The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), May 1
While the chronicler narrates David’s journey to the throne of Israel and his tenure on the throne, David himself records songs and psalms that illuminate his theology—the beliefs about God that ground his emotions during turbulent times.
The song recorded in 1 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18 are one and the same. Rich theology fills both passages:
- The LORD is worthy of praise and hears those who cry out to Him—“I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised” (Ps. 18:3). “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to My God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears” (18:6).
- The LORD acts on behalf of those who cry out to Him—“Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken . . . ” (18:7); the Lord “sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me” (18:16-17); “it is God who avenges me, and subdues the people under me; He delivers me from from my enemies” (18:47-48).
- The LORD rewards the humble, but punishes the proud—“The LORD rewarded me . . . for I have kept the ways of the LORD . . . and I kept myself from my iniquity” (18:20, 23). “For You will save the humble people, but will bring down haughty looks” (18:27).
- The LORD leads those who follow Him—“For You will light my lamp” (18:28). “It is God who arms me with strength, who makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places” (18:32-33). “You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip” (18:36).
- The LORD strengthens those without strength—“It is God who arms me with strength” (18:32). “He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze” (18:34).
- The LORD lives independently of all things, yet attaches Himself to those who trust Him—“The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted” (18:46).
- The LORD does good to David and to Israel as a witness to the world—“Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name” (18:49).
- The LORD works from one generation to the next—He is not limited to what He has done in the past, but builds on past activity, “Great deliverance He gives to His king, and shows mercy to His anointed, to David and his descendants forevermore” (18:50).
Truths gleaned from Davids’ song and psalm:
- God commits Himself—and all of His resources—to the promises that He makes. The LORD is more reliable than a rock, fortress, deliverer, strength, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold, and refuge.
- God uses and orchestrates challenging circumstances and trials to accomplish His redemptive purposes. Nothing occurs to God and nothing occurs that is unknown by God .
- The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of Israel—is the God of David. What He did for the patriarchs, He will do for David and for any who dare trust Him.
- Truth in theology-rich songs helps anchor emotions and prevents them from running wild during challenging circumstances and trials.
- The promises of God interpret difficult circumstances, while circumstances simply test and reveal theology.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (2 Samuel 22; Psalm 18):
The psalms written by David reveal his strategy for interpreting his adverse circumstances. What role does Bible literacy play in his strategy? What effect does verbalizing his theology produce in David’s life, and how does that impact a believer’s walk in today’s world?