Summary: Last in a series on the life of David. David expresses the gospel in his song to God.
We’ve spent the past couple of months now looking at the life of David, a man after God’s own heart. As I said at the very beginning, perhaps the greatest value of David’s life is that he shows us that it is possible to live out our spirituality here in the real world. It’s not always easy; it’s not always pretty. Like David we stumble and fall along the way. We sin and we fall short of God’s purposes for our lives. But it is possible, by the grace of God, to pick up the pieces and move on with life.
We began by seeing that God uses ordinary people in ordinary circumstances – people just like you and me – to carry out His purposes here on this earth. We’ve seen that our relationship with God impacts our work and our worship, our religion and our relationships, our passion and our pain.
This morning, we’re going to take one last look at the life of David. In 2 Samuel 22, we find that David sings a song to God. As we’ve already said, 1 and 2 Samuel are not arranged in a strictly chronological fashion. The books tend to be arranged more in terms of theological themes. So it’s not surprising that this song of David, which occurs near the end of the accounts of his life in these two books, is more or less a summary of David’s life and what he’s learned about God during that journey.
This song is also found, with only a few minor changes in the wording, in Psalm 18. Both the inscription of Psalm 18 and the introduction in 2 Samuel 22 seem to indicate that this song was first sung or written by David when God delivered him from the hand of Saul. I can’t prove it for sure, but it seems to me that David probably first wrote this song shortly after he became king of Israel and it so accurately reflects his relationship with God that he repeats the song again near the end of his life. It’s even possible that this song was so special to David that he sang it often in his worship of God.
A lot of commentators have looked at this passage and view it primarily as a prophecy of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. I certainly think that is an appropriate way to view the passage. But I’m convinced that David’s song has much more to teach us. In fact, I want to suggest to you that in his song, David very clearly presents the gospel, the Good News, even though it is still over 1,000 years before Jesus will come to earth and complete the gospel through His death and resurrection. So I’ve titled my message this morning, “The Gospel According to David.”
You all know how I like to make things a s simple as possible, so I’ve created an acrostic for the word “G.O.S.P.E.L.” to help us grasp and remember this gospel message.
Grasp God’s nature
Observe my nature
Stop trying to rescue myself
Place my trust in what God has done
Excel in my faith as God equips me
Lift my praise to God
Grasp God’s nature (vv. 1-4)
David’s song begins, and we’ll see in a few moments, it also ends, with God. The gospel message always begins with an awareness of who God is – His nature, His attributes, His purposes and His ways. David uses a lot of different pictures here to describe God and each one tells us something about the nature of God. [Ask the congregation to identify these descriptions]:
• Horn of my salvation
As I read this list, it becomes quite apparent that David was so wrapped up in God that he saw God in everything around him. He looked at a fortress and he saw the protection God provided from his enemies. He thought about a horn, which was a symbol of strength and conquest, and David recognized that it was God who provided every victory in his life. David looked at the strongholds around Jerusalem and they reminded him of God’s supply and that God is where we find rest and refreshment. And then there was perhaps David’s favorite picture of God – a rock. In a sense a rock is the farthest thing from God – in our eyes at least it is probably one of the lowest things in the created order. But David could even look at a rock and think about the fact that God was the solid foundation for his life.
The gospel always begins with God. Until we see God as the perfect, holy, powerful God that He is, we can’t even begin to understand why we need a Savior. God is the perfect standard by which everything else is judged.