He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord ; I am not guilty of turning from my God. All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, Lord , keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. – Psalm 18:16-29
This Psalm is really a continuation of the passage from yesterday. When I looked back it is almost verbatim a recounting of part of the book of 2 Samuel when David is recounting being drawn from Deep Waters (2 Samuel 22:16-20). I did not realize that parts of the Psalms were directly taken from previous books of the bible.
The resonance between this passage and the one in 2 Samuel suggests to me that either 1) there is a close relationship between the Psalms and David; or 2) the Psalms and the book of 2 Samuel were accessing the same source; or 3) this Psalm was accessing or recounting the 2 Samuel passage. I do not know which it is.
There is one concept that comes up again here…the idea of a spacious place…that I find very interesting — “He brought me out into a spacious place”. Back in 2 Samuel I thought that this spacious place was in fact the arms of God. I think that is still true, but I cannot help but feel like there is more to it. In the fictional account of Heaven recounted in the Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis he envisions Heaven as an ultra-real place that is so much bigger than hell that hell is a mere crack in the ground of heaven:
My Teacher gave a curious smile. “Look,” he said, and with the word he went down on his hands and knees. I did the same (how it hurt my knees!) and presently saw that he had plucked a blade of grass. Using its thin end as a pointer, he made me see, after I had looked very closely, a crack in the soil so small that I could not have identified it without this aid.
“I cannot be certain,” he said, “that this is the crack ye came up through. But through a crack no bigger than that ye certainly came.”
“But-but,” I gasped with a feeling of bewilderment not unlike terror. “I saw an infinite abyss. And cliffs towering up and up. And then this country on top of the cliffs.”
“Aye. But the voyage was not mere locomotion. That bus, and all you inside it, were increasing in size.”
“Do you mean then that Hell-all that infinite empty town-is down in some little crack like this?”
“Yes. All Hell is smaller than one pebble of your earthly world: but it is smaller than one atom of this world, the Real World. Look at yon butterfly. If it swallowed all Hell, Hell would not be big enough to do it any harm or to have any taste.”
“It seems big enough when you’re in it, Sir.”
“And yet all loneliness, angers, hatreds, envies and itchings that it contains, if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all. Bad cannot succeed even in being bad as truly as good is good. If all Hell’s miseries together entered the consciousness of yon wee yellow bird on the bough there, they would be swallowed up without trace, as if one drop of ink had been dropped into that Great Ocean to which your terrestrial Pacific itself is only a molecule.”
– C.S. Lewis “The Great Divorce”
The other aspect of this passage that I did not reflect upon previously was the idea that God can help us scale walls. Life is full of walls, big ones, little ones, and even overhangs sometimes. It is reassuring to know that with God we can scale these walls.
Prayer: God thank You for guiding us to a spacious place and helping us to scale life’s walls.