Verse 4-19. See Psalms on "Psalms 18:4" for further information.
Verse 14. The lightnings were darted forth as forked arrows upon the hosts of the foe, and speedily scattered them. Boastful sinners prove to be great cowards when Jehovah enters the lists with them. They despise his words, and are very tongue valiant, but when it comes to blows they fly apace. The glittering flames, and the fierce bolts of fire discomfited them. God is never at a loss for weapons. Woe be unto him that contendeth with his Maker! God's arrows never miss their aim; they are feathered with lightning, and barbed with everlasting death. Fly, O sinner, to the rock of refuge before these arrows stick fast in thy soul.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8-19. See Psalms on "Psalms 18:8" for further information.
Verse 14. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them, etc. O that you who are now strangers to God would but consider these things! O that you would but think what this battle may be, where the combatants are so unequal! Stand still, O sun, in the valley of Ajalon, till the Lord have avenged him of his enemies! Muster yourselves, O ye stars, and fight in your courses against those miserable sinners that have waged war against their Maker; plant your mighty cannons, shoot down huge hailstones, arrows of fire, and hot thunderbolts! Oh, how do the wounded fall! How many are the slain of the Lord, multitudes in the Valley of Decision, for the day of the Lord is terrible. Behold God's enemies falling by thousands, behold the garments rolling in blood, hear the prancing of his terrible ones, the mountains are covered with horses and chariots of fire. God's soldiers run from one place to another with their flaming swords in their hands, armed with the justice of God, jealousy, power, and indignation! Oh, the dreadful slaughter that is made! Millions, millions fall; they are not able to stand; not one of them can lift up his hand; their hearts fail them; paleness and trembling hath seized upon the stoutest of them all. The bow of the Lord is strong; from the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of the Lord turneth not back, the sword of the Almighty returns not empty. How do the mighty ones fall in this battle! A hot battle indeed, in which none escape! Who is he that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? He that is glorious in his apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the wine fat? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with me. For I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and I will bring down their strength to the earth: the hand of the Lord shall be known, the power of the mighty Jehovah shall be felt, and his indignation toward his enemies. For behold he will come with fire and with chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire; for by fire and by his sword will he plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many, and the saints shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me. For their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire, and brimstone, and a horrible tempest. This shall be the portion of their cup! This it is to fight against God! This it is to defy the Lord of Hosts! James Janeway.
Verse 14. He shot out his lightnings. (br ~yqrb) 70 astrapus eplhqune Falgura multiplicavit: Vulgate, and so all the versions. He multiplied his thunderbolts; or, shot them out thick one after another; as the word properly signifies.
Verse 14. (~mhyw) And discomfited them, as we render the word; or rather, as I think it should be translated, and melted them; namely, the heavens. Samuel Chandler.
Verse 14. (last clause). It is written, destroyed them, because the Holy Ghost would not so much as name, by the mouth of his prophet, the evil spirits to whom he refers. Euthymius Zigabenus (1125) quoted by J. M. Neale.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS