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2 Samuel 22:1-51 David’s Prayer

Posted by adventbiblestudy on September 6, 2013


2 Samuel 22:1-51 NLTse David sang this song to the LORD on the day the LORD rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. (2) He sang: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; (3) my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. (4) I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. (5) “The waves of death overwhelmed me; floods of destruction swept over me. (6) The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. (7) But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. (8) “Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the heavens shook; they quaked because of his anger. (9) Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from him. (10) He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. (11) Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. (12) He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dense rain clouds. (13) A great brightness shone around him, and burning coals blazed forth. (14) The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. (15) He shot arrows and scattered his enemies; his lightning flashed, and they were confused. (16) Then at the command of the LORD, at the blast of his breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. (17) “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. (18) He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. (19) They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the LORD supported me. (20) He led me to a place of safety; herescued me because he delights in me. (21) The LORD rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence. (22) For I have kept the ways of theLORD; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. (23) I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees. (24) I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. (25) The LORD rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence. (26) “To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. (27) To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the wicked you show yourself hostile. (28) You rescue the humble, but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them. (29) LORD, you are my lamp. The LORD lights up my darkness. (30) In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall. (31) “God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. (32) For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock? (33) God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect. (34) He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. (35) He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. (36) You have given me your shield of victory; your help has made me great. (37) You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. (38) “I chased my enemies and destroyed them; I did not stop until they were conquered. (39) I consumed them; I struck them down so they did not get up; they fell beneath my feet. (40) You have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet. (41) You placed my foot on their necks. I have destroyed all who hated me. (42) They looked for help, but no one came to theirrescue. They even cried to the LORD, but he refused to answer. (43) I ground them as fine as the dust of the earth; I trampled them in the gutter like dirt. (44) “You gave me victory over my accusers. You preserved me as the ruler over nations; people I don’t even know now serve me. (45) Foreign nations cringe before me; as soon as they hear of me, they submit. (46) They all lose their courage and come trembling from their strongholds. (47) “The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted! (48) He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he brings down the nations under me (49) and delivers me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents. (50) For this, O LORD, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name. (51) You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever.”

 

David’s entire prayer is a prophecy. Our first clue is David’s use of the word, “Rock,” and the way he defines God as his Rock. Many of these prophecies are easy to locate and understand. Others require lengthy study. In this study, we will cover a few of the most popular and easy to explain.

 

David spent years running from Saul. During that time he lived in caves, watched his family and dedicated friends shiver in driving rain and suffer under the relentless sun. At times David turned to his enemies for help only to face accusations. Twice he came within reach of Saul, each time sparing his life. Finally, David heard the news of Saul and Jonathan’s death. Instead of feeling a sense of freedom, the news deeply cut David’s heart. His emotions got the best of him as he lashed out at the messenger. Living with Saul and his family had an emotional effect on David. Saul was not perfect, but David was able to look past his defects. David had a way of looking only at the good in Saul. David didn’t look at Saul’s actions, but at what he could have accomplished if he turned his heart to God. In essence, David repeated the same process Moses went through. Beyond all expectations God did the unexpected, He arranged for Moses, the son of slaves to grow up in Pharaoh’s court. Moses was accepted by Pharaoh’s family. Something touched Moses. Something God had to repeat with David so we wouldn’t miss the lesson. When we are accepted by people, we become a part of their lives. We see a side of them most of the world missed. We see a side of people only their family and God’s Spirit usually see. We see the extent of good and evil in their lives and when God’s Spirit touches us, we hope and pray the good will prevail.

 

David was far from perfect. Something inside David was telling him he was incomplete. Something told David there was more to accomplish, more to reach out for, and more in this world to satisfy him. In his weakness David reached out to women in an attempt to satisfy that need. Putting David’s desires into perspective is rather strange because this feeling was first fostered by a woman. When God brought Eve to Adam, she saw him sleeping on the ground. God placed an image in Eve’s mind as she stood over Adam watching him sleep. Standing along side God, Eve looked down at her husband, created in God’s image, sleeping in an innocent and helpless state. God wanted Eve to see it was her role to watch over Adam from the very beginning. As soon as Adam woke up, he declared his dedication to Eve. “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” (Genesis 2:23 NLTse). Adam’s first statement showed how vulnerable he was. Adam declared he was incomplete without Eve. This is an emotion handed down through every generation. Adam showed Eve everything God gave them. They had the world to themselves, but for some reason, Eve felt incomplete. One day Satan offered Eve something she didn’t have. Satan suggested an alternative. Instead of believing her husband and God, Eve trusted the strange creature. Looking to gain something Adam could not give her, Satan was able to convince Eve she needed what he was offing. Eve was enticed by the first suggestion to fill that need. David had the same problem. Satan told David something was missing. Maybe this woman, or that one can fill your needs. No matter which way David turned, it never seemed to be enough. And David realized that the LORD had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. After moving from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more concubines and wives, and they had more sons and daughters. (2 Samuel 5:12-13 NLTse).

