy 

2 Sam 22:26  With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt show thyself upright.

2 Sam 22:27  With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt show thyself unsavoury.

2 Sam 22:28  And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down. 

David continued this general thought.    God will deal kindly with those who do the same.  He will deal justly with those who demonstrate the same fairness in their lives.    God will deal in purity to those who walk in purity.   However, He will deal entirely   differently with the froward.    Froward (vqe iqqesh) has the sense of ‘crooked’ or ‘perverse.’    God will deal in like measure to them.  

In similar fashion, God will deliver the humble.   The word translated as afflicted (yne aniy) has the sense of ‘lowly,’ ‘weak,’ ‘afflicted,’ or ‘humble.’  

James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

James 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

James 4:9  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

James 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 

To the contrary, God will deal harshly with those who are self-exalted. He has ways of humbling such.  

Rom 9:18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Rom 9:19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?


2 Sam 22:29  For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

2 Sam 22:30  For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

2 Sam 22:31  As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

2 Sam 22:32  For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? 

David launches into direct praise of God.    “For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.”   David likens the Lord to be his light. Indeed, God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (I John 1:5).   He continued, “For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.”  

The thought is that through God’s strength he had run through and defeated an opposing army.    With God’s help he had scaled the wall of an enemy city in victory.   He pauses to reflect upon the perfection of God.    “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.” 

The word translated as perfect (Mymt tamiym) is most frequently rendered as ‘without blemish.’   Moreover, His Word has been assayed (i.e., tested) and found to be true.   Finally, God is a buckler or a shield to them that trust Him. What a profound promise. God will protect and preserve those who trust Him!  

He asked, “For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?

The answers to these questions are apparent. There is no other God beside Jehovah.   There is no other rock but God.   Implicit is His strength, stability, and protection.


IV.  God is David's Strength and Power

2 Sam 22:33  God is my strength and power: And he maketh my way perfect.

2 Sam 22:34  He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places.

2 Sam 22:35  He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

2 Sam 22:36  Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.

2 Sam 22:37  Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip.

David continues to praise God relating His perfection to His help.    “God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.”   Because God is strong and perfect, He therefore imparted the same to David in His guidance to him.   A hind is a reference to a deer.  Few creatures are more graceful and powerful in their legs than deer.   David ascribed to God the strength and abilities God had given to him.   God had advanced and exalted him over the years.   David ascribed praise to God for that.   David ascribed to God his skill as a great warrior.    Moreover, it was God who had given great strength to David.   The reference to a bow of steel likely refers to a bow of brass which David apparently had broken in an unrecorded incident.  

Implicit is that it belonged to an enemy, and David  in conquering him broke his powerful metal bow before him. But it was God who gave him the strength to do so.  

 In verse 36, David ascribes his victories to God.   The word translated as salvation (evy yesha) can also refer to ‘deliverance’ and that     may be the case in this context.   The greater truth however is that our salvation is a shield from God.   The phrase “thy gentleness hath made me great” can also be rendered, “thy humility has made me great.”    The thought may be that David learned humility from God.    It in turn became a blessing which exalted him to greatness. He noted also how God had strengthened and lengthened his steps so that he did not slip.


2 Sam 22:38  I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.

2 Sam 22:39  And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.

2 Sam 22:40  For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.

2 Sam 22:41  Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.

2 Sam 22:42  They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

2 Sam 22:43  Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.

2 Sam 22:44  Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me.


David again ascribed his many victories to God.   He had the blessing of prevailing in battle over his numerous enemies over the years.  It was God who had given him the strength to prevail in battle.   It therefore was God who ultimately defeated David’s enemies and David knew that.    He knowing this gave the glory to God.   It was Jehovah God who so prospered David in battle.  

In Verse 44,  we find that not only had God delivered David in battle with other nations, but David on more  than one occasion had to deal with internal uprisings, not the least of which was that of Absalom.   Nevertheless, God had delivered him from them all. He also acknowledged how that God had allowed him to rule over neighboring gentile nations.  

2 Sam 22:45  Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.

2 Sam 22:46  Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.

2 Sam 22:47  The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

Strangers here referred to are ‘gentiles.’ The thought can also be rendered, “strangers  submit themselves unto me.”   The thought is that David acknowledged that by God’s hand neighboring nations had submitted themselves to him.  

Verse 47 states that Jehovah not only lives eternally, but David therefore praised him as the rock of his salvation.    God’s deliverance both in David’s lifetime and for all eternity was as a great rock which cannot be moved.   Implicit is the eternality of our salvation.   It cannot be moved.


V.   God Avenged David from his Enemies 

2 Sam 22:48  It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,

2 Sam 22:49  And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

2 Sam 22:50  Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.

2 Sam 22:51  He is the tower of salvation for his king: and showeth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.

As David nears the end of this great psalm, he ascribed all his victories to his God.    It was God who wrought vengeance and not David.   It was God who subdued enemies before him.   It was God who had exalted him above lessor men and delivered him.  

Rom 12:19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Rom 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Rom 12:21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 

Verse 50 finds David  thanking his God and sing praises to Him.   He concludes this monumental psalm of remembrance with one final paean of praise “  

“He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.”  

David again likened God to a tower—a place of great safety.   Moreover, He would abundantly show mercy to David and his descendants forever.   Implicit is his acknowledgment of the Davidic Covenant.   God had blessed and delivered him throughout his long career.   But David ascribed it all to the Lord.

Earlier in the chapter, he also recognized that God had so blessed him because he had walked righteously and obediently before Him. A lesson that remains for this day.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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