David’s Song of Deliverance & Songs of Warriors

So it’s true, we’re not allowed to kill anyone just because we think it’s right, because we don’t know if it’s right or not, only You know. 

I remember reading that we aren’t supposed to live by our own understanding of things.

“And David spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul, and he said:

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress,
and my deliverer;

The God of my rock; in him will I trust:
he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation,

my high tower, and my refuge, my savior;
thou savest me from violence.

I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised:
so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

When the waves of death compassed me,
the floods of ungodly men made me afraid;

The sorrows of hell compassed me about;
the snares of death prevented me;

In my distress I called upon the LORD,
and cried to my God:

and he did hear my voice out of his temple,
and my cry did enter into his ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled;
the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth.

There went up a smoke out of his nostrils,
and fire out of his mouth devoured:
coals were kindled by it.

He bowed the heavens also, and came down;
and darkness was under his feet.

And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly:
and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.

And he made darkness pavilions round about him,
dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.

The LORD thundered from heaven,
and the most High uttered his voice.

And he sent out arrows, and scattered them;
lightning, and discomfited them.

And the channels of the sea appeared,
the foundations of the world were discovered,

at the rebuking of the LORD,
at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

He sent from above, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters;

He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from them that hated me:
for they were too strong for me.

They prevented me in the day of my calamity:
but the LORD was my stay.

He brought me forth also into a large place:
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness:
according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.

For all his Judgments were before me:
and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

I was also upright before him,
and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

Therefore the LORD hath recompensed me according to my righteousness;
according to my cleanness in his eye sight.

With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful,
and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.

With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure;
and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavory.

And the afflicted people thou wilt save:
but thine eyes are upon the haughty,
that thou mayest bring them down.

For thou art my lamp, O LORD:
and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

For by thee I have run through a troop:
by my God have I leaped over a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is tried:
he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

For who is God, save the LORD?
And who is a rock, save our God?

God is my strength and power:
and he maketh my way perfect.

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet:
and setteth me upon my high places.

He teacheth my hands to war;
so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation:
and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Thou hast enlarged my steps under me;
so that my feet did not slip.

I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them;
and turned not again until I had consumed them.

And I have consumed them, and wounded them,
that they could not arise:
yea, they are fallen under my feet.

For thou hast girded me with strength to battle:
them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.

Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies,
that I might destroy them that hate me.

They looked, but there was none to save;
even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

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.

Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people,

thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen:
a people which I knew not shall serve me.

Strangers shall submit themselves unto me:
as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me.

Strangers shall fade away,
and they shall be afraid out of their close places.

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock;
and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation.

It is God that avengeth me,
and that bringeth down the people under me,

And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies:
thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me:
thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

Therefore I will give thanks unto thee,
O LORD, among the heathen,
and I will sing praises unto thy name.

He is the tower of salvation for his king:

And sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David,
and to his seed for evermore” (2 Sam 22:1-51).

What David had done with Bathsheba and Uriah would appear to be unforgivable because not only were his actions not holy, but violated the 10 commandments. 

With Bathsheba he committed adultery (Ex 20:14) and Uriah he had murdered (Ex 20:13).  But God forgives all sins, other than blasphemy of the Holy Ghost (Mk 3:29)He does as long as your heart is right (1 Sam 16:7; Is 55:7-9).

Paul explains this in Rom 7:15-25 & 8:1.

1 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 

In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Pro 3:5-7).

“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving-kindness, Judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jer 9:23-24).

Songs of Warriors

The Victory Odes of Pindar
The victory odes are divided into Olympians, Pythians, Nemeans, and Isthmians after the four great ‘panhellenic’ games that were open to all Greeks.

All athletics games in ancient Greece were part of a religious festival in honour of gods or heroes. The Olympic games were the oldest and most prestigious, held in Elis in the western Peloponnese in honor of Zeus.

There had been a sanctuary to Zeus there even before the traditional date for the founding of the games (776 BC). Athletics competitions provided an additional way of honoring the god, the winner owing his victory to the help of the god and in consequence thanking the god. The festival lasted five days and took place, as nowadays, every four years.

On the first day Zeus apomuios or ‘averter of flies’ was invoked to keep the sacrificial meat fly-free, and on the third day a hundred oxen were sacrificed to Zeus. The program of events developed and changed during time.

Ashurnasirpal II succeeded his father, Tukulti-Ninurta II, in 883 BC. During his reign he embarked on a vast program of expansion, first conquering the peoples to the north in Asia Minor as far as Nairi and exacting tribute from Phrygia, then invading Aram (modern Syria) conquering the Aramaeans and Neo-Hittites between the Khabur and the Euphrates Rivers. His harshness prompted a revolt that he crushed decisively in a pitched, two-day battle. According to his monument inscription, while recalling this massacre he says:

Their men young and old I took prisoners. Of some I cut off their feet and hands; of others I cut off the ears noses and lips; of the young men’s ears I made a heap; of the old men’s heads I made a minaret. I exposed their heads as a trophy in front of their city. The male children and the female children I burned in flames; the city I destroyed, and consumed with fire.

Following this victory, he advanced without opposition as far as the Mediterranean and exacted tribute from Phoenicia. On his return home, he moved his capital to the city of Kalhu (Nimrud).

The Bible attests to the fact that ancient warriors often celebrated their achievements in song.

Indeed, the first song recorded in the Bible is that of Lamech (Gen 4:23-24), a fighter who boasted of kill­ing a man who had wounded him.

Songs by or about warriors have surfaced in several varieties:

In what may be called the “victory song,” a warrior sang of his triumphs in battle. Such a song could be blatantly boastful, like Lamech’s, or could give thanks to God, as did David’s in 2 Sam 22.

This song praises God but is clearly military in orientation: “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze” (v. 35).

There are pagan analogies for such songs; an Akkadian hymn celebrating the military campaigns of the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883-859 B.C.) begins with the king claiming that he would sing in praise of his god, Enlil, but quickly moves on to a boastful account of Ashurnasirpal’s triumphs.

The Greeks some­what transformed this genre and composed songs in honor of athletes, as in the odes of Pindar (5th century B.C.), who celebrated the victors in the Olympic and other games.

A second type of military song was the lament over fallen heroes. A magnificent example is that of David over Jonathan and Saul (1:17-27).

The Greek poet Simonides (5th century B.C.) composed verses for the Greeks who died at the battle of Thermopy­lae, also commemorating the Greek victory over the Persians at Plataea.

Epic poetry, which memorializes at length the deeds of great heroes, can be considered a third genre.

Examples include the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh 1, the Ugaritic epic of Kirta and the well-known Greek Iliad and Odyssey by Homer.

The Bible, because it focuses on God and his covenant rather than on the exploits of heroic human beings, includes no epic poetry.