Why in the world would God incite David to do something that would later bring punishment? Clearly, we have no way of understanding God’s motivation here. You might recall when God “hardened Pharoah’s heart” leading to more and more plagues. That’s another example of not truly understanding God’s motives.
This is the final story, and you can see some parallels to the story of punishment in Chapter 21, the bookends to the closing chapters of 2 Samuel. God often works in patterns as we have seen during the time of the judges.
Here we go with another list to close out the saga of King David as told in 2 Samuel! This one celebrates David’s top warriors. I thought it interesting that the top 3 are not part of the top 30. I suppose there are different criteria to place you in one group or not at all.
Do you think that David’s men were competitive? I hadn’t really thought about it in terms of the warriors themselves. We’ve certainly seen how the appointed leader, specifically Joab, really took his position seriously and was certainly ruthless when it came to killing others who threatened him. Notice he didn’t make the list of the top 30 or the top 3 for that matter!
This is a partner poem to the one we just walked through. Here’s an interesting idea. In a commentary I was reading, it suggested that Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel and these two poems of David serve to bracket the story of David and his kingship. Interesting.
We see David introduced here as the son of Jesse, anointed by God, and the “sweet psalmist.” David certainly left his mark on God’s people then and now. What a life David has led! He was certainly multifaceted.
This is a great passage to read when we want to be reminded of exactly how “good” God is. When we spend time with these images, how can we help but want to give glory to God. Sing his praises, rejoice, and be glad!
David does a great job of bringing this interlude to a close by magnifying God and his attributes. We can think of God as the lamp that lights our way, a shield to protect us, or a strong fortress to give us strength. Now that is good stuff!
We know that our salvation does not come from anything we do, but what God does. But that doesn’t mean that we’re never rewarded for our behavior this side of heaven. The poetry of David’s song here calls that out!
“The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence.” Despite the human failings we’ve seen David experience, he has sought after God and God’s will for his life. Seeing his own weakness and sinfulness helps us come to grips with our own. God will use even us, imperfect and all!