God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21 - 2 Samuel 22-23; Psalm 57: David's Final Words of Praise

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 22-23; Psalm 57

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Read 2 Samuel 22 with the mindset of a polytheist learning about Israel's god.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

David finally had peace from all of his enemies. He praised God for being his rock, his refuge, his salvation. God protected him from his enemies through awe-inspiring, grand spectacles of power. He reached down and pulled David out of his troubles.
David's last words gave honor to God as the impetus behind his psalms. He warns to stay away from evil ones for they will seek to destroy God's People.
David's top men included three elites—Josheb-Basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah—and thirty second-tier fighters, all capable of great deeds on the battlefield.

Psalm (P)Synopsis

Psalm 57

David, hiding in a cave from Saul, calls out to God to shelter him from the hurricane and protect him from the lions and trappers. David is ready to sing praises to God for his salvation. David begins his praise!

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

David's praises would resonate with polytheist of his day.

We read through some of these lines and think they are uncommon—at least not the way we speak of God today. However, we must see David's words in light of their cultural surroundings. Israel's neighbors on all sides were polytheists. Their gods had impressive stories of great power. However, no matter how great their stories may have been, David's god was greater than any god. This is why he uses such vivid language:
Earth wobbled and lurched;
   the very heavens shook like leaves,
Quaked like aspen leaves
   because of his rage.
His nostrils flared, billowing smoke;
   his mouth spit fire.
Tongues of fire darted in and out;
   he lowered the sky. (22:8-9, The Message)
We might consider this a missionary psalm for David. He is calling to people who live elsewhere to consider the God of Israel. Sing God's praises to people who do not know God as their god with hopes that they come to know Him.

David's praises also show the timelessness of his other psalms.

As antiquated as this version of David's words may be, it highlights how well his other psalms have aged. Consider the 23rd Psalm's imagery of a lamb protected by a shepherd. Although most Americans do not own sheep, we still understand what a shepherd does. How wonderful that God passed down such a great number of poems that help describe the life of a person dedicated to setting things right for God.

All of David's psalms were written through God's Spirit.

At the end of his life, David gives honor and credit to God for all he has done. His words were from God. He uses his last words to warn against those who are "the devil's henchmen" (23:6, The Message).

May we use our final words to give honor to God for all we have done in our lives!

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