2 Samuel 22:2-4
And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;…
The psalm was composed as a thanksgiving for the safety and deliverances David had experienced when Saul so persistently sought to destroy him, and afterwards in the wars with the house of Saul, and with the heathen tribes that set themselves against him. It appears to belong to an earlier period than the place it occupies in the book would indicate. It is scarcely possible that David could have asserted his uprightness and innocence in the strong terms of vers. 21-25 after his great sins. These verses form the introduction to the psalm, and express in emphatic language the safety and salvation which David had found in God. The Christian may use the words of the similar perils to which he is exposed, and of others not immediately in the psalmist's view.
I. THE DANGERS TO WHICH WE ARE EXPOSED. Bodily, mental, spiritual. To reputation. From our own constitutional tendencies. From diseases and accidents. From the malice of men, and their favour. From prosperity and adversity. From solitude and society. From labours, rest, and pleasures. From Satan and his angels. From the broken Law and injured justice of God. Always and everywhere, under all circumstances and conditions, we are all exposed to perils.
II. THE SAFETY AND DELIVERANCE TO BE FOUND IN GOD. The psalmist labours to express his sense of the protection, safety, and deliverance which God had vouchssfed to him, yea, which God himself had been to him. The imagery he uses is taken chiefly from natural features of Palestine, with which he had become especially familiar as affording refuge and safety during the time that he was hunted by Saul. He calls him "my Rock," in the heights and recesses of which he had been safe from his foes; "my Fortress," his fortified castle, too high to be reached, too strong to be broken into; "my Deliverer," by whose aid he had escaped from many a peril; "the God of my Rock," equivalent to "my mighty God;" "my Shield and the Horn of my salvation," at once protecting him in battle and pushing his enemies to their destruction; "my high Tower," or lofty Retreat; "my Refuge and my Saviour." What the Almighty was to David he is to all his people. We may use similar language. Our dangers may not be so fearful in appearance, or so numerous, or so obvious; but they are as real and serious. And our safety and deliverance must come from "the Lord." The words of the text show that it is not only what he employs for our good, nor what he himself does, but what he is, that assures of safety. Not only does he afford protection and secure deliverance; he is our Protector and Deliverer. In his almightiness, love, knowledge, wisdom, universal presence, observation, and operation, we realize salvation. In Jesus Christ, his very righteousness has become our friend, and assures us of victory. The safety thus assured is not absolute immunity from trouble, but protection from the evil it might produce, and change of its character. The righteous are visited with calamities similar to those which befall the wicked, and in some conditions of society with calamities peculiar to themselves. But in their ease they lose their unfriendly character, and become visitations of a Father's love, means of deliverance from worse evils, and of obtaining greater good. The evil which they might do God will defend us from, if we trust and obey him. Nor are the righteous sure of absolute preservation from sin, though they would enjoy perfect immunity if they fulfilled the necessary conditions on their part. But they have a right to feel sure of preservation of' body and soul in this world, until their appointed work is done; and of final deliverance from all evils (2 Timothy 4:18). They should not desire more.
III. THE CONDITIONS OF SAFETY AND DELIVERANCE.
1. Faith. "In him will I trust" (ver. 3). Confidence in God as our Friend, Protector, and Saviour. Especially as he is revealed to us in the gospel. Faith assures us of the Divine love, lays hold of the Divine strength, enables us to flee to God as our Refuge, to rise to the lofty Rock and Tower where we are above all adverse powers, and safe from their assaults, and gives the calmness needful for employing such means as tend to safety and victory. "All things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).
2. Prayer. "I will call on the Lord...so shall I be saved from mine enemies" (ver. 4). Faith prompts obedience, as in other respects, so in respect to prayer. Divine help and protection are promised to those who pray. "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me" (Psalm 50:15). The sense of peril, the knowledge that there is safety in God, and that his delivering power is exercised on behalf of those who seek him, cannot but lead the Christian to that earnest and believing prayer which prevails. The Apostle Paul, after pointing out other methods of ensuring victory over our enemies, adds, "Praying always," etc. (Ephesians 6:18).
IV. THE RETURN TO BE MADE FOR SAFETY AND DELIVERANCE REALIZED, AND ANTICIPATED. Praise. This psalm is one of the returns of praise which David made to his Deliverer, of whom he speaks in ver. 4 as "the Lord who is worthy to be praised." Many are ready to pray to God in danger, who forget or refuse to praise him when they have experienced deliverance. The Christian will not fail to give thanks, not only for what he has experienced of Divine protection, but for what he feels sure he shall experience, up to and including victory over death itself, "the last enemy," in view of whose approach he sings, "Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:26, 57). - G.W.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
WEB: and he said, "Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, even mine;