David’s Song of Thanksgiving

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2 Samuel 20:1-26, 2 Samuel 21:1-22, 2 Samuel 22:1-51, Psalm 89:29-33, Revelation 20:11-15

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 20:1-26, 2 Samuel 21:1-22, 2 Samuel 22:1-51, Psalm 89:29-33, Revelation 20:11-15

Chronologically speaking, David’s Song of Thanksgiving recorded in 2 Samuel 22 belongs earlier in David’s story, closer to the beginning of the book. David probably wrote this before he was king, around the time he had been saved from Saul and realized his place on the throne was eminent.

David was in for an eventful forty-year kingship, filled with many highs and many lows. To name a few—

High: David is crowned king of Israel.
High: He moves the capital of Israel to Jerusalem.
Low: He commits adultery with Bathsheba and has Bathsheba’s husband killed.
Low: David and Bathsheba’s son dies as a consequence of David’s sin.
High: God forgives David for his adultery and blesses him with his son Solomon.
Low: His son Absalom kills his other son Amnon to avenge the rape of Absalom’s sister Tamar.
Low: Absalom tries to take the kingdom of Israel from him.
High: David’s men defeat Absalom’s men and the kingdom is restored to him.
Low: Absalom is killed in battle.

David’s problems did not end with Saul. A rollercoaster of war, death, family rivalry, and suffering would mark his days. And as his circumstances changed, so did his character. Faithful one minute, unfaithful the next. God’s character, however, did not change. He was David’s rock during a lifetime of shifting sand.

Throughout the Song of Thanksgiving, David describes God with adjectives and metaphors of strength and consistency:

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer” (v.2).
“My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge” (v.3).
“… the Lord was my support” (v.19).
“And who is a rock? Only our God” (v. 32).
“The Lord lives—blessed be my rock!” (v. 47).

If you were to write down your life’s list of highs and lows, it may not be as dramatic as David’s, but I’ll bet it’s just as inconsistent. Suffering, hope, despair, joy—our circumstances are constantly changing and with them, our hearts. Faithful today, unfaithful tomorrow. But just as God intervened in David’s life and pulled him out of deep waters (2 Samuel 22:17), so did He intervene in our lives by sending Jesus Christ, who entered this world to save us from the dark waters of sin. Christ is now the rock on which we stand. The winds will change and they will change us, but His faithfulness to us will not.

I like that the writer of 2 Samuel placed David’s Song of Thanksgiving at the end of the book. The words were true before David’s forty-year reign, and they were true after it. David’s change in circumstances did not signify a change in God’s character. I wonder how often he went back to the words he wrote on that day of thanksgiving. I wonder if, in his darkest nights, he clung to what he knew to be true of God then, even if it didn’t feel true in the present moment.

What aspects of God’s character did you sing yesterday that you need to remember today? In the midst of life’s changing waters, we can be sure that we have been pulled out of the depths. That is a consistent truth.

Let’s be thankful today that our character and circumstances do not change who God is or what Jesus did. As we move through life’s highs and lows, we worship a God who is the same, all the time, even when we are not. He will not take His love from us, and He will never betray His faithfulness. Thanks be to God.  


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35 thoughts on "David’s Song of Thanksgiving"

  1. Kara Gray says:

    I’ve been through some dark times lately. Only in March did my husband and realize I was depressed. It was the first time, and it really caught us both off guard. I thought I was losing my mind. My husband thought I was being lazy. I couldn’t take care of my 3 kids or pull myself out of bed. Perhaps the a blessing of Covid forcing my husband to work from home was to take care of our family, myself included. However, realizing that something else was going on was the beginning to the end of my depression. The verses, “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters,” and, “you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light” (2 Sam. 22 17 & 29) really resonated with me. I truly feel like He drew me out of deep waters and turned my darkness into light. He is my rock, my strength, my fortress. As David clung to this testament and truth, so will I.

  2. Audrey Flores says:

    David’s song of thanksgiving is so incredible. While adjusting to my new home it’s so important for me to lean on Christ my rock than of the world. Thank you for this reminder

  3. Stephanie says:

    I am about a week behind in SRT. But today’s reading was perfect timing as I sit next to my dying father’s bed knowing he is probably going Home soon. I am so thankful I have Him as my Rock, Refuge, Stronghold.

  4. Claire says:

    God is the same each and everyday. I hold on to that very dearly. He blesses us, helps during the tough times. There are many things I am immensely grateful for in my life that would never have happened without God’s intervention.

  5. Mari says:

    So thankful that HIS love for me never changes! Been going through very hard times and HE remains faithful!!

  6. Christy says:

    It’s amazing, truly, that the verse today, and memory verse for the week speak directly to the needs of those in the Houston area who have lost everything in the floods of Hurricane Harvey. Such a comfort. Thank you. ❤️

    1. Gema Muniz says:

      What a beautiful truth about how God is with us even in our darkest moments.

  7. Lana says:

    I wonder if David wrote his song while in his prophetic state? I too love how the author put it last.

    Really beautiful devotional today. Praying for continued sunshine in Houston.

  8. Elle says:

    I find it so interesting that in his song of thankfulness he says he has gotten all of these blessings because he basically never sinned and did everything God commanded. Which we know from the text isn’t true. Timeline wise, I suppose this was written before Bathsheba and everything that happened with his sons. But I think it shows that no matter what, no matter how good we plan to be or think we are, we are pretty much guaranteed to mess up somwhere along the way. And that is where Jesus comes in. We don’t have to be perfect (although clearly it’s an aspirational ideal). I think it’s captured well in Romans 7 when Paul talks about not doing the good he wants to. We try but fall short. Even David tried and fell short. It’s kind of a relief to think about because it puts things in perspective.