Psalm 18

Overview

    David finds deliverance! Even before verse 1, in the title area, there is the explanation that this Psalm is a “song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies from the hand of Saul.” David praises God for who He is and for His justice. He continues to claim the Lord as his refuge, salvation, rock and fortress. In addition, he describes the Lord coming down to earth to help while also thundering from heaven. God has rescued David. David counts this rescue as a reward for David’s righteousness in following all the rules of God and keeping clean hands during David’s difficult and life threatening situation.

I found many wonderful, encouraging verses to add to my promise box throughout this Psalm.

Characters

The Lord, David the Psalmist, Saul, my enemies, the earth, the heavens, a cherub, my strong enemy, those who hated me, the merciful, the blameless man, the purified, the crooked, a humble people, the haughty eyes, a troop, the people, the nations, foreigners, those who rose against me, the man of violence, David’s offspring, God’s king.

Key Verse

Verses 31-32 “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?—the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.”

Cross References

Psalm 86:8 “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.”

Psalm 18:1-3, 36, 46-50 “I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies…You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip…The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence. For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.”

1 Samuel 2:2, 4 “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God…The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.”

Isaiah 45:5-8 “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things. “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the Lord have created it.”

Psalm 101:1-6 “I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will make music. I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.”

Psalm 119:1-7 “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed re those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.”

Job 22:3 “Is it any pleasure to the Almighty if you are in the right, or is it gain to him if you make your ways blameless?”

Conclusion

    What excellent cross references! God is always just and He is amazing and we should praise Him for all He does! These verses seemed so applicable today. The Psalm 101 section seemed like it could have been written by a man or woman struggling with computer porn. God is the same God now as He was then, and He will help us in any and every situation we are in, including those we got ourselves into. He will even save us from ourselves.

I have a temper, and the flares have been on since moving to a new country, having a near death experience with Davy, and I know God will save me from “the man of violence” (verse 48) (aka my temper and rage), in myself, too.

I just have to comment on the Job verse. If you have never read Job, or even if you have, taking verses at random from Job is not always advised. It is a book of four men who are not always right debating about aspects of God. This verse referenced above, for instance…Yes! God is pleased when we do right. It is gain to Him! This is an instance of when presented with a lie, confront it with the truth! Eliphaz is not in the right with this question to Job.

Jesus in the Psalm

    “Two metaphors convey God’s strength: warrior and rock. Expanding on the war cry in 17:13, David first imagines his Savior to be a fortress, deliverer, shield, horn, and stronghold who avenges, subdues, saves, rescues, and gives victories (18:1-3, 46-50; cf. Rev. 19:11-21).”*

Psalm 17:13 “Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,”

The rock metaphor is that of a God providing shade from natural disasters, refuge from enemies, and a foundation for living (Ps. 18:2, 31, 46). David speaks similar words in 2 Samuel expressing that the real reason his life is saved and his line is preserved was to “provide a Redeemer for the world”.*

2 Samuel 7:4-17, 22:1-51

God’s nature and attributes in this Psalm are also revealed in Jesus Christ. “Eventually Paul explained that Psalm 18 is prophetic of Jesus and shows that God’s plan was always to redeem the Gentiles through the Seed of Abraham (Rom. 15:9; Gal. 3:17, 18). The Christian should see that such infallible promises of protection and strength are not to be hoarded, but leveraged for God’s service. Christ the rock is a citadel from which to launch missions across the world. And Christ the warrior leads the church into battles for souls throughout the nations. Because Christ is the commander of this kingdom operation, victory is assured: “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).”*

I gave links to some of the verses since this study is a little later than I would like. I prefer typing out the verses to make sure that you have the best opportunity to read and I do not like the ads on some Bible sites. However, today I linked to the ESV, which is the version I read and there should not be any ads. If you have any thoughts about how verses are presented, please comment below.

Tomorrow: Romans 4

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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4 thoughts on “Psalm 18

  1. Whenever I read this Psalm I’m reminded of that youth group praise song that takes verses from Psalm 18: “I will call upon the Lord (echo)/Who is worthy to be praised (echo)/So shall I be saved from my enemies (echo)/The Lord liveth!/And blessed be the Rock/And may the God of my salvation be exalted/”. Do you know that one? Anyway. I learned it at Lutheran “Camp-firmation”. It had hand motions and everything.

    Sometimes reading Psalms like these can be hard for me going through trials, especially when you don’t feel rescued. Like right now, Cooper and I are trying to figure out job and living situations, and while God has shown me that He is working and providing, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and fear, especially with the baby on the way. But I think Psalms like this remind me to look back on those times in my life when God has delivered me and brought me through something, and that’s encouraging, so they are always worth it to sing. I look forward to praising God with it when He brings us out of this current situation, but I can still use it now to praise Him for whatHe has done in the past.

    The Job cross-reference is interesting. God is certainly pleased when we do right, but what Job had to learn was that doing right didn’t guarantee a pain-free life, even pre-New Covenant. Job had to learn about God’s sovereignty in his suffering, just as David had to trust God when being hotly pursued by Saul. David was “a man after God’s own heart”, and he suffered a lot in his life. We just live in a fallen, stinky world and suffering doesn’t always make sense to us. But with Jesus, we know he’s working all things to our good and we can trust him and praise him, even within and FOR times of suffering. So easy to say and yet so hard to do! Good thing we have God’s grace too.

    • Absolutely true. Know you are in our prayers as you go through this challenging time. Thank you for that excellent insight about Job! If I ever do a study through Job I will have to come back to this comment. Suffering is going to come up again in Romans 5, and it is amazing to see all the links between the Psalms we are reading to each other as well as to Romans.

  2. (I was writing something last night and I am not sure what happened…but I seemed to have lost what I was preparing. I probably touched the wrong spot on my computer screen?!?! If this is redundant, then I apologize in advance.)

    I want to note my appreciation for all the references and the contextual background that is included with each of the daily readings. This is helpful to me, and it highlights how all of the useful messages in the bible seem to be interwoven throughout its various books in different and similar ways. Also, I notice how my mind responds to the readings in a personal manner. Meaning that I seem to place myself in the phenomenon and consider what my response might be, or how I have responded to the same or similar situations. This reading is no different.

    The first thing that enters my mind is David’s comprehensive statements of thanksgiving. It seems to be very complete, addressing multiple aspects of his relationship with God. I became curious about David’s timing. Was his thanksgiving immediate? My tendency is to get caught up in the joy of the moment, and only afterwards (hopefully) give thanks to God who provided me the gift of His blessing. This awareness makes me want to increase my awareness of God in the moments of pleasure and happiness WHILE I am experiencing them. It seems that when suffering, it is more common for me to be engaged in my relationship with God. I know that Jesus is with me and within me whether in torment and concern or in victory and celebration — just as He was with David. I have also become more increasingly aware of how easily distracted I can be by the instincts of the flesh and delights of the world.

    Thank you Jesus for being with me always — even when my head is turned or my eyes are closed! Thank you for your patience and love for me!

    • That is something I thought of, too! Was this later because he realized he should write a song about it, or was it during the moment and the men around him were like, “Write this down!” I also find that in my suffering I cling, as I am now in this Bible Study each day, seeking him out, but a good day, I might forget to even read the Bible. I want His Word to become so much a part of me that I hunger for it and crave it all the time, that I am praising Him and thanking Him all the time.

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