The gods of man are all too human. They are but human passions projected onto a large screen, full of intrigue, ambition, and desire. They are as fickle, unstable, and capricious as their human creators. But they serve their intended function: the gods allow humans to deify their desires and approve their passions. Humans are not required to adhere to an unchanging standard of conduct. The actions of the gods also explain, to a point, the vagaries and injustices of life.
Living under such gods, however, is hard. One never knows what they want, what to expect next, what to do to please them. So from Canaan to Central America, man even goes so far as to sacrifice his offspring on altars as appeasements. Life under divine vindictiveness and superhuman hate and hardness has nothing to recommend.
What a relief, then, to have one God whose nature does not change, whose will does not get revised from one hour to the next, whose sovereignty over the universe gives us comfort, peace, and assurance.
David of Judah felt this as well. Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22 record his praise to God for deliverance. That the psalm is recorded twice in the Bible attests to its importance.
The one true God acts in a faithful manner;
the Lord’s promise is reliable;
he is a shield to all who take shelter in him.
Indeed, who is God besides the Lord?
Who is a protector besides our God?
The one true God is my mighty refuge;
he removes the obstacles in my way.
2 Samuel 22.31-33
David expresses his convictions based upon his experience with the one God, convictions
of the absolute sovereignty of Jehovah, of his omnipotent power to deliver, of the necessity for obedience to his law, and of assurance that in the case of obedience he ever acts for his people (Morgan 1959, 135).
Here, in a nutshell, is praise for the one God who pursues his plan of salvation and saves people in order to further that plan. He delivers one in order to deliver many. Each one is precious in his sight.
The one God is faithful. We can count on what he says. One of the most despicable statements ever made is that God might change his mind on the day of judgment and sweep everyone into heaven. If so, why might he not also change his mind and decide to consign everyone to hell? God is love, and God is also light — justice, holiness, power, and truth. If God’s promise is not reliable, things can go either way.
We can have the fullness of both his light and love, when we “take shelter in him,” when we can say with David, “For I have obeyed the Lord’s commands; I have not rebelled against my God” 2 Samuel 22.22.
David held a special role in the plan of God. Christians, also, hold a special role, for to us has been given the Kingdom and the unlimited mission to proclaim God’s great acts of salvation to a world at the mercy of its own gods, “that by nature are not gods at all” Galatians 4.8.
Like David, we sing the praises of a faithful God who “removes the obstacles in [our] way.” With God, a single soldier can take on an entire army. “Indeed, with your help I can charge against an army; by my God’s power I can jump over a wall” 2 Samuel 22.30.
So we cry day and night to the Lord God who can cause the very foundations of the earth to shake and trust in our Deliverer who can set right this trainwreck of humanity. We believe; therefore, we speak. And we are confident that the one God will do as he has promised, since he is the “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” Eph 4.6.
REFERENCE: Morgan, G. Campbell. (1959) An Exposition of the Whole Bible. Revell.
The editor’s belief in the one true God lead him to publish the multi-author book, The Right Kind of Christianity, with a group of friends including Phil Sanders and Jeff Jenkins.