TODAY’S READING: 2 SAMUEL 20-22
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” – 2 Samuel 22:2-4
David wrote this psalm on the day when the Lord delivered him from all his enemies. However, David is a type or shadow of Jesus, the beloved of God. Therefore, we can read David’s psalms as the prayers of Jesus.
Whenever I read a psalm, I first ask the Holy Spirit to show me why and how Jesus could have prayed these words. After the Holy Spirit shows me Jesus in the psalm, then I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how Jesus identified with me in the psalm.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:14
“For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” – Hebrews 2:18
THE ENEMIES OF JESUS
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.” And, 2 Corinthians 10:3 says, “We are not waging war according to the flesh.” We are told not to war against flesh and blood in obedience to our Lord because he did not war against flesh and blood. Jesus did not, does not, and will not wage war against any person ever created.
So, who are Jesus’ enemies? Who and what did Jesus come to destroy? Are these enemies found in 2 Samuel 22?
The enemy is Satan. Hebrews 2:14 says that Jesus came to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.
In 2 Samuel 22:18, David says, “He rescued me from my strong enemy.” Jesus reveals his strong enemy as Satan. Jesus calls him the strong man. In Mark 3:27, Jesus says, “But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man.” Jesus acknowledged that Satan was the ruler of this world, which is Satan’s, or the strong man’s, house. We are his goods. So, Jesus can take us from the strong man, Satan, until the strong man is bound, or defeated.
Another enemy of Jesus is the work, really the works, of Satan. According to 1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
What are the works of the devil?
In John 8:44, Jesus reveals that there are two works of the devil. “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” All lies, deceit, and untruth are the first work of the devil. And, all murder and violence is the second work of the devil.
In 2 Samuel 22:5, David says, “The torrents of destruction assailed me.” Earlier this week I wrote about the brook Kidron as the torrent of darkness and evil in Delivered from the Domain of Darkness. The torrents are of destruction are the raging waters of lies and violence from the enemy that came in like a flood against Jesus. It was after crossing the raging torrent of lies and violence that Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
While Jesus prayed that the cup, the lies and violence of his enemy, before him would be removed, his sweat was like drops of blood. Jesus was troubled and full of sorrow. David’s song says that the torrents of destruction, the lies and violence, assailed Jesus. The Hebrew word for assailed means to be terrified, to be gripped by sudden fear, to be overtaken by sudden terror. The lies and violence that Jesus faced on the cross were not some small thing.
The final enemy of Jesus is death. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
In Samuel 22:5-6, David says, “For the waves of death encompassed me…the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.” On the cross, death was crashing down upon Jesus, binding him up to pull him down to Sheol, and confronting him to his face with its trap.
JESUS SAVED FROM VIOLENCE
David starts this song saying that the Lord is a rock, a fortress, a refuge, and a stronghold. These are all places you hide. They are defensive places. In these places, David is saved from his enemies.
So too, Jesus is saved from his enemies. And, Jesus was saved by the Father – his rock, his fortress, his refuge, his stronghold. Therefore, Luke 23:46 says, “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!'” Jesus cried this out with a loud voice, full of strength. He committed his spirit, his person, to the Father and breathed his last. The enemy, Satan, could not touch Jesus. Jesus was saved from Satan, the lies and the violence of the cross, and death itself as he was resurrected three days later.
Jesus was saved from violence. But, the Hebrew word from can also mean without. Jesus was saved without violence as well.
Prophesying of Jesus, Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.” Jesus could do no – that is none, not a single act of – violence because that was a work of Satan. And Jesus came to destroy Satan, his works – violence and lies, and the result of his works – death.
When Jesus was finally arrested to be executed, Peter took a sword to fight for the Lord. But, John 18:11 says, “So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put away the sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?'”
In Matthew 26:52-53, Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send more than twelve legions of angels?”
Jesus would have no part of ushering in his kingdom, the new creation, with even a single act of the sword, of murder, of violence. He would be saved and usher in his kingdom without violence.
