Scripture reading – Psalm 42; 2 Samuel 22

Click on this link to translate this Bible study into German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, French, or Portuguese. 

Today’s Scripture reading consists of two psalms, but only one of them is found in the Book of Psalms. 2 Samuel 22 continues our study of the life of David, but the chapter itself is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise. Not desiring to exhaust you with both an extended Bible study and a lengthy Scripture reading, I will abbreviate my observations.

2 Samuel 22 – “Who is the LORD?” 

David identified the LORD as his Rock, Fortress, Deliverer (2 Samuel 22:2), Shield, “Horn of my salvation,”High Tower, Refuge, Savior (2 Samuel 22:3), and the One to be Praised (2 Samuel 22:4). Wow! What a glorious God we serve!

David testified when enemies assailed him that the LORD was his Deliverer. When he called upon the LORD in his troubles, God heard his “voice out of his temple, and [his] cry did enter into his ears” (2 Samuel 22:7).

Ponder that thought! When a believer cries to the LORD in distress, the God of heaven is moved! (2 Samuel 22:8) He moves to right the wrongs committed by the wicked, and the earth trembles, and heaven is moved by His wrath (2 Samuel 22:8).

2 Samuel 22:9-20 presented a captivating portrait of the LORD and His response to David’s cry. Writing figuratively, the LORD came breathing out fire and smoke (2 Samuel 22:9) and flying “upon the wings of the wind” (2 Samuel 22:9-11). His voice sounded like thunder (2 Samuel 22:14), and He sent lightning-like arrows that frightened men (2 Samuel 22:15).

David also found that the LORD was his Rescuer (2 Samuel 22:17-20) and the Rewarder of all who follow after righteousness and keep His laws (2 Samuel 22:21-25). He is a Just God and rewards men according to their ways and works (2 Samuel 22:26-28). 

When the king reflected on his years in exile, he remembered the LORD’s presence and faithfulness (2 Samuel 22:29-43).  Amid his hardships, the king had found the LORD to be his Light in darkness (2 Samuel 22:29) and his Strength when he faced adversaries stronger than himself (2 Samuel 22:38-43). 

David’s Assertions Regarding the LORD’s Character (2 Samuel 22:31-33)

2 Samuel 22:31-33 – “As for God, his way [path] is perfect [upright; complete]; the word [commandment] of the LORD is tried [pure; refined]: he is a buckler [shield] to all them that trust [confide; seek refuge] in him.
32  For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?
33  God is my strength [fortress; rock] and power: and he maketh my way perfect [upright; complete].”

Closing thoughts –

What a comfort to know that the LORD’s way is always perfect and best (2 Samuel 22:31). His Word is pure, and He is a shield to all who trust Him! When you feel weak, you can be confident and say with assurance, “God is [my] strength and power” (2 Samuel 22:33). When you face dangers that give you cause to fear, you can say, the LORD is “my rock…the rock of my salvation” (2 Samuel 22:47). “He is the tower of salvation…and sheweth mercy” (2 Samuel 22:51).

Psalm 42 – The Cry of a Thirsty Soul

Psalm 42 is a beautiful psalm of worship, and its words and emotions have made it a favorite of believers through the centuries. [* Words in brackets are the amplification of the author.]


David’s Zeal for Worshipping the LORD (Psalm 42:1-3)

Psalm 42:1-3 – “As the hart [stag or male deer] panteth [cry; long for] after the water [spring; i.e., fresh water] brooks, so panteth [long for] my soul [life; inner man; heart] after thee, O God [i.e., Elohim; Creator God; Sovereign God].

2  My soul thirsteth [longs] for God, for the living God [El; Almighty God]: when shall I come and appear [look; behold] before [face; countenance] God?

3  My tears [i.e., mourning] have been my meat [bread; food] day and night, while they [David’s enemies] continually say unto me, Where is thy God?


David Reflections on Happier Times (Psalm 42:4)

Psalm 42:4 – 4  When I remember [recollect] these things, I pour out [spill forth; gush out] my soul in me: for I had gone [pass on; go before] with the multitude, I went [i.e., lead in a procession] with them to the house [household; tabernacle] of God, with the voice of joy [singing; gladness] and praise [hymns of thanksgiving], with a multitude that kept holyday [feast day; celebrate a solemn feast].

David Confessed Discouragement (Psalm 42:5-7)

Psalm 42:5-7 – 5  Why art thou cast down [depressed], O my soul? and why art thou disquieted [troubled; disturbed] in me? hope [wait; tarry; trust; i.e., be patient] thou in God: for I shall yet praise [give thanks] him for the help [salvation; deliverance] of his countenance [face; presence].”

6  O my God, my soul is cast down [depressed; stooped] within me: therefore will I remember [i.e., call to mind; be mindful] thee from the land [country] of Jordan [i.e., the Jordan River], and of the Hermonites, from the hill [mountain range or mount] Mizar [a mountain peak in Lebanon].
7  Deep
[i.e., deep water] calleth [calls out] unto deep [i.e., deep water] at the noise [voice; sound; thunder] of thy waterspouts [waterfalls]: all thy waves [breaking waves] and thy billows [rolling waves] are gone over me.


David Hoped in the LORD (Psalm 42:8-10)

Psalm 42:8-10 – 8  Yet the LORD will command [charge; appoint] his lovingkindness [unfailing love and mercy] in the daytime, and in the night his song [music; singers] shall be with me, and my prayer [intercession; supplication]unto the God of my life.
9  I will say
[promise] unto God my rock [fortress; stronghold], Why hast thou forgotten [or ignore] me? why go [walk; depart; come] I mourning [become dark] because of the oppression [distress; affliction] of the enemy [adversary; foes]?
10  As with a sword
[crushing; shattering] in my bones [body], mine enemies reproach [defy; distress; say sharp things]me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?


With His Spirit Renewed, David Asserted His Faith (Psalm 42:11)

Psalm 42:11 – 11 Why art thou cast down [depressed; stoop], O my soul? and why art thou disquieted [troubled; i.e., be in an uproar] within me? hope [wait; tarry; be patient] thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health[salvation; deliverance] of my countenance [face; presence], and my God.

Concluding thoughts –

Psalm 42 and 2 Samuel 22 have reminded us that even the most extraordinary men go through times and troubles when they have to remind themselves to trust the LORD and hope in Him.

David knew the failings and disappointments of his flesh. He wrestled with fears that arose when he grappled with the betrayals of friends and the attacks of enemies. Rather than deny he was discouraged, the king faced it and questioned himself: “Why? Why art thou cast down? (Psalm 42:5a, 11c).

David encouraged himself rather than wallow in self-pity, “Hope thou in God.” He asserted his faith and declared, “I shall yet praise [give thanks] him for the help [salvation; deliverance] of his countenance [face; presence]” (Psalm 42:5c).

Are you down, discouraged, or depressed? You are not alone. Take a page from David’s life book and confess your sorrows and disappointments to the LORD. Then, trust Him for His help and strength. Determine in your heart, “I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psalm 42:11).

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals by entering your name and email address at the bottom of today’s devotion.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization. Your donation is welcome and supports the worldwide ministry outreach of