Psalm 18 - Defeating Our Enemies
Psalm 18 1I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 4The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. 5The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. 6In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. 7Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. 8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 9He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. 11He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. 13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. 14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. 15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. 16He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. 17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. 18They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. 19He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. 20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. 21For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. 23I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. 24Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. 25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; 26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. 27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks. 28For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. 29For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. 30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. 31For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? 32It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. 33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. 34He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. 35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. 36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. 37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. 38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. 39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. 40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. 41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. 42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. 43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. 44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. 45The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. 46The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. 47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. 48He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. 49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. 50Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.
Today's Scripture Meaning David rejoices in the deliverances God wrought for him. (1-19) He takes the comfort of his integrity, which God had cleared up. (20-28) He gives to God the glory of all his mighty deeds. (29-50) Verses 1-19: The first words, "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength," are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did. God's manifestation of his presence is very fully described, ver. (7-15). Little appeared of man, but much of God, in these deliverances. It is not possible to apply to the history of the son of Jesse those awful, majestic, and stupendous words which are used through this description of the Divine manifestation. Every part of so solemn a scene of terrors tells us, a greater than David is here. God will not only deliver his people out of their troubles in due time, but he will bear them up under their troubles in the mean time. Can we meditate on ver. 18, without directing one thought to Gethsemane and Calvary? Can we forget that it was in the hour of Christ's deepest calamity, when Judas betrayed, when his friends forsook, when the multitude derided him, and the smiles of his Father's love were withheld, that the powers of darkness prevented him? The sorrows of death surrounded him, in his distress he prayed, (Heb 5:7). God made the earth to shake and tremble, and the rocks to cleave, and brought him out, in his resurrection, because he delighted in him and in his undertaking. Verses 20-28: Those that forsake the ways of the Lord, depart from their God. But though conscious to ourselves of many a false step, let there not be a wicked departure from our God. David kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands. Constant care to keep from that sin, whatever it be, which most easily besets us, proves that we are upright before God. Those who show mercy to others, even they need mercy. Those who are faithful to God, shall find him all that to them which he has promised to be. The words of the Lord are pure words, very sure to be depended on, and very sweet to be delighted in. Those who resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will walk contrary to them, (Le 26:21-24). The gracious recompence of which David spoke, may generally be expected by those who act from right motives. Hence he speaks comfort to the humble, and terror to the proud; "Thou wilt bring down high looks." And he speaks encouragement to himself; "Thou wilt light my candle:" thou wilt revive and comfort my sorrowful spirit; thou wilt guide my way, that I may avoid the snares laid for me. Thou wilt light my candle to work by, and give me an opportunity of serving thee. Let those that walk in darkness, and labour under discouragements, take courage; God himself will be a Light to them. Verses 29-50: When we praise for one mercy, we must observe the many more, with which we have been compassed all our days. Many things had contributed to David's advancement, and he owns the hand of God in them all, to teach us to do likewise. In verse (32), and the following verses, are the gifts of God to the spiritual warrior, whereby he is prepared for the contest, after the example of his victorious Leader. Learn that we must seek release being made through Christ, shall be rejected. In David the type, we behold out of trouble through Christ. The prayer put up, without reconciliation Jesus our Redeemer, conflicting with enemies, compassed with sorrows and with floods of ungodly men, enduring not only the pains of death, but the wrath of God for us; yet calling upon the Father with strong cries and tears; rescued from the grave; proceeding to reconcile, or to put under his feet all other enemies, till death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed. We should love the Lord, our Strength, and our Salvation; we should call on him in every trouble, and praise him for every deliverance; we should aim to walk with him in all righteousness and true holiness, keeping from sin. If we belong to him, he conquers and reigns for us, and we shall conquer and reign through him, and partake of the mercy of our anointed King, which is promised to all his seed for evermore. Amen.
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Psalm with Chapter 17. In our text today we see a theme of a plea for justice in the face of false accusations and persecution. David urges us to realize the true goal of life - to know God - and the true reward of life - to see God one Day. David wrote this Psalm when being persecuted by Saul so not only did he pen it - David lived it. In making application we see a goal for our lives. To one day see God through Salvation and to live now by knowing God. David realized that by walking with God he could know God. Today we can know God through, prayer, reading His Word, and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit that will guide you into all truth. How about you? Are you saved? If so, do you walk with God through prayer, His Word. and being sensitive to the indwelling Holy Spirt? Let us learn from our text today and the wisdom from David to know God so we will one day see the face of God.
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Sincerely, Dr. Dave Burnette Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.