Word of Encouragement (02/07/2024)

Pastor James
February 7, 2024

“You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. 45 Foreigners came cringing to me; as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me. 46 Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses. 47 "The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation, 48 the God who gave me vengeance and brought down peoples under me, 49 who brought me out from my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence. 50 "For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name. 51 Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.” (2 Sam. 22:44-51)

Here David testifies that the LORD lives (v. 47). What is the basis of this testimony? All the marvelous works of the LORD he has experienced throughout his life.

David remembered, “God... gave me vengeance and brought down people under me.” As you know, David refused to stretch out his hand against Saul even when he was in a striking distance, completely vulnerable. He resisted the temptation to take matters into his own hands and kill Saul, whom God anointed as Israel’s king. He entrusted the matter into God’s own hands, who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” (Rom. 12:19). God honored his faith and brought down Saul without any action from David. David had no doubt that this was the LORD’s work.

David also remembered, “God... brought me out from my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence” (v. 49). Saul was not the only enemy of his. Many rose against him, both in his country and in the region, not to mention within his own household. There were many close calls, a few too close for comfort—e.g., when Saul had come close enough to have a visual of him and when Absalom initiated a coup d’etat against him. He had engaged in many battles in which he came physically in contact with the enemy soldiers and fought. Yet, in all these encounters and close calls, David experienced God’s deliverance. What is more, the LORD exalted him above his enemies and established his (and his Offspring’s) throne forever (2 Sam. 7:13).  

David was a man of many gifts and abilities, admired and followed by men. But he was not so self-deluded by his success that he was not aware of his weaknesses and inabilities. He knew when he reached his limit and got to the end of his rope. It was precisely when he reached his limit that he perceived the limitless power of God supporting him and carrying him. When he got to the end of his rope and could not hold on to it any longer, he experienced the safety of falling into the mighty hand of God. With each new experience of God’s deliverance, his faith and confidence in God grew. As he looked back on his life, he could not help but testify, “The LORD lives!” How blessed David was to know this wonderful truth!

David is testifying to you that the Lord lives. I hope you see that he is not lying and accept his testimony. This testimony comes after a lifetime of experiencing the presence and power of God. I hope that you can add your testimony to his and declare that the Lord indeed lives because you are what you are only by the grace of God, and you are here only because God has brought you safely “through many dangers, toils, and snares.”

But we have a testimony greater than all of David’s and our personal experiences—the objective reality of Jesus’ death and resurrection, by which God demonstrates His insuperable love for us. Our love lives, having conquered death and sin! The Lord, who lives, is our Savior and Lord. Are you going through a trial? Remind yourself that the Lord lives. If He lives, does it matter how violent and wicked our opponets are? He will come to our rescue and deliver us. He will be faithful to keep His promise that He will bring us safely home. If the Lord has made you stand upon the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, testify to your fellow saints and unbelievers that the Lord lives and they ought to trust in Him!