God is our support.
He is enough. And when we struggle, He wants to be our support for every need we have. But we need to see our need in order to be saved.
We are finishing the book of 2 Samuel today, 21-24.
God is our support in times of famine.
2 Samuel 21:1 opens up with the land in famine for three years. “During David’s reign there was a famine for three successive years, so David inquired of the Lord. The Lord answered, “It is due to Saul and to his bloody family, because he killed the Gibeonites.”
David’s heart is sensitive to God. He does not complain about the hard time or accuse God. He knows God better than that and goes to God. This is such a simple yet profound principle that if we would apply it in our lives we would have more peace and joy. Simply, Go to God in hard times.
God is our support in times of trouble.
But we can tend to go away from God because we get offended that the LORD allowed hardship in. We don’t understand His heart. But David wants to know if there is anything he or God’s people have done wrong that brought on the hardship. What humility and integrity. Oaths are a big part of what we see in chapter 21. The Israelites made an oath to the Gibeonites. David made an oath to Jonathan.
According to one commentary, “There are about 30 biblical references to vows, most of which are from the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Numbers have several references to vows in relation to offerings and sacrifices. There were dire consequences for the Israelites who broke vows, especially vows to God.” (www.gotquestions.org).
God is our support even when we are faithless.
Be careful what you promise to God. God will hold you to it. And in 2 Samuel 21 David discovers that the Israelites had not kept a vow. The Gibeonites had been mistreated – decimated, really, by Saul.
This is from one commentary: “Joshua chapter 9 records the story about the Gibeonites. Joshua promised that they could live safely in Israel. But King Saul had not kept that promise. The Bible does not record what Saul had done. But the Lord knew about Saul’s cruel actions. The people called Amorites lived in Canaan (Joshua 12:1-3). This was the name of the country of Israel before the Israelites arrived. Gibeon was near Saul’s city, called Gibeah.” (Easy English Bible Commentary).
Sometimes we become aware of sin in our camp. And the consequences we are bearing from something in the past make us realize there is something wrong. Even if the consequences still remain, if we will go to God and examine ourselves and our tribe for hidden sin, sometimes we will find a reason why God’s blessing has been withheld from us and we can do something about it.
God is our support even when we sin.
When there was the discovery of sin being in our family, it was devastating and shock and shame can keep you broken from it all. But going to God is our healing. There God meets us and reveals what the sin did to us. We can overcome.
The rest of chapter 21 feels a bit like a cross between Lord of the Rings and the Princess Bride. There are four giants and a 6-fingered man. David became exhausted almost was killed, but Abishai, son of Zeruiah came to his aid. David’s men said David should never go out to battle with them again after this close call.
Eccl. 7:8 reminds us that “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” After David had been pursued by Saul for 15 years according to some commentaries, David wrote a beautiful song of Thanksgiving. And David starts with a vivid description of who God is. He could not see God, but he could describe God by what he could see.
God’s support is indescribable. (But still we try).
It is impossible to completely define God, and so we try to define God with the creation around us. This is what David did in this beautiful Psalm.
2 Samuel 22:1, “David spoke the words of this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from the grasp of all his enemies and from the grasp of Saul. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, 3 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.”
We see this same language from David in Psalm 18:2
Psalm 18:2 ESV, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Most of us don’t live in an area where we are surrounded by rocks. But David did. A rock shields people who live out in undeveloped land. Fortresses are not all that common today, either. Let’s take a look at some of these words David used to describe God.
God is our Support – God is our Rock
- David was speaking of God’s Strength and faithfulness.
- Rocks were used as a memorial after God parted the Jordan River so His people could cross.
- Water flowed from a rock when the Israelites were wandering in the desert.
- God hid Moses in the cleft off the rock.
- Rocks embodied strength, security and stability.
- Rocks are to be in our foundation, not sand, if we want to stand. (Matt 7:24).
- Jesus is referred to as the stone rejected by men.
- God’s church was built on a rock, namely Peter.
“Rock” in the Bible
Matthew 16:18 ESV And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
1 Samuel 2:2 ESV “There is none holy like the Lord; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”
Isaiah 51:1 ESV “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.”
1 Corinthians 10:3-4 “ They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”
Deuteronomy 32:24 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”
Psalm 18:46 “The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.”
Psalm 18:31 “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?”
The word “rock” is used about twenty-four times in the book of Psalms with reference to God. I think of the word rock as something that lasts. It is strong. Our God endures forever. He is eternal.
