The Christian life is bound up in the use of personal pronouns. Martin Luther made that important point when he wrote, “Read with great emphasis the words ‘for me;’ accustom yourself to apply these to yourself with certain faith.” Luther was reflecting on the words of the Apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20; however, the same could be said of so many of the inspired songs written by David. “The sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1) claimed the promises and provisions of God by regarding the God of Israel as his God and Redeemer.
Having returned from battles in which he was victorious over the enemies of the Lord, David penned a great song of deliverance and thanksgiving to Him. At the opening of this song, David expressed his trust in the Lord by linking a series of personal pronouns to a series of truths about God:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock where I seek refuge.
My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge,
and my Savior, you save me from violence.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I was saved from my enemies (2 Samuel 22:2-4).
David was not suggesting he had personally done anything to gain the victory. Instead he was stating the great work of God on behalf of His people when they are in great distress.
As believers, we often find ourselves in great distress. In verses 5-7 of his Song of Thanksgiving, David reveals the deep distress he had felt in his own soul. There are times when we as believers feel as though we’re on the brink of death and destruction. It is then that we cry out to God for deliverance, confident that the One in whom we trust will hear and answer, according to His perfect will and timing.
David also sings of God’s mighty power, the natural world serving as a platform for understanding the power of the Creator in the spiritual realm. Borrowing imagery from God’s creation, David likened God’s power to the earth reeling and rocking (v.8), His thundering from heaven (v.14). In the same way, David sang of God’s deliverance in terms of imagery from the natural world: “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he pulled me out of deep water” (v.17). This is the language of death and resurrection.
David was a great king, but Jesus Christ is our truer, better King of kings.
Because of Jesus’ victory over death and Satan, we too, have been “pulled out of deep water.” Because of Jesus, we can claim God as the Great Deliverer of our souls. In this way, David’s song becomes our song. May it be yours today.
Written by Nick Batzig