Published on February 19, 2014
A Reflective Devotion on Psalm 18 Shared by Angeline Lee Formation 2 – Spring 2014 – United Theological Seminary
Psalm 18 Royal Thanksgiving for Victory To the leader. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: 1 I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so I shall be saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of perdition assailed me; 5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.
Psalm 18 6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. 7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry. 8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. 9 He bowed the heavens, and came down; thick darkness was under his feet. 10 He rode on a cherub, and flew; he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering around him, his canopy thick clouds dark with water. 12 Out of the brightness before him there broke through his clouds hailstones and coals of fire. 13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice. 14 And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them. 15 Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 16 He reached down from on high, he took me; he drew me out of mighty waters.
Psalm 18 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity; but the Lord was my support. 19 He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. 20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all his ordinances were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me. 23 I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. 24 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. 25 With the loyal you show yourself loyal; with the blameless you show yourself blameless; 26 with the pure you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.
Psalm 18 27 For you deliver a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. 28 It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. 29 By you I can crush a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. 30 This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God except the Lord? And who is a rock besides our God?— 32 the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe. 33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand has supported me; your help has made me great. 36 You gave me a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. 37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them; and did not turn back until they were consumed.
Psalm 18 38 I struck them down, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. 39 For you girded me with strength for the battle; you made my assailants sink under me. 40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed. 41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 42 I beat them fine, like dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets. 43 You delivered me from strife with the peoples; you made me head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. 44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me. 45 Foreigners lost heart, and came trembling out of their strongholds. 46 The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation,
Psalm 18 47 the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me; 48 who delivered me from my enemies; indeed, you exalted me above my adversaries; you delivered me from the violent. 49 For this I will extol you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name. 50 Great triumphs he gives to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.
Personal Application – Psalm 18 The superscription of this psalm credits the words to David after the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies including “Saul.” After reviewing all that the Lord was to him David then recorded his deliverance by the Lord and rejoiced in the mercies shown him. This psalm is a song of gratitude for victory by the warrior-king who at last was at peace. Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (Ps 18). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Personal Application – Psalm 18 • In his vow to praise God, David multiplied metaphor after metaphor to describe all that the Lord was and had been to him. He expressed his love for the Lord who had shown mercy to him throughout his many struggles. • David described the Lord as a Rock because He provided stability and security for him. • David compared God to a fortress. “Rock” and “fortress,” a high place of refuge and defense to which one might flee for protection. To take refuge in the Lord is far better than hiding in a manmade fortress or behind a huge rock.
Personal Application – Psalm 18 • David also compared God to a shield and a stronghold, both military terms suggesting protection and deliverance from enemies. • As the Horn of his salvation God gave him strength. Animal horns were symbols of strength. • Psalm 18 is a victor’s song of gratitude to God for all that had been accomplished.
Personal Application – Psalm 18 I can truly relate to God being my rock… There have been times that I felt that I was completely alone; isolated by circumstance from others both physically, mentally and emotionally… I was at a complete loss with regard to what else to do…
Personal Application – Psalm 18 This Psalm resonates so deeply within my soul because like David, I felt that I had been at war for so long… I sought out God as my fortress in the midst of my own life’s wars and battles… But also like David a time came where I realized that God was with me and had given me victory in my situation! And so…
Forum Discussion Take some time to read and reflect upon Psalm 18. My Question for this Week’s Devotion Forum is a simple one… How does this Psalm resonate within your spirit and life experience?
Closing Prayer Lord, my LORD, my Strength, Rock of Ages, my Jesus, I love you, I love you, I love you. These words are the marrow of my Christian walk. Help me to remember that every book I read, every sermon I listen to are not so that I get know more, just for the sake of knowing more, but to know YOU more and understand YOU more, and love YOU more and more. If I knew all doctrines, and had all the discernment, and all my theological views were correct, but I failed to love you, I would be doomed. Oh Lord, help us not to love more reading about You, than being with You in prayer. Help us not to love more reading books about You, than reading Your book, the Holy Bible.
Lord, You are my strength, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my rock in whom I take refuge. You have brought me to this safe place only because it pleased You to rescue me from the bondage of sin. How can I not love You with all that is in me? How can I not be forever grateful for your Grace, for having compassion on me? How can I fail not to praise You if it has pleased You to save me from my enemies? Oh how I love You, LORD! If in my distress I called your name, and you heard me. When I cry to You, you always incline your ear and hear my prayer, when I do not know how to pray your Spirit helps me pray according to your will, when I fall, Jesus, my Mediator, intercedes for me. Thank you, Lord because it pleases you to hear my voice from your temple, thank you because my cry to You reaches your ears, because my prayers are not in vain.
Forgive me, Lord, when I am not merciful, when I am prideful, when I do not act as a Christian. Purify my heart, cleanse me from all iniquities, that I may love You with a clean heart, that I may be humble before you and my brothers and sisters. Lord, I love You because You have enlightened my path, because you have given us Your Word as a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path. You are good to us, that have given your children eyes to see, and ears to hear in this world in which many times is not easy to see and hear clearly. God, your ways are perfect, all of them, Your Word proves True. You are a shield to those who take refuge in You; Help me, help me to love your Word, Your ways, more than anything else. Help me to run to you in my distress, knowing that only in You will I find refuge. Oh how I love you, Lord!
Who is God but You? Who is a rock, except our God? I love you, because you have cleansed me by the blood of the Lamb, You have made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me. Oh, how I love You, Lord! You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. How can I not love You with all my heart? Lord, as I face my enemies, my sinful habits, sinful desires, sinful thoughts this week, remind me that in Jesus, you have equipped me with strength for the battle; that you made those who rise against me sink under me. You, Oh LORD live, blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name. For all these I love you and will love you forever more! Source: Becky Pliego http://www.beckypliego.com/2011/11/praying-psalms-psalm-18.html
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