 

When David sat down to write this prayer, did he realize all the enemies and sins God wanted to deliver him from? David knew there was much more he could accomplish if he dedicated himself to God. David wanted to, but seemed to always listen to Satan telling him how much he was missing. Still David saw his own potential, and listened to God’s Spirit as He told David about how that potential will one day be fulfilled through one of his descendants. David understood what God was telling him and recorded the message in the form of a prayer.

 

David sang this song to the LORD on the day the LORD rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my saviormy God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.

 

David begins his prayer by pointing us right to the source of his faith and security. After facing years of hardship, David never gave up, but continued to place his faith in the solid Rock that guided him on his journey through life. Of course the Rock David referred to is a symbol pointing to Jesus. It is only a matter of searching the New Testament to find texts explaining Jesus was that Rock.

 

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4, Matthew 7:24 NLTse).

 

God’s shows a spiritual connection between David and Moses. Both were guided by Christ. Moses was guided by a pillar of fire lighting their way and protecting them at night, and a cloud that protected them from the scorching sun during the day. In addition to that, a Rock seemed to follow them in the wilderness, supplying life giving water when they needed it most. David did not see the physical presence of God Moses saw day after day, but still saw God’s hand in the guidance, warnings, and protection he received. David also had the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim. God used Moses and David to show an important step in faith. At first God used His presence to increase faith. Scripture shows how God wanted Israel to walk in faith. How many times did Moses remind Israel how quickly they forget the miracles God performed and took His presence for granted? David was the next step showing us how to walk in faith — knowing God is always here for us, even when we don’t see His physical presence. David also shared the revelation of God’s presence with Jesus, explaining how God would be with Jesus in His hour of need. David was shown the future as he wrote this prophecy about Jesus.

 

(5) “The waves of death overwhelmed me; floods of destruction swept over me. (6) The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. (7) But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears. (8) “Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the heavens shook; they quaked because of his anger. (9) Smoke poured from his nostrils; fierce flames leaped from his mouth. Glowingcoals blazed forth from him. (10) He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. (11) Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. (12) He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dense rain clouds. (13) A great brightness shone around him, and burning coals blazed forth. (14) The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. (15) He shot arrows and scattered his enemies; his lightning flashed, and they were confused. (16) Then at the command of the LORD, at the blast of his breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare. (17) “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. (18) He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me.

 

This part of David’s prayer has many similarities to the prayer of another prophet. The situations differed, never the less, we can’t help but see a number of spiritual connections.

 

Jonah 2:1-7 NLTse Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. (2) He said, “I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and LORD, you heard me! (3) You threw me into the ocean depths, and I sank down to the heart of the sea. The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves. (4) Then I said, ‘O LORD, you have driven me from your presence. Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple.’ (5) “I sank beneath the waves, and the waters closed over me. Seaweed wrapped itself around my head. (6) I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! (7) As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple.

 

I had to pray long and hard to understand the spiritual connection between Jonah’s and David’s prayers. It turns out to be based on contrasts rather than similarities. This is another lesson in Bible study. Some times we get used to looking for similarities, forgetting God also uses contrasts to illustrate a point. Jonah also experienced physical manifestations from God. Like the cloud that covered Moses, God sent a plant to protect Jonah from the sun. What was Jonah’s response? Jonah also heard God’s voice. How did Jonah react to God’s instructions? See how God uses contrasts so the messages in His Word are custom tailored for each of us? Before that, God pulled off a big one. He prepared a fish to swallow Jonah. After being thrown into the ocean, you would think Jonah would be thankful and secure knowing God is looking out for him by sending a fish. What’s the chance of that happening? Instead Jonah sends up a prayer that sounds like God forgot about him. I know that happens to all of us. Which brings us to the next important lesson on Bible study, how God uses contrasts to teach lessons.

 

Jonah may have been one of God’s prophets, but he was far from cooperative. Neither was Moses, or David to a degree. In fact all three are contrasts to Christ. The biggest contrast between Jonah and Christ is seen when Jonah received a message and ran away. Of course Jonah represents the human reaction to receiving a message from God. I know we all receive messages from God’s Spirit. That’s His job and we know He never rests on the job. The problem is, either we don’t listen or we run away. Next God used a whole bunch of symbols in Jonah’s story so only people who want to learn to listen to His messages will learn. Oops, I guess I just lost the attention of ….

