Read 2 Samuel 21

Highlights:

Three years of famine; seven members of Saul's family hanged; David's victories and songs of thanksgiving.

And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song. . . . As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all them who trust in Him (II Sam. 22:1, 31).

A severe famine had devastated the land for three years. David prayed, asking God why there was a famine in the land. God told him it was because Saul had broken the covenant Joshua had made with the Gibeonites more than 400 years earlier (Josh. 9:16-17). This incident in the life of David shows how sacred God considers a vow, even though it was made to an unbelieving Canaanite nation.

David had not complained to the Lord: "This famine has lasted three years." Instead, he prayed: "Have mercy on us and now grant us a rich harvest this year." We then read: God was intreated (heeded the prayer) for the land (II Sam. 21:14). The Lord revealed to David the purpose for the famine and David became known as the light of Israel (21:17). In David's song (which is identical to Psalm 18) there is not one complaint — only praise to the Lord who is worthy to be praised (22:3-4; Ps. 18:3).

Although David's life was filled with many disappointments and sorrows, he readily confessed that it was the Lord who gave every provision of life, every deliverance from his enemies. It was natural for David to sing: Therefore I will give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto Thy Name (II Sam. 22:50; Ps. 18:49). David teaches us to give praise to God in the midst of stressful times — regardless of our circumstances. Such a testimony may be the Lord's means of letting others come to know Him.

This song rings with the assurance that God is a personal Friend who cares for each person as if he were the only person on earth. Praise God! He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (weaknesses) (Heb. 4:15). There are times when believers pray without getting immediate answers from God; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Is. 40:31). Consider your motive: God cannot answer prayers that are out of harmony with His will. Therefore it is in our best interest that we come to know and then live in harmony with His revealed Word.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created (Rev. 4:11).

Thought for Today:

Give praise to God — regardless of your circumstances. They may be the Lord's means of letting others come to know Him.

Christ Portrayed:

As the One we call upon for salvation (II Sam. 22:4). Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

Word Studies:

21:5 coasts, boundaries, territories; 22:3 horn of my salvation, saving strength; 22:6 prevented, confronted; 22:19 stay, support; 22:27 froward, perverse; unsavoury, astute, cunning; 22:31 buckler, defender; 22:46 close places, strongholds.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Country: Bhutan (2 million) in the eastern Himalayas of central Asia • Major languages: Tibetan and Nepalese dialects • Public worship, evangelism, and proselytization are illegal • 50-70% Buddhist; 24-45% Hindu; 5% Muslim; 1% Protestant/Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Pray when you are afflicted and suffering (James 5:13).

Optional Reading: Acts 20

Memory Verse for the Week: John 11:26