At his trial, Pilate though Jesus must have been leading some sort of violent revolution against the Roman empire. Therefore, he asked Jesus, “What have you done?” In John 18:36, Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Every kingdom of this world is created, formed, and maintained by violence. Every single one, no exceptions. But, not the kingdom of Jesus! He formed his kingdom without violence. Jesus defeated Satan, his works – lies and violence, and his power – death, without any violence at all.
Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since therefore the children share in the flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Jesus defeated death through death. He defeated Satan, lies and violence, and death not by fighting, not by violence, not by murder, but by dying on a cross. He laid down his life. Jesus did not resist. He willingly died, seemingly letting his enemies have the victory. But, it was death that saved him from and without violence.
This is so foolish in man’s eyes. How can you possible save someone from violence without violence?
But, 1 Corinthians 1:25, 27-29 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men…But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; and God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
YOU ARE SAVED FROM AND WITHOUT VIOLENCE TOO
Psalm 17:4 says, “With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.”
God calls us at all times to avoid all the ways of the violent. It’s not just murder but every act of violence we must avoid according to the word from the lips of Jesus – “love your enemies.”
Psalm 17:8-9 says, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.”
Jesus hides us from all those that do wickedness, evil, and violence.
Psalm 27:11-12 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have arisen against me, and they breathe out violence.”
We need Jesus to teach us his salvation from and without violence. For, it is those that lie that breathe out, or are inspired by, violence. Read through the Old Testament and pay special attention to the connection between lies and violence – the works of Satan.
Psalm 140:1-2 says, “Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually.”
All violence and all war comes from men who evil thoughts and evil intentions stirring in their hearts.
Proverbs 21:6-7 says, “The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death. The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to what is just.”
In the last days, the end times, it is not God that destroys man with violence. God, Jesus, does no violence and has no deceit in his mouth. Rather, it is man’s own violence that sweep him away. It is man’s violence, his own wrath, that will burn him in the end.
Psalm 7:14-16 says, “Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. His mischief returns on his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.”
See, it the violence of the wicked man, the man who considers violence at some point necessary and just, that will come back on his own head. Indeed, man’s own violence will descend upon his own skull.
This is why Jesus began his ministry in Matthew 3:2 by saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus wasn’t calling us to repent of the little bit of shoplifting I did or my sexual immorality or any other sin we practice (although Jesus never excuses or condones sin, nor does he want us to practice or be bound by sin).
No, Jesus is calling us to repent of lies and violence. He’s calling us to repent from the works of Satan that were the downfall of man from the very beginning in the garden. We must repent of our willingness to do the works of Satan – lies and violence. This is why lies and violence are almost always linked throughout scripture.
Satan’s lie is that God is not good, that God is both good and evil. If we do not repent of that lie, then we always be a part of Satan’s second work – violence and murder. If we believe the lie, then violence is unavoidable. This is the message that Jesus came to preach. God is light and not darkness. God is love and not fear. God is life and not death. Read 1 John and those words gloriously ring in your heart by the voice of the Holy Spirit.
When we repent from all lies and all violence – the works of Satan – then we are saved from the violence of the last day, the evil day. Not only are we saved from violence, but we will be saved without violence. This happens when we go to the cross, the place where Jesus died and defeated the last enemy – death – so that we could truly see that the Father’s kingdom is truth, always and only good, and peace, always without violence.
But, if we don’t go to the cross and repent from all lies and all violence, then in the last days we will be those wicked men that conceive evil, giving birth to lies, and having our own violence descend upon our own skulls.
How fascinating that Psalm 7:16 says that our violence will come down on our own skulls.
Where was Jesus crucified?
The place of the skull!
You can either go to the cross, repenting of all your lies and violence, being rescued by God from violence and without violence.
Or, you can refuse to repent from the lie that God is both good and evil, maintaining your desire for and justification of violence, driving all the evil, violence, and murder you put upon Jesus on the cross into your skull.
That is your choice. That is what you are being saved from.
Either way, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”