2 Samuel 22:27
to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd.
Abundant Cause for ThanksgivingChristian Endeavour Times2 Samuel 22:1-51
David's Song of PraiseB. Dale 2 Samuel 22:1-51
Psalm SingingA. Whyte, D. D.2 Samuel 22:1-51
The Song of ThanksgivingW. G. Blaikie, D. D.2 Samuel 22:1-51
Correspondence Between the Character of Men and the Conduct of God Towards ThemG. Wood 2 Samuel 22:26, 27
God Does not Forgive the Unforgiving2 Samuel 22:26-27
Divine RectitudeB. Dale 2 Samuel 22:26-28

The psalmist, having spoken of God's treatment of himself according to his righteousness, now shows that his case was no exception to the general rule of the Divine proceedings, but an illustration of it; that, universally, God renders to men according to their character and works.

I. THE MERCIFUL EXPERIENCE HIS MERCY. Our Lord declares the same truth, when he says, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy" (Matthew 5:7); and when he declares, "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" (Matthew 6:14); and teaches us to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Matthew 6:12, Revised Version). But how does this consist with the doctrine of justification by faith? It must be in harmony with it, since both are Divine. If it do not accord with some human statements of the doctrine, it must be because these are erroneous or defective. Faith is not a mere assent to the truth, or reliance on the atonement of Christ and the mercy of God in him; but it involves acceptance of Christ as Teacher and Lord as well as Redeemer, and therefore a willing obedience to his instructions, of which part is that we should be forgiving, and that only those who are shall be forgiven - only the merciful shall find mercy. Moreover, faith in the love of God in Christ works love in the heart; a faith which does not is of no avail. From another point of view, "repentance toward God" is as essential to salvation as "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21), and will be produced by it. It is vain, therefore, for the unmerciful to trust in the mercy of God, or to cry to him for mercy; his mercy is shown only to the merciful. But to them it is shown; and that not only in the forgiveness of their sins, but in the bestowment of all needful blessings. They also should bear in mind that their enjoyment of the love of God will be in proportion to the love which they cherish and display; and that every degree of selfishness will deprive them of some blessing.

II. THE UPRIGHT EXPERIENCE GOD'S UPRIGHTNESS. He is essentially upright, just, faithful; but the happy experience of his uprightness is for those who "walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11) - those who are sincere and true hearted towards God and men. To these he will show himself upright by manifesting to them his favour, and fulfilling to them all his promises (comp. Psalm 92:12-15); while to others he will show the same quality by the execution of his threatenings.

III. THE PURE EXPERIENCE HIS PURITY. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).

1. Genuine Christians are holy. Truly so, though not perfectly. They have been cleansed by the Word and Spirit of God, and "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son" (1 John 1:7). They have turned from sin, and it is their abhorrence. They watch and pray against it; and, when they fall into it, mourn with sincere grief. They cherish purity of heart, lip, and life. They desire and strive after perfect holiness.

2. To such God shows himself holy.

(1) He reveals to them his holiness. They are capable of such a revelation, because of their purity of heart. Sin blinds the soul, incapacitating it from discerning and appreciating the holy.

(2) He acts towards them holily. He requires holiness of them, and works it in them. All his dealings with them are in accordance with holiness, and have for their end to promote their sanctification. Hence he does not indulge his children, but, when necessary, afflicts them, that they may become more and more "partakers of his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10). He will not be satisfied until they perfectly reflect his image, and he can "present them holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight" (Colossians 1:22).


1. Sinners are froward. They are perverse, unreasonable, ungovernable, impracticable. They show this in their feeling and conduct towards God, his Word and ways. They will not submit to his instructions or obey his commands. They "walk contrary unto" him (Leviticus 26:21), do the opposite to that which he enjoins.

2. To them God shows himself froward. It is a bold expression, and therefore, perhaps, the translators of this book softened it into "unsavonry," or distasteful. But the same word is rightly translated in Psalm 18:26, "froward." The meaning is clear. God acts as if perverse towards the perverse. As they will not pay regard to his will, he will not to their desires and prayers. As they oppose him, he opposes them, thwarts their purposes, disappoints their hopes. As they "walk contrary unto" him, he "will also walk contrary unto" them (Leviticus 26:24). It is a universal truth, discernible:

(1) In nature. If we would have nature work good to us, we must learn and obey its laws. If we will not, they will work us harm.

