THIS IS YOUR GOD
Loving God, may my thoughts and deeds be pleasing to you today. I lift your name in joyful worship.
Read PSALM 18
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, Lord, my strength.
3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.[d]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop[e];
with my God I can scale a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
you humbled my adversaries before me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the Lord, but he did not answer.
42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
I trampled them[f] like mud in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
44 foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.
46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
48 who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.
50 He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
to David and to his descendants forever.
- Psalm 18:1 In Hebrew texts 18:1-50 is numbered 18:2-51.
- Psalm 18:2 Or sovereign
- Psalm 18:2 Horn here symbolizes strength.
- Psalm 18:13 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 2 Samuel 22:14); most Hebrew manuscripts resounded, / amid hailstones and bolts of lightning
- Psalm 18:29 Or can run through a barricade
- Psalm 18:42 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac and Targum (see also 2 Samuel 22:43); Masoretic Text I poured them out
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son!’1
This amazing psalm pulses with life and power. It reveals God as he truly is. Verses 7–16 give a real sense of his majesty and might. It is as though an earthquake, an erupting volcano and a thunderstorm were happening all at once, with their effect being amplified a hundred times over. This breathtaking scene is the result of a mere ‘blast of breath from [God’s] nostrils’ (v 15). Sometimes we domesticate God, seeking to cut him down to size and make him more comfortable. We end up with a God of our imaginings rather than the real God of the Bible. As we read these words and they do their work in us, may our vision of God be enlarged.
Yet – astonishingly – he loves us and saves us. We see a beautiful picture of salvation as God ‘reached down’ to take hold of the psalmist, David (vs 16–19).2 Negatively, he was saved from deep waters; positively he has been brought into a ‘spacious place’. All this is fulfilled for us in Jesus, ‘great David’s greater Son’, who not only reached down but came down to us. David praises God for his grace, with verse 1 employing an unusual Hebrew word for love, one which denotes great intimacy. The whole psalm calls us to sing out our own song of heartfelt praise.
Finally, we see this amazing God journey with us. Which of the metaphors used in verse 2 strikes you most? Perhaps it’s ‘deliverer’, because today you face a situation you need saving from? Or maybe you feel weak and need his ‘mighty strength’ (the meaning of ‘horn’)? Or do you want to know him as your rock? Whatever your need, he is able to meet it. Turn to him afresh today and know that this is your God.
Slowly reread the section of the psalm that struck you the most. Pray that God will increase your appreciation of him.
Lord, you are my refuge, my rock, my fortress. I praise you for the many times you have rescued me and sustained me.
1 James Montgomery, 1821 2 This psalm closely parallels David’s words in 2 Sam 22
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