Psalms 18

Psalm 18


For the music leader. Of David the LORD’s servant, who spoke the words of this song to the LORD after the LORD delivered him from the power of all his enemies and from Saul.

1 He said: I love you, LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock— I take refuge in him!— he's my shield, my salvation's strength, my place of safety.
3 Because he is praiseworthy, I cried out to the LORD, and I was saved from my enemies.
4 Death's cords were wrapped around me; rivers of wickedness terrified me.
5 The cords of the grave surrounded me; death's traps held me tight.
6 In my distress I cried out to the LORD; I called to my God for help. God heard my voice from his temple; I called to him for help, and my call reached his ears.
7 The earth rocked and shook; the bases of the mountains trembled and reeled because of God's anger.
8 Smoke went up from God's nostrils; out of his mouth came a devouring fire; flaming coals blazed out in front of him!
9 God parted the skies and came down; thick darkness was beneath his feet.
10 God mounted the heavenly creatures and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 God made darkness cloak him; his covering was dark water and dense cloud.
12 God's clouds went ahead of the brightness before him; hail and coals of fire went too.
13 The LORD thundered in heaven; the Most High made his voice heard with hail and coals of fire.
14 God shot his arrows, scattering the enemy; he sent the lightning and threw them into confusion.
15 The seabeds were exposed; the earth's foundations were laid bare at your rebuke, LORD, at the angry blast of air coming from your nostrils.
16 From on high God reached down and grabbed me; he took me out of all that water.
17 God saved me from my powerful enemy, saved me from my foes, who were too much for me.
18 They came at me on the very day of my distress, but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out to wide-open spaces; he pulled me out safe because he is pleased with me.
20 The LORD rewarded me for my righteousness; he restored me because my hands are clean,
21 because I have kept the LORD's ways. I haven't acted wickedly against my God.
22 All his rules are right in front of me; I haven't turned away from any of his laws.
23 I have lived with integrity before him; I've kept myself from wrongdoing.
24 And so the LORD restored me for my righteousness because my hands are clean in his eyes.
25 You deal faithfully with the faithful; you show integrity toward the one who has integrity.
26 You are pure toward the pure, but toward the crooked, you are tricky.
27 You are the one who saves people who suffer and brings down those with proud eyes.
28 You are the one who lights my lamp— the LORD my God illumines my darkness.
29 With you I can charge into battle; with my God I can leap over a wall.
30 God! His way is perfect; the LORD's word is tried and true. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
31 Now really, who is divine except the LORD? And who is a rock but our God?
32 Only God! The God who equips me with strength and makes my way perfect,
33 who makes my step as sure as the deer's, who lets me stand securely on the heights,
34 who trains my hands for war so my arms can bend a bronze bow.
35 You've given me the shield of your salvation; your strong hand has supported me; your help has made me great.
36 You've let me walk fast and safe, without even twisting an ankle.
37 I chased my enemies and caught them! I didn't come home until I finished them off.
38 I struck them down; they couldn't get up again; they fell under my feet.
39 You equipped me with strength for war; you brought my adversaries down underneath me.
40 You made my enemies turn tail from me; I destroyed my foes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them. They cried for help to the LORD, but he wouldn't answer them.
42 I crushed them like dust blown away by the wind; I threw them out like mud dumped in the streets.
43 You delivered me from struggles with many people; you appointed me the leader of many nations. Strangers come to serve me.
44 After hearing about me, they obey me; foreigners grovel before me.
45 Foreigners lose their nerve; they come trembling out of their fortresses.
46 The LORD lives! Bless God, my rock! Let the God of my salvation be lifted high!
47 This is the God who avenges on my behalf, who subdues people before me,
48 who delivers me from my enemies. Yes, you lifted me high above my adversaries; you delivered me from violent people.
49 That's why I thank you, LORD, in the presence of the nations. That's why I sing praises to your name.
50 You are the one who gives great victories to your king, who shows faithful love to your anointed one— to David and to his descendants forever.

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Psalms 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

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, ( Hebrews 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, ( Leviticus 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 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.

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, [a Psalm] of David. This is the same with that in 2 Samuel 22:1, with some variations, omissions, and alterations:

the servant of the Lord; not only by creation, nor merely by regeneration, but by office, as king of Israel, being put into it by the Lord, and acting in it in submission and obedience to him; just as the apostles under the New Testament, on account of their office, so style themselves in their epistles:

who spake unto the Lord the words of this song; that is, who delivered and sung this song in so many express words, in public, before all the congregation of Israel, to the honour and glory of God:

in the day [that] the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul, Not that this psalm was composed and sung the selfsame day that David was delivered from Saul, and set upon the throne; for it seems to have been written in his old age, at the close of his days; for immediately after it, in the second book of Samuel, it follows, "now these be the last words of David," 2 Samuel 23:1: but the sense is, that whereas David had many enemies, and particularly Saul, who was his greatest enemy, the Lord delivered him from them all, and especially from him, from him first, and then from all the rest; which when he reflected upon in his last days, he sat down and wrote this psalm, and then sung it in public, having delivered it into the hands of the chief musician for that purpose. There are two passages cited out of it in the New Testament, and applied to Christ; Psalm 18:2, in Hebrews 2:13, and Psalm 18:49 in Romans 15:9; and there are many things in it that very well agree with him; he is eminently the "servant" of the Lord as Mediator; he was encompassed with the snares and sorrows of death and hell, and with the floods of ungodly men, when in the garden and on the cross God was his helper and deliverer, as man; and he was victorious over all enemies, sin, Satan, the world, death and hell; as the subject of this psalm is all along represented: and to Christ it does most properly belong to be the head of the Heathen, whose voluntary subjects the Gentiles are said to be, Psalm 18:43; and which is expressed in much the same language as the like things are in Isaiah 55:4; which is a clear and undoubted prophecy of the Messiah; to which may be added, that the Lord's Anointed, the King Messiah, and who is also called David, is expressly mentioned in Psalm 18:50; and which is applied to the Messiah by the Jews {q} as Psalm 18:32 is paraphrased of him by the Targum on it;

and he said; the following words:

{q} Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. & Midrash Tillim in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 47. 3.

Psalms 18 Commentaries

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