Archive for March 22nd, 2019

2 Samuel 22: Warrior’s Song

Friday, March 22, 2019

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri: Saul Attacking David

As human beings, we have a desire to record the emotions of great events so that the effect they hold on us will not be lost.  We retain love letters, programs from special ceremonies, photographs and recordings . . . all in an attempt to recreate an emotion or a feeling we once had.  Rather than press flowers or save baby teeth and ringlets of hair, what might we find within ourselves if we were to create hymns of praise for the ways God has been present in our lives in a palpable way?  More importantly, how might we magnify God – each in our own small way – if we began to speak to one another of the wondrous transformations we experience rather than the daily toil and drudgery of our lives?

The story of David is such a good one because David is so human.  He has both smallness and greatness.  He succumbs to his human frailty and he glorifies God with abandon when goodness comes to him.  David is not ashamed or embarrassed to acknowledge God.  Davis knows how to wait on the Lord.

Today’s reading follows other less happy events in David’s life: his hiding in fear from the anger of King Saul against whom he had done nothing to merit persecution, the sad and unnecessary death of Saul and his son Jonathan (David’s boon companion), his taking of Bathsheba and the arranged murder of her husband Uriah in battle, the death of their son Absalom after a bitter civil war.  Yet despite the unhappiness he has experienced, David rises from the ashes of sorrow and pain to praise God who is his strength and his rock.

Today’s song is also found in the Psalter as Psalm 18; and it is fitting that these verses appear twice in scripture as they so beautifully express the emotion we all long to feel.  For it is with these verses that we magnify God . . . it is with these verses that we form a scrap book of memories and emotions that will never fade.  These verses bring us what we seek; they answer the ancient yearning to acknowledge and to be acknowledged.  They are all we truly need.

My rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my savior, my stronghold, my refuge . . . from violence you keep me safe.

David suffered years of persecution by Saul, years of struggle as the young king of a small desert nation; yet he places all of this anguish where it belongs, at the feet of God.

In my distress I called on the Lord and cried out to my God.  From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry reached his ears.

In this Lenten season we also must raise our voices in appeal to our God who hears all petitions.  Let us not be shy about seeking peace from the Lord; but rather let us intercede for ourselves and for our enemies as we have been taught by Christ the saver of all.

He rescued me from my enemy, from my foes, who were too powerful for me.  He set me free in the open and rescued me, because he loves me.

We also can number the times we have been pulled from despair and its downward tug by some sudden and surprising turn of events.  Enslavement comes to us in many forms; so does deliverance.

You have given me your saving shield; you girded me with strength for war.

We also find this same strength when we put on our armor of Christ to walk humbly but with authority, to live justly and mercifully, to love well and always – no matter the cost.

Therefore will I proclaim you, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praise to your name.

We also might pronounce stories of the times we have been rescued and upheld.  We also might sing a pilgrim’s song of praise for our deliverance from all that drags us down and brings us fear.

So let us sing praise to the Lord our God, who hears our voices when we call . . . and who answers our cries for help.  Let us join ourselves in a Warrior’s Song of Praise . . .  to the one true God who loves us all . . . and loves us all so well.

A re-post from March 22, 2012. 

Image from: http://theoblogic.blogspot.com/2011/04/spirit-david-and-saul.html

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