Psalm 18

Psalm 18

Author: David

Thanksgiving for Deliverance by God

David spoke these words to the Lord when He delivered him from his enemies. This psalm is almost a duplicate of what David sang in 2 Samuel 22, at the end of his life.

Verse 1 – I will love You, O Lord, my strength.

Verse 2 – The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverance: My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Verse 3 – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.

In no other psalm is there more metaphors used to describe God’s attributes. All of these are seen as military settings where God is the real strength behind the person fighting. David knew in all his life that God was truly worthy to be praised.

Verse 4 – The pangs of death encompassed me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.

Verse 5 – The sorrows of Sheol surround me, the snares of death confront me.

Verse 6 – In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

In verse 4, some versions of the bible say ropes, and some say cords where another says pangs of death held me. All three have the basic same meaning. David had felt like he was being held so tightly, while flood waters rushed over him, that he would surely die. He knew that unless the Lord rescued him, there would be no escape.

Verse 7 – Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry.

Verse 8 – Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; coals were kindled by it.

David is describing what very well may have happened when God delivered him. Mountains represent stability within the natural order, so their shaking and trembling describes God’s power to bring upheaval to what seemed secure. The image of God acting as a warrior who fights for His people and uses the natural elements as His weapons, is also connected with Israel’s past experiences.

Verse 9 – He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet.

Verse 10 – And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind.

What an image David had of God coming to his rescue.! Cherubim are mighty angels. One of their functions is to serve as guardians. These angels guarded the entrance to both the tree of life (Genesis 3:24) and the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:31-33). Two cherubim of hammered gold were on top of the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:18-22). (Read the first chapter of Ezekiel.) We should never think that our God is not mighty enough to rescue us out of any situation, because He is! Nothing is impossible with God!

Verse 11 – He made darkness His secret place;  His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

Verse 12 – From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.

Verse 13 – The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire.

Vere 14 – He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.

Verse15 – Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were uncovered at Your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

Verse 16 – He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.

Verse 17 – He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.

Verses 16 and 17, are a great description of how all of us have felt before. When troubles come, it seems one thing after another can start to accumulate. One thing will happen which triggers another. We can be entangled in “many waters, ” that we become hopeless of our situation. If God delivered David, then He certainly will do the same for us. Reading and studying what God has done throughout history, shows us we can’t go wrong in trusting God All Mighty!

Verse 18 – They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.

Verse 19 – He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

The enemy had pinned David in, surrounding him. When the Lord rescued him, David says, “He set him in a broad place.” When God delivers and places you on safe ground, look around, your enemies will be scattered. David was not speaking boastful when he said that God had delivered him because He delights in me. This is no different when the Apostle John wrote, “In whom Jesus loved. ” John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7 and 21:20, four times in the Gospel of John, John wrote “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This is Not arrogance. All throughout scripture God shows His love to mankind, but when Jesus came He wanted His disciples to know just how much. When you know, and John did, how much you are cherished, protected, and loved by the Savior, you will never doubt that He will always be living on the inside of each of His children, guiding their every step through life. Knowing you are loved, causes us to whole-heartedly trust in Him for our every need!

Verse 20 – The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands, He has recompensed me.

Verse 21 – For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

Verse 22 – For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away His statues from me.

Verse 23 – I was also blameless before Him, and kept my self from iniquity.

Verse 24 – Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

These statements of innocence are part of thanksgiving for answered prayer, indicating why God delivered David from his calamity. David’s righteousness and cleanliness of hands indicates his integrity in his obedience to God’s commands. David was not perfect and free from sin, but he was blameless in terms of his faithfulness to God.

Verse 25 – With the merciful, You show Yourself merciful; with a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;

Verse 26 – With the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.

These two verses pointed to the Old Covenant where God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him (Deuteronomy 28).

Verse 27 – For You will save the humble people, but will bring down haughty looks.

Verse 28 – For You will light my lamp; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

Verse 29 – For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Light provides security and assurance that God protects His own. The security becomes confidence in the sense that David could do the impossible-leap over a wall, with God on his side.

Verse 30 – As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust Him.

Some people think that belief in God is for the weak who cannot make it. God is indeed a shield to protect the weak, but for those who trust in Him, they don’t remain weak. David was by no means weak or a coward. He simply knew that even with all his mighty men, he would not have victory without the Lord.

Verse 31 – For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a Rock, except our God?

Verse 32 – It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.

Verse 33 – He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places.

Verse 34 – He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arm can bend a bow of bronze.

When we face challenges, God promises to strengthen us, but He doesn’t promise to always eliminate them. If we never had any rough roads to walk; mountains to climb; and no battles to fight, we would never grow. However, He never leaves us alone to go through these challenges. Instead, He stands beside us and teaches us to have the courage to face what we have to face in this life. Read 2 Peter 1:3- “… as His divine power has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”

Verse 35 – You who have given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.

Verse 36 – You enlarge my path under me; so that my feet did not slip.

Verse 37 – I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.

Verse 38 – I have wounded them, so that they were not able to rise; they have fallen under my feet.

Verse 39 – For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

Verse 40 – You have also given me the necks of my enemies, so that I destroyed those who hated me.

Verse 41 – They cried out, but there was none to save them, even the Lord, but He did not answer them.

Verse 42 – Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets.

In these verses, David was simply asking God to give his enemies the punishment they deserved. David was not heartless towards others. In fact he was very merciful. He spared the life of Saul (1 Samuel 24:1-8); Nabal (1 Samuel 25:21-35); and Shimei (2 Samuel 16:5-12); and showed great mercy for Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9).

Verse 43 – You have delivered me from the striving of the people; You have made me the head of the nations; a people I have not known shall serve me.

Verse 44 – As soon as they hear of me they obey me; the foreigners submit to me.

Verse 45 – The foreigners fade away, and come frightened from their hideouts.

God gave David victory after victory. In 2 Samuel, David had victory over the Jebusites; Hadadezer of Zobah; the Arameans; the Edomites; and the Ammonites. David fully realized that the purpose of these victories were to bless God’s people (1 Chronicles 14:2).

Verse 46 – The Lord lives! blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted;

Verse 47 – It is God who avenges me, and subdues the people under me;

Verse 48 – He delivers me from my enemies, You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man.

Verse 49 – Therefore, I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.

Verse 50 – Great deliverance He gives to His king, and shows mercy to His anointed, to David and his descendants forevermore.

God had a covenant with David, just as God does with us today. That covenant includes the same promises that He made with Abraham.


This entry was posted in Psalms.

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