Here’s some thoughts:
While this Psalm is clearly very personal and talks about a particular moment in David’s life, he clearly thought it had abiding significance for God’s people. I think we can assume this because he put it into song. I think most people when they put something into song, do it so other people can hear it, sing along to and resonate with it.
In light of this, while there are lots of the specifics I don’t think we can necessarily resonate with (I’ve never been captured by Philistines), I do think there is a lot here that speaks about our walk with Christ particularly in light of the Cross. Here’s some things I noticed.
I wonder if when David wrote it he realised how much a line like “you have delivered me from death” would mean in light of what Jesus has done? I can only assume he was referring to a physical death. A single moment where death was almost certain. I imagine Israelites singing this must have also thought in these terms about God’s grace to them in light of the nations surrounding them. And yet now we can say that God has saved us from death eternally! I just thought that was such an interesting way Christ fulfilled this Psalm.
Another thing I noticed was that David talks about why God has delivered him from death. He says
For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
I’m not entirely sure what this phrase meant to David, but it sounds like it means walking before God, and in his sight. And yet Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). I wonder if Jesus was thinking of this psalm when he used that term? From this, I love the idea that we both walk before God – as David’s psalm tells us, yet also behind him as we follow Christ – as Jesus told us.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. (John 1:4)