 

We see Jonah asleep during a storm. What does a storm represent? I know a lot of minds are flying around trying to identify a single source. That’s not what the Bible teaches. God uses a storm to represent a variety of serious situations in this world. And that is exactly what a storm represents. Does a physical storm come down to effect a single home or family? Of course some people are thinking of one example in the Bible where a single storm flattened a single home effecting a single family. But did it effect a single family? You also have to ask yourself where that storm came from. Jonah sleeping during a storm represents us sleeping while the world is falling apart. Notice who woke Jonah. But the LORD hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. So the captain went down after him. “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.” (Jonah 1:4-6 NLTse). Notice the sailors prayed to different gods for help. Did you also notice what happened to their income? What is this telling us about the condition of the world today?

 

Jesus’ disciples faced storms in another a boat. Jesus slept during one of those storms. Did the disciples pray to other gods? What was their reaction to the storm? Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (Matthew 8:24-26 NLTse). What was the point? Jesus wanted them to learn they could call on God’s Spirit to calm the storm. Are you seeing the correlation of lessons here? You see, God first gave the message to Jonah, telling him exactly where to go and what to do. Jonah failed to follow orders, which brought on the storm. The disciples failed to accept and understand what Jesus was teaching and brought the storm on themselves. When we look at previous verses we find what Jesus was teaching. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! (Matthew 8:10 NLTse).

 

Later Jesus gave His disciples another test. He sent them across the lake by themselves. They suddenly found themselves in a storm. This time Jesus wasn’t sleeping, He was watching over them. Jesus walked out to them on the water. Remember the story? What was their reaction when they saw Jesus? They thought He was a ghost. How ridiculous. Jesus repeated this lesson to see if their faith grew. And we wonder why we have to see trials in our life repeated. Maybe its time to take a look in the mirror.

 

Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! (Jonah 1:15 NLTse). You have to go back to Jonah’s story to see a number of other spiritual symbols God wanted us to see. Jesus came into the boat and the storm stopped. Jonah was thrown into the sea to stop the storm he was in. Then what happened? I know the few of you who bothered to take time to read the first chapter of Jonah are already thinking ahead. Led by God’s Spirit you can see a number of lessons God is teaching. Each lesson is personally tailored for what we need at this moment in our lives. For those of you who don’t have time for an individual lesson with God’s Spirit, here is a quick run down on what we see on the surface.

 

Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17 NLTse). God prepared a test for Jonah so we could see the depth of his faith. What was Jonah’s reaction? Did he thank God? Did Jonah look at the fish as a blessing? Was being swallowed by a fish Jonah’s idea of being saved? How often do we pray to God in the middle of a trial? How do we structure our prayers? Do we look at the situation and try to figure out the lesson God is trying to teach? Do we listen to God for the answer? More often than not we pray for one reason. To tell God, the Creator of the universe how we think He should handle the situation. If we are honest with ourselves, we can see this is true. I hear it all the time when I listen to people pray. Its not our fault. This is how we’ve been taught to pray. We have to consider the source. We offer suggestions to God instead of admitting our limitations, defects and faults. Then to be on the safe side, we add, “if it be your will Lord.” Then we sign off. We forger to stay tuned for more information. We aren’t used to the fact, God has all the answers. As a matter of fact, God already has a plan for us when we don’t listen. Too often we are like Jonah. We look at God’s answer as a trial instead of a blessing. To make matters worse, we go out seeking advise from other people who answer with useless cliches most likely telling us the trial is from Satan. So we close our ears and eyes hoping for the best. Its a good thing for us David took the time to write his prayer so we can learn a few things from it.

 

A portion of David’s prayer describes Jesus’ time in the tomb. Imagine being Jesus and reading about your death. What effect did it have on Jesus? It increased His faith in God. This is a stark contrast to Jonah who thought he was lost forever. Both David and Jonah had to face impossible odds to finally see how God was protecting them. Sure they were in the middle of a trial. God had to take them that far to open their eyes. And what did they finally see? For some reason their answers are almost identical.

2 Samuel 22

cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.

He opened the heavens and came down

A great brightness shone around him

He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.

He rescued me from my powerful enemies

 

Jonah 2:1-7

I cried out to the LORD in my great trouble, and he answered me.

LORD, you heard me!

O LORD, you have driven me from your presence. Yet I will look once more toward your holy Temple

But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death!

As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD.

