Sunday School Lessons

Don’t Look Down When You Need to be Rescued

Let’s take a look at 2 Samuel 22 today.  This is a testimony of David (the psalmist, giant-slayer, and king).  As a testimony, David starts with a story of how he (David) was in great danger.  Then, he describes the great things that God has done for him.  Later, David goes on to describe some of the amazing qualities that God has, and breaks into outright praise to God.

This is a nice framework for our own testimony, if we have found peace with God.  Our story (whether dramatic or simple) eventually intersected with a point where we accepted God at His word to take us back into His family, and we claimed Jesus’ voluntary sacrifice as payment for our sins (turning our lives over to Him).  From there, we continue to learn more about God, and one of the natural results of getting to know Him better is to praise Him.

I’d like to look at a specific verse from this chapter, though, but first, here’s some context:

  • Verses 2-3 of this chapter describe how God is David’s stronghold, while verses 4-7 describe how David called to God when he was in desperate need.  This is a good reminder to call out to God when we’re overwhelmed, stuck, or at the end of our rope.
  • Verses 8-16 describe God’s overcoming of David’s enemy in pretty awe-inspiring terms.  If you get a chance to read through this entire chapter, I think that you’ll find that no one who knows that this description of God is accurate (albeit poetic) would want to be God’s enemy!

Let’s pick up in verse 17.  In verses 17-20, it’s almost as if each verse teaches us something about God and something about our situations.  The Lookout (see reference below) describes these verses as “God’s rescue”.

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
2 Samuel 22:17 NIV

God is not at our level.  We describe Him as “above us”, to think about Him as greater than ourselves, but we can also describe Him as “outside of us”.

God isn’t just part of the universe (like the pagan gods of the Canaanites, the human-like gods of the Greeks and Romans, or the material gods of those who seek after money and stuff today).  God [Jehovah] created the universe and each of us, so He is outside of His creation.  He is also holy: set apart from normal, worldly things.

So, when David was in trouble, David describes God as “reaching down” to help him.  Even more than that, God didn’t only reach down to us when Jesus was born.  God literally came to us: not just a hand, but as a whole person: Jesus (God the Son).

Sin is a similar kind of problem to David’s situation, in that we can’t fix it on our own.  While some people think that they can be good enough to earn God’s favor, those who follow Jesus were (and, regrettably, some people still are) dead in our sins.  Dead people aren’t able to pay back debts.  Dead people can’t fix their problems.  We are dependent upon God to reach out and make us alive again (Colossians 2:13-15; see also Ephesians 2:1-2).

Are you in need of some rescue today?  If so, I encourage you to not look down or look within yourself.  Instead, look up and look out, and remember that we serve the God of endless freedom, even if our bodies are temporarily constrained, sometimes.

From Sunday School Lesson for June 20, 2021


  • The Lookout, June 20, 2021, © 2021 Christian Standard Media.
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • The College Press Commentary, 1 & 2 Samuel, by James E. Smith.  College Press Publishing Company, © 2000, p.427-430.

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