The 9 Images of God’s Representation in the Eyes of David


The Book of 2 Samuel 22:1-4 records: “David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said: ‘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 men you save me. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.’”


This is a song that is filled with thanksgiving, and is almost identical to parts of Psalm 18. One could imagine that in his old age, David reflected on the things he had encountered in days gone by, and was choked with emotion. David realized that although he had experienced days on earth that were often fraught with danger and tribulation - some tangible and some intangible, and the actions of the people around him were unpredictable and variable, these experiences had caused him to be exposed more deeply to the miraculous providence, care and love of God. So inadvertently inspired, he used the song to express the feelings he had within. In these few short verses, he utilized 9 different images of the representation of God to characterize the work of God on his person, and he preceded these representations with the word “my” 10 times, to indicate that these were his own personal experiences.


Let us try to share together these 9 images of God’s representation in the eyes of David that reveal his knowledge of God.


1.            My “rock”: In the original Hebrew: “craggy rock”. Expresses God’s protective embrace.

2.            My “fortress”: A fortress is where one regains strength in order to strike out once again. Expresses God’s providence.

3.            My “deliverer”: Expresses God’s salvation

4.            My “God”: David totally cleaves to this Almighty Lord.

5.            My “rock”: In the original Hebrew: “rock-base”. God is the solid foundation that will never be shaken.

6.            My “shield”: The shields of the soldiers at that time were about 5 feet tall and could protect the whole body up to the eyes. Indicates God was David’s defense.

7.            The “horn of my salvation”: The altar in Jerusalem had 4 sharp horns at the 4 corners. If someone was facing certain tribulation but escaped to the altar and grabbed hold of one of the horns, he would be safe (see Exodus 21:12-24, 1 Kings 1:51-52)). Expresses safety when one abides with God. The horns of an animal also denote strength, so this also signifies God was his strength.

8.            My “stronghold”: This is like a fort that is built on a high cliff. Indicates God was his glory and watchman.

9.            My “refuge”: Declares God as his protector, who provides security and safety.

10.       My “savior”: This is a repeat image of and is similar to “deliverer”.  It emphasizes that David owed God the grace of salvation that delivered him from numerous enemies and gave him safety.


David’s response to this deity is to “abide” by Him, to “call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise”.


In his trials, David came to know and understand God even more, and could use stirring images to describe the work of God on his person. He was also able to affirm the love, salvation, and providence of God for him, so that he could have total faith and reliance on the Lord.


May we also know more of and acknowledge God today in our own personal circumstances, and find full satisfaction that the Lord is “ours”. Our response to God is to have more faith in, rely on, and offer our thanks and praises to Him.


BY: Esther Lau