Posted by: arieliondotcom | April 16, 2013

Seeing Through Circumstances (2 Samuel 22)

Seeing through Circumstances
(2 Samuel 22)

What?! Is David out of his mind or drunk?! In this chapter it’s as if the storm clouds are clearing after a violent hurricane and David is thanking GOD for bringing him out of all his troubles. But the reason he gives for GOD helping him is his own righteousness and pure heart! What?! He’s an adulterer! He’s a murderer! And he’s talking about having a pure heart?!

If you’re familiar with the Psalms you’ve literally heard this song before. You’ll recognize it as Psalm 18 and that it was specifically (mostly) written when David was saved from Saul. (Although it also adds all his other enemies as well.) But when was that? While Saul was still alive? We know David was so upset at Saul’s death it’s unlikely he wrote it soon after that. And why is it being included so late? And why that nonsense about David being righteous when we know, and we know he knows, what a sinner he has been?

First of all, if it was when Saul was still alive, David hadn’t commited adultery or had Uriah killed yet. He was just finishing running for his life. And he had acted righteously in not killing Saul when he had the chance. But there’s something more important here. And this is a clue to why it’s mentioned so late in 2 Samuel. The next chapter will describe David’s death. This chapter is like a ribbon wrapped around the bouquet of David’s life and offered with thanks to GOD.

David describes GOD as his fortress, his salvation, his rescuer from enemies and from death. It isn’t his own earned righteousness David is talking about. It is righteousness surrounding him when he is safe within the shelter of GOD. David, whenever this Psalm is written, is saying that any good he has or has done, any strength or power, has come from GOD his Savior. David knows the strength and comfort he has are from the shelter of GOD enveloping him in spite of circumstances. He sees through the circumstances of life to his Savior behind the circumstances.

David’s life was full of violence and bloodshed from lions and bears as a boy to armies and enemies as a young man to being hunted like an animal to being the power behind murder. Yet beyond all of that he recognized the strength of his Savior. He compares it to when he’d been on narrow cliffs or walking through slimey pits rescuing sheep and running from Saul. He had never known if his next step would be his last. But now he realizes that what he thought was narrowness in the darkness was actually a wide path. He was tiptoeing in the dark but in the daylight realized he was on a football field.

Whether before or after the greatest sins of his life, David saw through the circumstances of his life to realize he had security in GOD His Savior. But that didn’t negate the terribleness of the sin. Scripture tells us that JESUS looked past the Cross despising its shame for the glory that was beyond it. But He despised the Cross just the same. It was no less painful or horrible. But seeing the Father through even that grueling circumstance made it bearable.
David’s circumstances were painful and bloody but seeing his Savior through them made David able to sing and praise in spite of his circumstances because it was the righteousness of His Savior that was his Rock, surrounding and protecting him and supporting him along the way. And as he heads toward death, it is a fitting way to summarize his life.

We, too, can survive and thrive in any circumstance if we can see through them to our Savior Whose rightousness surrounds us and supports us along the way.

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