“For who is God besides the Lord? And who is a rock, besides our God? God is my strong fortress; and he sets the blameless in His way. He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your help makes me great.” 2 Samuel 22:32-36, NASB.
Sometimes people will say things like, “I need God to give me some spiritual help.” Usually what is meant is that the person desires something supernatural by way of wisdom, direction, or special intervention. It is the acknowledgment of the equivalent of sending up the “Bat Beacon.” Help us Batman!!
David though in this song of praise and acknowledgment of who God is and how God has been his strength throughout his life…expands far beyond the 9-1-1 responses of God. He honors God for strength in everyday tasks.
Now, I know that the war imagery is difficult to swallow for the followers of “hippie-Jesus.” For those who believe that God is all about peace and love and granola…this passage rocks your world…so you’re forced to try to redefine it as allegory or to deny the veracity of the Scriptures. As for me, I will let the Bible speak for itself and simply seek to apply it as if it were absolutely true and speaking a truthful statement from the ultimate Author…who is the Holy Spirit.
Kings, in this day, grew their holdings and their economy by taking land and resources. They took. Their goal was to become powerful and big and resourceful. This is not bad. After all, (in context) we are talking about the conquest of the land that God delivered title-deed to Abraham but was not brought under full control.Furthermore, if it was simply a new order from God, it would be no less authoritative or righteous in its action…even if that seemed unpalatable to some modern readers who impose their values on the culture.
So…kings conquered stuff. They defended against attacks and they attacked. David, who was a mighty and courageous warrior attributed his success…not to his own doing….but to God’s gracious enablement. God made his feet strong and sure. God guarded him with His shield of Salvation. God was his defense (Strong fortress). God trained his hands for battle and strengthened his arms so that he could do things beyond human explanation.
This statement of David’s successes is not boastful or arrogant. David exhibits great humility in speaking fo the conquest he has enjoyed BECAUSE of God’s work in his life. In one sentence, David humbly boasted of God’s power and grace.
You and I would do well to learn a few things from this. It is God that gives us firm ground to stand on, who makes our footing sure…who trains us for the tasks of the day and brings us success while guarding us until we fulfill His plan and purpose. May we rest in that today and tomorrow and every day that the Lord gives us to be used as instruments of His power and grace.