During my morning study, I read through David’s Song of Deliverance in 2 Samuel 22. I have been making my way through the Bible, determined to read it from start to finish this year. King David has been a familiar character through 1 and 2 Samuel, but this morning I was really struck by David’s reliance upon God. Here we have a king who is Israel’s most powerful leader, and he is admitting that he owes his strength to God:
“You save a humble people,
but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.
For you are my lamp, O LORD,
and my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.”
(2 Samuel 22:28-30)
David was not perfect my any means, but his life is a great example of humility and what God can do when we give him the opportunity. No one thought that a young shepherd stood a chance against the mighty Goliath, but David did. He didn’t believe that could defeat his enemy because of his great strength or his power, but because he knew that God was with him. David trusted in God and depended upon God to carry him through his darkest moments. And God never let him down.
The wonderful thing about David and why the Psalms are such brilliant pieces of poetry is that they are directed to the proper recipient of glory – God. It would be very easy for David to look at how great he’d become and write about how much he’d attained by hard work and strength, but he doesn’t mention those things. He continues to point back time and time again to God and tells us that in his weakness, God made him strong.
David also teaches us that the best leaders are first servants. David had numerous opportunities to take the throne from Saul, but he did not put his desires over the will of God. He respects the fact that God chose Saul and continues to remain a servant until it is his time to become king.
I think we can learn a lot from looking at David’s life. He had riches and power far beyond anything we will ever know, yet he still relied on God for his salvation and deliverance. This is no easy task, as most of us who live in western culture can attest to. When we get the big promotion, the big house, or the luxurious car, we want to pat ourselves on the back and pride ourselves on our hard work. But David doesn’t do that. He continues to say it’s you, Lord, who have given me all of this. It is you who has delivered me from the hands of my enemies, not because of my strength or might.
God gives us a great example in David of what he can do when we put our trust in him and let him control our lives. If the greatest king of Israel needed to depend on God, we surely do!
photo credit: Kong David (ca. 1976) via photopin (license)