What was it that God might have said—what one thing—that would cause David to hear two? I believe what we are seeing here is faith-based implicational thinking. If A is true, then B and C must also be true. Put another way, ‘If God promises me X, then he must be Y and Z, otherwise he could not make the promise.’ It is good to hang onto God’s promises, but it is a deeper thing to hang onto the God behind the promises.
David was not in good shape, it seems, and his enemies were out to cause him to crumble. While he admitted his condition (I am a leaning wall) he didn’t start with himself. He chose to start with God whom he describes this way: “He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress…” He does the Math this way: ‘God is my fortress + I am a leaning wall = I will never be shaken.’ That is a pretty awesome reality! The formula is pretty simple: God + anything of us = Enough. In fact, God on his own is enough, but God + me is enough for me.
One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
and that you, O Lord, are loving.
I suspect that the word God spoke to David—the “one thing God has spoken”—was the following: ‘You, David, will never be shaken.’ David must have pondered that assurance because he concludes that the God who says this must be strong… stronger than the mess around me, stronger than my enemies, stronger than my circumstances, and stronger than me. If I will never be shaken, then God must be unshakeable. “ that you, O God, are strong”
But why would a strong God want me to never be shaken? This leads David to his second conclusion: “You, O Lord, are loving.” The bottom line is this: we are safe in God. The top line is therefore that he must be strong, and he must be loving.