Heavenly Father, you know everything about me, things no one else does, things I do not even understand about myself. You know what I need today to help me to live it in ways that please you.
Read 2 SAMUEL 22:17-30
17 “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
20 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
21 “The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
23 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
24 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness[a] in his sight.
26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
27 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
28 You save the humble,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
29 You, Lord, are my lamp;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
30 With your help I can advance against a troop[b];
with my God I can scale a wall.
- 2 Samuel 22:25 Hebrew; Septuagint and Vulgate (see also Psalm 18:24) to the cleanness of my hands
- 2 Samuel 22:30 Or can run through a barricade
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”1
David understood clearly here, at the beginning of his reign, that the unchanging God supported him, brought him through difficulty, saw and knew him. It wasn’t until later that he became more aware of his own potential for sin, and the reality of God’s forgiveness. Unlike his claim to righteousness in today’s passage (v 21), in Psalm 103:10 (continuing the repentance seen in Psalms 32 and 51) he proclaimed that God ‘does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.’ David’s confidence in God never changed but his confidence in himself did! In today’s chapter, he believed he had followed and obeyed God in every way and would be honored for it. He happily proclaimed that God treats everyone according to their ‘righteousness’ (vs 21,25) – fully trusting that he was righteous and would be treated well.
I can empathize with David! As a young Christian whose belief in my own faith and faithfulness was strong, I would probably have been happy to recite this psalm with confidence. In later years I struggle, as I think David too would have done, with some of the words here. However, God has not changed – he is still our ‘lamp’ who turns our ‘darkness into light’ (v 29). The difference for Christians is that we can confidently speak of God’s faithfulness to the faithful, not because of any righteousness of our own but because of the perfect righteousness of Christ that has been accounted to us. Paul explains clearly in Romans 3 and elsewhere that, although all (including David!) have sinned, ‘righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.’2 So, the strong ‘Wow’ that comes out so clearly from David here can still be our ‘Wow’ as forgiven sinners.
Read this passage aloud, speaking loudly when it speaks of God and quietly when it proclaims the writer’s innocence. Then thank God for the righteousness that we have in Christ.
Lord, in the simplicity of this moment, I set aside all pretense and hypocrisy as I pour out my heart to you—my strengths and my weaknesses.
Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by kingstar