Psalm 18

Cliff in Southwest USA

The introduction to Psalm 18 says a lot about David’s faith and circumstances. Referring back to 1 Samuel 19:1-7, David was running for his life because King Saul knew that the Lord was with David, rather than him. He wanted to kill David to protect his rule. However, no one overrules God. David would go on to become king, and deep down, Saul knew it. He was so zealous for power though, that he still tried to murder David.

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. 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:

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.

Even when we may feel trapped or like there will be no one to rescue us, God is always watching. He will be there.

The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

Death is not the only option. God does provide a pathway filled with hope.

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.

You may feel like no one is watching your back, or if your team fails, no one is there – but He is. This is also reflected in Psalm 34:16-18: “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Verses 7-12 continue with a description of how the Lord protects us.

 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations also of the mountains trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.
 He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.
 He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
    thick clouds dark with water.
 Out of the brightness before him
    hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

The Lord’s presence is powerful. In 1 Kings 9:9-16, Elijah had to settle in some rocks when the Lord passed by. He was preceded by wind, an earthquake and fire; but was not in the wind, earthquake or fire. The Lord spoke to Elijah in a quiet voice after the fire, letting Elijah know that he wasn’t alone.

 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
    and the Most High uttered his voice,
    hailstones and coals of fire.
 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
    he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
 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.

Psalm 18 also features fire – and a rescue from torment. There is a reassurance that the Lord is with us and will protect us.

 He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
 He rescued me from my strong enemy
    and from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but the Lord was my support.
 He brought me out into a broad place;
    he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

We are blessed when we follow the Lord – the path isn’t always easy though. It’s often wrought with difficulty.

 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
 For all his rules were before me,
    and his statutes I did not put away from me.
 I was blameless before him,
    and I kept myself from my guilt.
 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

We are called to live as examples – ambassadors. We need to be ready with answers and assistance for anyone who wants to follow Him.

 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
 with the purified you show yourself pure;
    and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
 For you save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes you bring down.
 For it is you who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
 For by you I can run against a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
 This God—his way is perfect;
    the word of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

We can be assured of strength and security in Him. He will set us up to follow the path He has planned for each of us.

 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.
 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.
 He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your right hand supported me,
    and your gentleness made me great.
 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.
 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
    and did not turn back till they were consumed.

When He helps us defeat our enemies or rise above our challenges, it’s extremely rewarding.

 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
    you made those who rise against me sink under me.
 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
 They cried for help, but there was none to save;
    they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
 I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

God will give us the strength to pull through whatever situation He has planned for us, including helping us conquer challenges and defeat enemies.

 You delivered me from strife with the people;
    you made me the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
    foreigners came cringing to me.
 Foreigners lost heart
    and came trembling out of their fortresses.

He will provide wisdom and place us precisely where He needs us.

 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 rescued me from my enemies;
    yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
    you delivered me from the man of violence.

We can rejoice in God and praise Him as He helps us win our battles – whatever that may look like.

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.

There is always reason to praise the Lord, even in hard times. It can help you feel more confident and be more successful. He plans the best for His followers, even if it may not seem that way at the moment.

Be encouraged! Have a wonderful week!

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