2 Samuel 22:26-34
v.31 This God—His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.
Dear friends in Christ, this great song of praise, which serves as the OT text for this morning, was sung by King David following his deliverance from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. Repeatedly David cries out to the Lord in thanks and praise—for though God had given David gifts and talents in the theatre of war—though God had made David a great and glorious warrior king—David knows and recognizes that his successes—indeed, his very life and salvation—are owed not to himself or his own prowess on the field of battle—but rather solely to God Most High.
This is, of course, characteristic of David, whose “rags to riches” story is filled with his being miraculously saved/delivered by the hand of God. From the encounter with Goliath when David was but a young lad, to his constant flight from the murderous King Saul—all glory, praise, and honour go to the Lord. This is what makes David Israel’s greatest king—not his battle excellence—not the way he expanded the borders of the kingdom or routed his enemies—but purely his humble and repentant heart—his simple trust in the Lord his God to preserve him in all things.
David even declares that God’s way is perfect. Perfect! Perfect?! For years David was forced to run and hide in caves from the insanely jealous and wrathful King Saul. For years David was plagued with enemies on all sides—even from within his own household—with his rebellious son, Absalom. And yet, here in his song, David declares that God’s way is perfect—it is complete in its integrity.
How can he say such a thing? How can he have the audacity to speak in this way? Purely by God’s grace through faith. David knew and trusted in the Lord. He knew that the Word of the Lord is proven true—like gold that has been refined over and over again in the fire—so is the Word of the Lord—a pure and holy and precious treasure. David realized that even when all seemed wrong and crazy—that God had a plan and God’s Word would prove true in the end.
You see, God had promised David—made a covenant with Him—that David’s house and kingdom would be made sure forever—his throne established forever—one of his own offspring would be established as king for all eternity. And David believed in the promises of the Lord. He trusted that no matter what happened the Lord would be with him and make His Word come true. That the Lord would be his ever-present help in trouble—his rock and his shield.
Isn’t that what you and I want, too, dear friends? To be shielded/protected/sheltered from the evils of this life? Wouldn’t that be nice? To not have to worry about anything and to know it’s all gonna be OK in the end?
Thanks be to God that IS the case for you and for all who believe. To be sure, there is always something trying to bring us down—be it problems with friends, family, work, the world, etc. There are those things that tempt us to forsake the faith—things that seek to tear us away from Christ. The guilt of our sin can play a major factor—as can the terrible effects of sin that we see in this life—how much hurt and pain and sorrow it causes us and our loved ones. But God is “a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.”
In Jesus Christ has God come to you and for you. Christ the LORD is the Rock—the chief cornerstone of our faith—He is the One who has borne all the guilt of our sin—setting us free from the dreadful bonds that drag us down—making us like the fleet-footed deer that can run and jump with such amazing agility. He has lifted you up from the depths of your sin and your sorrow—by the power of His cross and resurrection—you have been raised from death to life and now rest secure on the heights—free from all danger—shielded from all your enemies through faith in the Son of God who came to take away all of your sin.
David knew to trust in the Lord God and in His Word. That the Word of the Lord is a lamp shining in the darkness to lead and to guide His children to safety. The darkness of the shadow of death cannot harm you when you are in the Light of Christ Jesus who is Light and Life immortal. He promises to shield you from the consequences of your sin by shielding you with His own crucified and risen body—that you may be showered in the protection of His shed blood that was applied to you in your Baptism.
Now sometimes God’s way doesn’t always seem perfect. Sometimes God’s way seems ludicrous and doomed to failure—like the dishonest manager. But the dishonest manager was shrewd enough to understand the nature of the Master. He understood that the Master is first and foremost merciful. Just so with God the Lord. He has acted in mercy for you and for me.
Did it make sense for Him to send His only-begotten Son, Jesus, to take on our human flesh, suffer, and die in our place? To us that seems insanity! But that is the perfect way of the Lord to bring about the salvation of sinners like you and me. He promises to shield us from the flaming attacks of the devil through simple water combined with His Word of promise. Make sense? Nope, but it’s true, because God has said so. He uses simple elements like wheat to make bread that hosts His own body when combined with His Word of promise. Again, does this make sense? Heavens no. So why do we believe it? Because God has promised to work through these things for our good in His Word.
It always goes back to the Word. Because “the Word of the Lord proves true.” The Word of the Lord is Jesus in the flesh. He has proven the entire word of God true by His dying and rising again for sinners even as He Himself foretold. So that you and I may rejoice and take comfort and consolation in His Word at all times. For the Word of the Lord is always true. And His Word declares to you in no uncertain terms that He has had mercy on you for the sake of Jesus Christ and forgiven all your sin because of the blood that was shed for you. His Word declares you a full and freely forgiven child of God—absolved in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For Alleluia! Christ the Lord is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Thanks be to God in Christ Jesus. Amen