 

We can’t describe the blessings David and Jonah received once their eyes were opened. Each of them lived through their trials and were given the opportunity to record their prayers. Little did they know their prayers would one day give Jesus the faith to face the grave. You see, David and Jonah were serving God with no idea what they were going to accomplish. I’m sure those of you who checked the details in Jonah saw the same lesson. Jonah didn’t see what he accomplished on the boat. The sailors were awestruck by the LORD’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. (Jonah 1:16 NLTse). Jonah was in the fish’s belly when the sailors turned to God. This is not only written for Jesus, who needed the encouragement, but for our benefit. You see, we aren’t supposed to hang around to see the outcome when we deliver a message from God. We’re supposed to leave people in God’s capable hands to finish the process. For Jesus, He needed the encouragement when He saw his disciples sleeping in his hour of need.

 

Like Jonah, the disciples slept in the midst of a storm. Jesus woke them a number of times and asked them to pray. Well what happened? They went back to sleep. How did that make Jesus feel? Jesus was about to give His life for this world and God leads Him down a dark path in the garden, branches slapping His face as He stumbled over dead branches on the path to find His disciples sleeping. A few hours ago they were bragging about who was greatest. Jesus’ human side must have felt like a failure. He spent three years trying to teach His disciples a whole list of lessons. Jesus tried His best to prepare His disciples for their own ministry. What was their reaction? They argued about who was the greatest and fell asleep after Jesus asked them to pray. How do we fit this mold? Jesus had little to go on but the scriptures He read. Turning to God’s Word in prayer, Jesus was reminded of a number of things. How the sailors turned to God when Jonah was in the fish’s belly. That told Jesus how His disciples would finally turn to God when He was in the tomb. The rest of Jonah’s story and David’s prayer assured Jesus that God’s Spirit would be hard at work preparing the world for His message after His resurrection. God’s Word and Spirit gave Jesus the comfort and support He needed when He needed it.

 

So far we looked at one important study method you have to learn before you able to look into God’s Word for the answers you are looking for. It is the lesson of contrasts. We saw contrasts between Jesus and Jonah. The question is, which example are you going to follow? The main point shows us where to go for answers. Jesus went to scripture for strength and encouragement. Where to most people go for answers? You have to answer that question on an individual basis. Now we have Jesus to go to.

 

Hebrews 1:1-3 NLTse Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. (2) And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. (3) The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

 

Contrasts are only a small portion of Bible study taught in David’s prayer. Another method of Bible study shows us how to recognize key words which lead to other texts for a clearer explanation. This is an important step for us to follow as we study the prophecies Jesus fulfilled and prepare to share this information with others. Keep in mind, the main focus is always to send people back to scripture and God’s Spirit.

 

(11) Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind.

Hebrews 1:7 NLTse Regarding the angels, he says, “He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.”

 

Comparing texts to refine a definition is one thing. Using the wrong text can lead in any direction. Finding the right texts that explains the fulfillment of a prophecy is a different matter. This is a simple illustration showing how the Bible explains the fulfillment of each of the prophecies it contains. God is not only capable of recording prophecies, He also records the fulfillment of each.

 

Matthew 28:1-7 NLTse Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. (2) Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. (3) His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. (4) The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. (5) Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. (6) He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. (7) And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”

 

You have to look back at 2 Samuel 22:5-17 to see how all the key words linked these texts together. You will also see how scripture is used to explain scripture. The fulfillment will always provide a clear interpretation of the prophecy. The Bible is perfectly consistent on this matter. If it doesn’t, you have to go back and see where you went wrong. Notice the repeated words and terms in Matthew 28 and 2 Samuel 22 and how the contexts fit together. This is a consistent rule throughout the Bible. Samuel 22 contains a number of prophecies about Jesus. The rest are up to you to study. Following the simple rules of key words, which are repeated, and context, you can find related texts explaining how each portion of the prophecies in 2 Samuel 22 were fulfilled.

 

This study covers only a small portion of what is in David’s prayer. The king of Israel took time to write it himself. Shouldn’t we take time to study it? Its time we stopped fooling ourselves. It only takes a few minutes to learn a few simple techniques God placed in His Word showing us how to study. Its your job to learn these techniques and pass them along to others. It only took a few years after Luther translated the Bible into a language people could understand for others to compile the first Concordance. People have been using these simple study techniques for hundreds of years. Today we have Concordances, computers, laptops, and phones with Bibles. Even though God put His Word in so many hands, the world is filled with people trying to pretend they are God. They want you to believe they have all the answers. The fact of the matter is, they are unable to teach you the basic fundamentals Jesus taught His disciples. They are unable to teach you how to study on your own and rely on God’s Word and Spirit for answers. It should be obvious why those people are not equipped to teach. But God’s Spirit is working 24/7 to show you the way. What are you going to do when time is up? Are you going to face Jesus’ coming with fear in your heart? What are you going to do when you are overwhelmed by fear instead of joy? Are you going to turn to those humans in one last attempt to find an answer? Are they going to have an answer? Then everyone–the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person–all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?” (Revelation 6:15-17 NLTse).

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