(2) In the affairs of life - in business and association with men. If we will not ascertain and live according to the laws which should regulate our conduct, they will avenge themselves, inflicting pain, loss, perhaps utter ruin.

(3) In respect to religion and salvation. These originate in the benevolent will of God; and if we would experience their benefits, we must have humble and obedient regard to that will. We must ask of him, "What must I do to be saved?" and "What wilt thou have me to do?" If we choose to reject the Divine revelations and requirements, and in pride and perversity take a course opposed to them, the Almighty will not alter his plans to please us, but will bring upon us the just consequences of our frowardness. He will appear froward to the froward, in that, when they call upon him, he will not answer; when they seek him early, they shall not find him (see Proverbs 1:24-29). It is vain and foolish for man to assert his own proud, capricious will; he will find that there is another and stronger will, that will assert itself to his discomfiture and destruction, unless he repent. - G.W.

With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful.
You say that the desert is a desert, because no rain falls upon it; but this is only half the truth. No rain falls upon it because it is a desert. The heated air rushing up from its arid surface disperses the vapours that would descend in rain. Some moisture there must be on the earth, else there cannot be rain from heaven. So in your heart this forgiving disposition must be, else you cannot rejoice in the fulness of God's forgiving grace. The pardon may wait in the sky for you, but it cannot descend to you until that spirit is in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

David, Saul
Astute, Contend, Contrary, Crooked, Froward, Holy, Judge, Myself, Perverse, Perverted, Pure, Shew, Shewest, Shrewd, Straight, Subtle, Thyself, Unsavory, Wilt, Wrestler
1. David's psalm of thanksgiving for God's deliverance and blessings

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 22:2-51

     8609   prayer, as praise and thanksgiving

2 Samuel 22:26-27

     5948   shrewdness

David's Hymn of victory
'For Thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that, rose up against me hast Thou subdued under me. 41. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. 42. They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the Lord, but He answered them not. 43. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. 44. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, Thou hast
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Mosaic Cosmogony.
ON the revival of science in the 16th century, some of the earliest conclusions at which philosophers arrived were found to be at variance with popular and long-established belief. The Ptolemaic system of astronomy, which had then full possession of the minds of men, contemplated the whole visible universe from the earth as the immovable centre of things. Copernicus changed the point of view, and placing the beholder in the sun, at once reduced the earth to an inconspicuous globule, a merely subordinate
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him,
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

In the Present Crusade against the Bible and the Faith of Christian Men...
IN the present crusade against the Bible and the Faith of Christian men, the task of destroying confidence in the first chapter of Genesis has been undertaken by Mr. C. W. Goodwin, M.A. He requires us to "regard it as the speculation of some Hebrew Descartes or Newton, promulgated in all good faith as the best and most probable account that could be then given of God's Universe." (p. 252.) Mr. Goodwin remarks with scorn, that "we are asked to believe that a vision of Creation was presented to him
John William Burgon—Inspiration and Interpretation

A Discourse of Mercifulness
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 These verses, like the stairs of Solomon's temple, cause our ascent to the holy of holies. We are now mounting up a step higher. Blessed are the merciful . . '. There was never more need to preach of mercifulness than in these unmerciful times wherein we live. It is reported in the life of Chrysostom that he preached much on this subject of mercifulness, and for his much pressing Christians to mercy, he was called of many, the alms-preacher,
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The Ark among the Flags
'And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. 4. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ's Prophetic Office
'The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet,' &c. Deut 18:85. Having spoken of the person of Christ, we are next to speak of the offices of Christ. These are Prophetic, Priestly, and Regal. 'The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet.' Enunciatur hic locus de Christo. It is spoken of Christ.' There are several names given to Christ as a Prophet. He is called the Counsellor' in Isa 9:9. In uno Christo Angelus foederis completur [The Messenger of the Covenant appears in Christ alone].
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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