A Sustaining Strength
I read a great blog this morning. It wasn’t a blog from the usual online blogosphere, nor was it written by one of today’s biblical experts. But this guy is an expert at understanding God. In fact, the writer is so famous that his blog has been published around the world in nearly every language. The post I read today was actually published in two places (with a few minor changes), so I think it deserves a “retweet” here! You can find the originals in 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18.
David is the man whom God calls an expert in “knowing God’s heart.” (See Acts 13:22). Experts commonly write blogs these days, but David was “blogging” in the Psalms long before blogging was invented. He was a forerunner in sharing, in diary form, his thoughts concerning life in God. The genius of David’s “blogs” is that he is so very personable and honest (an endearing factor for his readers) while simultaneously teaching about God and His Word. His psalms contain testimonies, visual imagery, reliable information, stories, personal revelations and feelings – really, everything that a good blog needs.
His posts in 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18 are almost identical. They are songs, which were set to music by temple musicians in his time. And they are David’s musings after going out to battle for what was likely the last time with his armies (2 Samuel 21:15-17), as he was growing old.
A man who was losing physical strength in his own body spent his time blogging about the sustaining strength of God. He writes: “For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.” (2 Samuel 22:33, NKJV).
I like the way the Aramaic Targum translates it: “It is God who sustains me with strength.” It reminds me of Isaiah 46:4: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
David was very familiar with God’s rescuing power! His psalms chronicle rescues from death, “floods of ungodliness,” his enemies, and violence. He expertise lies in understanding God as both deliverer and sustainer, two of the main attributes of Christ as well: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:3, NIV).
David’s “blog” describes a mighty God who is like a rock and fortress to him. He is a mysterious, thundering, even angry God (Psalm 18:7-15, NIV), yet also supportive, merciful, and gentle (Ps. 18, verses 18, 25, and 35, NIV). The same God who was sustaining David in his Psalm–blogs is still sustaining us today.
I, for one, am encouraged by David’s writings to trust God even for what happens behind the scenes in my life, knowing that He is holding all things together. “The Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (2 Samuel 22:31/Psalm 18:30, NIV). And I hope David won’t mind me commenting on his blog. :-)
c. Deborah Perkins, 2014
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.