God is Our Support – God is our Fortress
David was speaking about God’s protection and safety. I found 100 occurrences off the word, “fortress” in the Bible. The definition of a fortress is a military stronghold or “a person or thing not susceptible to outside influence or disturbance.” Don’t you love that definition? We are surrounded by people who can turn on us in a moment from influence. But not God. He is steady. A fortress was a protected space.
We know the Hymn – A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing. But do we know what we are singing? This is from the Gospel Coalition:
Martin Luther wrote this hymn based on Psalm 46. These were the metaphors used to describe God as our defense. He is mighty to guard, protect, and keep his people safe. A “bulwark” refers to a defensive wall or fortification that is part of the fortress. So a bulwark that never fails is a wall of a fortress that can never be breached or broken into. A fortress is a military stronghold. Walls protect you. Here are some Scriptures about fortresses:
2 Sam 22:33 “God is my strong fortress, And he maketh my way perfectly smooth.”
1 Chron. 11:7 “David occupied the fortress, so it was named the City of David after him.”
God is Our Support—God is our Deliverer
Speaks of someone who rescues or saves. God is His Savior.
God is Our Support—He is our God
Speaks of God as our Creator. Definition of God in the dictionary: The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
God is Our Support —A Rock where I seek Refuge
He is our shelter.
God is Our Support—The Horn of my salvation
Speaks of God as Savior and of His power. In Luke 1:69 Zechariah praises God that “He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” In this case, the “horn of salvation” is a reference to Jesus Christ, the powerful deliverer, and the king who was soon to be born. Horns of an animal meant protection and power. They were used as a Shofar and horns were also on the altar. People would grab a hold of the horns to plead for mercy. (1 Kings 1:50). They are symbolic of powers and leaders in prophecies of future wicked kingdoms (Daniel 7:24, Rev. 17:12). From Christianity.com: “The “horn of salvation” from Jesus Christ reflects an eternal and everlasting reign.”
God is Our Support—God is Our Stronghold
- Speaks of control and strength. 78 occurrences in Scripture but only 1 from NT.
- From Gotquestions.org, “The word stronghold appears only once in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 10:4), and the Greek word translated “stronghold” means “a fortification such as a castle.” In this passage, the apostle Paul is instructing the church at Corinth on how to fight against and “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God”
- A stronghold has a strong hold on you.
- This can be an evil stronghold; a struggle or it could be that God is our stronghold. The One we surrender to.
- I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have something else controlling me, such as a stronghold. I just want to give control over to the One Who is in complete control.
- A stronghold is a place of danger when it is being captive by the evil one and a place of refuge and safety when God is our stronghold. Nothing can penetrate the stronghold of God.
God is Our Support—God is Our Refuge
- God is our safe place.
- Refuge appears 141 times in Scripture.
- The word refuge is synonymous with fortress or stronghold – but I think it adds another dimension.
- A refuge feels a bit more caring than stronghold. It is a shelter.
- We don’t have to fear – we can trust God completely.
- If God is our refuge, we run to Him and hide ourselves in Him.
- If things are our refuge, we run to those things.
God is Our Support—God is Our Savior
- Sometimes we don’t know that we need saving.
- God can’t be your Savior if you won’t let Him. We have to see our need.
- We can run to many “saviors”, but truly there is only One Savior.
- Isaiah 43:11, “I, I am Yahweh, and there is no other Savior but Me.”
Scripture of the Day: 2 Samuel 22:18-20, 31 (NLT)
“He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. 19 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. (CSB: The LORD was my support) 20 He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. 31 “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.”
Don’t we often try to go to support from people or things? We try to make our own rescue. We just want out of the pain. But God’s support is all we need. God can comfort us with others, but it is when our comfort is in Him that we find lasting comfort. David told of the essence of who God was and then all that God had done. We see David’s final words in 2 Samuel 23. David gave glory to God. He did not take the credit for what God did through him. 2 Sam 23:2, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me, his word was on my tongue.”
In 2 Samuel 24 David takes a census of the army. Don’t you just wish this book would have ended on the high note of David’s song in 2 Samuel 23? But that is life, right? We experience mountaintops and valleys, but God is our God through it all.
God is enough for everything we go through down here. He is our support. Who is God to you? How has He supported you?
- God’s support is all we need.
- When we want to run to false saviors, or abide in strongholds that enslave us, God can set us free, but we have to see our need.
- There is not satisfactory definition for God.
- Yet we can give glory to Him or how He works in our life, just like David did.
- And we are defined by God. Our identity is hidden in Him.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #149: 2 Samuel 21-24
Scripture of the Day: 2 Samuel 22:18-20, 31
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