2 Samuel 22: 1—23: 23
Today we read David’s response to a life of persecution and pursuit of the Lord. This is almost identical to Psalm 18. Nothing drives home the point that God is our savior like coming to the end of everything you can do and see Him show up. He is not your hail Mary. He is saving you every minute of the day; you just aren’t aware of it always because we are not staring down a giant.
I think the verse that most resonated with me is “The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress, I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.” People say to me all the time, “If your God is so good and loving and he is sovereign over all then why does he allow bad stuff to happen.” Well friends from my point of view he allowed bad stuff to happen to me so that I would finally call out to him and when I did call out, he saved me. There is no more loving thing he could of done for me then to allow me to be distressed so that I would learn that he alone can save me. He is the one that set my feet on solid ground. He is the rock of my salvation.
The song titled “These are the last words of David,” does not mean that he then dies in the narrative. It is recorded here after his previous song as kind of an ending to that song. But also remember what we have learned of the structure of these OT narratives. Whenever we see lists of people and bold declarations from our main characters we are in a transition.
Acts 2: 1-47
Do you remember in the OT when Moses saw the burning bush? God had to do something spectacular to get Moses attention and let him know that something big was happening and God was going to do something he had never done before. The theatrics in which the early church received the Holy Spirit is the same kind of announcement from God. It was meant to get people to straighten up and pay attention. There were so many people in Jerusalem because it was Pentecost. (OT festival of Weeks, this festival was 50 days after the festival of the First Fruits. This is SUPER symbolic but if I get into it this post will be 5000 words.) People had made the trip to Jerusalem for the festival, so the place is packed. Coincidence, I think not! God wanted as many people to hear what he was doing as possible! So, with wind and fire the early church receive the gift God had promised. This was all of our assurance that he will do everything he said he would do. And this amazing moment did exactly what God wanted it to….”They stood there amazed and perplexed.” The disciples were able to speak in languages they did not know. However, there were people that were present that understood it to be their native language.(according to this account “speaking in tounges” means you speak in a known language, that is unknown to you.)
And then Peter steps forward to give the most amazing synopsis of the new thing God is doing. Don’t miss this. Peter! “Ready! Fire! Aim!—Sorry about your ear—I don’t know Jesus x3—Peter.” If you have ever struggled with the thought that you have done something so bad that God will never use you to further his kingdom, think again my friend. This is why the gospel is such good news!! God works through us because of His goodness not because of anything we have done or not done. It’s not based on you! It is based on Him! And because Peter gets up there and tells them about the fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus being the Messiah, Jesus ascension, the Holy Spirit having come and what we should do now, 3000 people get saved. Peter is able to do that because his heartache and mistakes taught him that he is restored, he is being used by God to build the Church because of God’s goodness, not because Peter did all the right things he said he was going to do.
Psalm 122: 1-9
While reading this Psalm I just kept thinking about what Jerusalem will be like in the future. Jesus will come back and restore her to a previously unseen glory. Now, this Psalm is not about that, but it is a song they sung when they were on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Proverbs 16: 19-20
I was just saying to my girls last night that the cost of being a Christian is that you won’t get the things that the world says are important. This proverb made me think of that. The world says, “get a loan for everything, live way beyond your means, cheat and steal to get all the stuff you want.” But that lifestyle does not lead to prosperity or joy. It leads to stress and angst because you are forever having to rob Peter to pay Paul. And the Apostles don’t like when you borrow money from them, or when you steal it.