From a Reading on 2 Samuel 22
I. Reading (2 Samuel 22:1-19)
II. Comments on David’s Song of Deliverance, by D. Ryan
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me out of this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).
2 Samuel 22, contains the song of David, and its theme is really about deliverance – something about which a Christian should know. We should know that the man of Romans 7 was a wretched man, and in real trouble, because of the principle of sin within himself.
Death reigned in David’s kingdom, as it similarly has passed upon all men and has reigned (Romans 5:17-21).
God has an answer to these things, and it is deliverance.
When David was a victor, he talks in this fashion:
“And he said, Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer” (vs. 2).
- “Jehovah is my rock” (vs. 2) – here it is a high rock. And so we have to look up.
- “God is my rock” (vs. 3) – here it is a strong rock. You can rest on, or in, this rock.
- “My fortress” (vs. 2) – implies an external enemy
- “My shield” (vs. 3) – is for defense
- “The horn of my salvation” (vs. 3) – the horn here implies strength
- “My high tower” (vs. 3) – high towers are to look out from, which means that there is hope — the Lord is coming!
- “My refuge” (vs. 3) – a place of safety
“For David says as to him, I foresaw the Lord continually before me, because he is at my right hand that I may not be moved. Therefore has my heart rejoiced and my tongue exulted; yea more, my flesh also shall dwell in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hades, nor wilt thou give thy gracious one to see corruption…Brethren, let it be allowed to speak with freedom to you concerning the patriarch David, that he has both died and been buried, and his monument is amongst us unto this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn to him with an oath, of the fruit of his loins to set upon his throne; he, seeing it before, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ” (Acts 2:25-27, 29-31a).
Peter explains here, on the day of Pentecost, that David was also a prophet!
When looking through 2 Samuel 22, then we ought to be able to look for Christ! And Christ, hence, is the answer to all of David’s problems.
Verse 5, then, presents to us an important theme – “The waves of death”
In Romans 7, there is a question – “Who shall deliver me out of this body of death?” – And the answer to this question, in the book of Romans, occurs before the question (in Romans 6), and after the question (in Romans 8).
“Are you ignorant that we, as many as have been baptised unto Christ Jesus, have been baptised unto his death? We have been buried therefore with him by baptism unto death, in order that, even as Christ has been raised up from among [the] dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we are become identified with him in the likeness of his death, so also we shall be of [his] resurrection; knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin. For he that has died is justified (or freed) from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Acts 6:3-8).
The answer to Christians concerning deliverance from the principle of sin is death! A dead man is not bothered by the principle of sin! In a symbolic way, when we are baptized, we are connected to the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and what Romans 6 teaches us, is that as Christians, we are so connected with the death of Christ, that we rightly ought to consider ourselves dead, as far as the principle of sin is concerned.
What about David murdering Uriah the Hittite? Oh, that was a sin, and that needed forgiveness. But in David’s heart, there was the principle of sin, the bent of soul that makes men turn automatically to sin against God — and that is the problem of Romans 7 – and the answer to this issue is deliverance from the principle of sin, which according to Romans 6 is our death with Christ – that we should consider ourselves dead unto sin.
David, as a prophet, is talking about “the waves of death” to indicate the death of someone besides himself.
“Then the earth shook, and quaked” (vs. 8)
When Christ died on the cross, the earth did shake and quake. We know that David had a lot of issues to solve, but we do not consider that the “foundations of the heavens trembled” when these things happened.
“He bowed the heavens, and came down” (vs. 10).
Did anyone come down from heaven when David had problems? No, but here David, as a prophet, is speaking just as Peter described. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross and suffering in those hours of darkness, someone was dying then, and God came down in judgment. There the Lord bore the judgment that we deserved. These profound words are unmistakable, and this is a very significant and serious thing that David speaks about.
“In my distress I called upon Jehovah, And I cried to my God” (vs. 7).
We can compare this with a verse in Matthew 27:46 – “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This explains what it says in David’s song, and it is the Lord who cried out with a loud voice.
“And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly” (vs. 11)
There are two types of angels: seraphim, and cherubim. The seraphim are occupied with praising God, but the cherubim are to execute judgment. This is the way cherubs are presented usually in Scripture.
“From the brightness before him” (vs. 13)
God is light, so much, that nothing is hidden from God. And when all was darkness at the cross, and all of our sins were laid on Jesus, there was light to lay everything bare and our sins were all exposed. The judgment for all of our sins fell on the Lord Jesus, and nothing was left unexposed to His holy judgment.
Why is it that there should be this death so profound in its depths? And why should it result in so much praise and worship of God at the end?
“The waves of death” speak to us of the death that was borne by the Lord Jesus. And this thought of deepness is borne out in vs. 16 – “And the beds of the sea were seen” (JND trans.). The depths of the waters of this death are as deep as the bottom of the sea. This death was about getting to the bottom of things. It was not a surface-level work. The matters of our sinful nature, from which we need deliverance, were completely taken care of it. Christ has died! And His death took up my old nature and laid it bare so that it could be judged all the way to the bottom of it — so that nothing was not laid bare!
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him’ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This verse really takes us to the bottom of things! God made the Lord Jesus to be that hateful thing – “to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him!”
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come … For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:12-14, 19).
How were they made righteous? “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin” — That is taking the doctrine of Paul, about the death of Christ, down to the bottom of that death — and bringing together the principle of sin and the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross all together at once. That is the deliverance that is needed for everyone who has believed not the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. It is the answer in Romans 6 for my wretched condition.
There was, then, an extreme character to the death of the Lord Jesus — it was the death of the cross! And it was the matter of Him bearing our sin, and being made sin for us.
Vss. 17-19 provide a change.
We have been speaking about death, but it is time to talk about the resurrection!
“… That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
If we have thought profoundly about the death of Christ, then we should also think just as much on His resurrection. This also is part of our deliverance. Christ died for the ungodly, but He is alive again! Isn’t His resurrection part of our deliverance as mentioned in Romans 6?
The other part of this deliverance is that God has put the Holy Spirit in our hearts to give us power. If we only thought about our death with Christ alone, we would just be left dead. Dead men do not do anything. They do not do anything bad (and that is good), but dead men cannot do anything good either (and that is bad)! So the Holy Spirit has been put into our hearts for power to live for Christ.
The answer to the question in Romans 7 is to be found, both in Romans 6 and Romans 8.
Romans 6 – We have died with Christ (and in Him, we stand in resurrection life).
Romans 8 – We have the Holy Spirit as power to live for Christ and to be for His glory in all that we do and say!
This should put a song in our hearts – just like the song in 2 Samuel 22!
III. Little Flock Hymn 34 – The Lord is Risen
1. The Lord is risen: the Red Sea's judgement flood Is passed in Him, who bought us with His blood. The Lord is risen: we stand beyond the doom Of all our sin, through Jesu's empty tomb. 2. The Lord is risen: with Him we also rose, And in His grave see vanquished all our foes. The Lord is risen: beyond the judgement land, In Him, in resurrection life we stand. 3. The Lord is risen: redeemed now to God, We tread the desert which His feet have trod. The Lord is risen: the sanctuary's our place, Where now we dwell before the Father's face. 4. The Lord is risen: the Lord is gone before, We long to see Him, and to sin no more. The Lord is risen: our triumph-shout shall be, "Thou hast prevailed! Thy people, Lord, are free!"