The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
from violent people you save me.
2 Samuel 22:2b-3 (NIV)
Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time knows that I’m a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien. If you pick up a copy of the final book of his Lord of the Rings trilogy and quickly page through it, you’ll find something rather interesting. There are hundreds of pages of supporting documentation and appendices at the end. These aren’t necessary to the main storyline, but provide those who want to explore the world of Middle Earth with a ton of extra information. For example, in the Lord of the Rings films, the romantic storyline between Aragorn and Arwen is a major theme, but that is only hinted at in Tolkien’s narrative. The story of Aragorn and Arwen is actually found tucked into the appendices at the end.
The final few chapters of 2 Samuel are similar in nature to the appendices at the end of Tolkien’s trilogy. David’s storyline starts in 1 Samuel, continues in 2 Samuel, and basically ends with the restoration of the kingdom after Absalom’s rebellion. The next few chapters are like an appendix in which the author provides some supporting documentation including, in today’s chapter, a copy of the lyrics to one of David’s many songs.
As I read David’s song lyrics I wondered why this one was chosen for the appendix to David’s story. I asked myself in what ways this song is a good summation of David’s life and experience. One of the things I noticed about it was the way David bookended the song with the metaphor of God as a rock, fortress, stronghold, and refuge. So much of David’s life journey hinges on those many years living in the caves in the wilderness of southern Israel and, in particular, in the cavernous fortress known as the Cave of Adullam. For David, the word picture of God as rock, fortress, stronghold, and refuge is very personal to his own journey and experience.
But what about me? I appreciate David’s word picture, but rocks, caves, fortresses, and strongholds have not been a strong part of my personal journey living most of my life in Iowa. There’s Maquoketa Caves State Park, which is really cool, but I’ve only been there once. If I were writing a song and wanted to paint a word picture of God that is personal to my own journey how would I fill in the blank at the end of the lyric “God is my __________” ?
That’s what I’m pondering today. Check back with me in a day or two and I’ll tell you what I came up with. (Feel free to think of your own and share it with me, btw).
A Note to Readers
I’m taking a blogging sabbatical and will be editing and re-publishing my chapter-a-day thoughts on David’s continued story in 2 Samuel while I’m taking a little time off to focus on a few other priorities. Thanks for reading.
Today’s post was originally published in May 2014.
If you know anyone who might be encouraged by today’s post, please share.