Verse 18. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me. The deliverance has come. Joab has routed the rebels. The Lord has justified the cause of his anointed. Faith sees as well as foresees; to her foresight is sight. He is not only safe but serene, delivered in peace -- peace in his inmost soul.
For there were many with me; many contending against me. Or it may be that he thankfully acknowledges that the Lord raised him up unexpected allies, fetched him succour when he most needed it, and made the friendless monarch once more the head of a great army. The Lord can soon change our condition, and he often does so when our prayers become fervent. The crisis of life is usually the secret place of wrestling. Jabbok makes Jacob a prevailing prince. He who stripped us of all friends to make us see himself in their absence, can give them back again in greater numbers that we may see him more joyfully in the fact of their presence.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 18. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle. In the midst of war the Lord can keep a man as safe as in the time of peace, and in extreme perils preserve him from danger. He that depends upon God in the time of trouble, albeit he had an host against him, yet hath he more with him when God is with him, than can be against him. David Dickson.
Verse 18. For. The for implies the reason why God interposed to deliver him; namely, because of the general principle that God ministers relief when his people come to an extremity. A. R. Fausset.
Verse 18. There were many with me. This is doubtful whether it be meant of foes or friends. If of foes, it may be resolved thus: for with many (with a great multitude) they were fighters with me. If of friends, it may be understood of God's angels, that in a great number were with him, pitching camp for his aid ( Psalms 34:7 ); as Elisha said, "Many more are with us than with them." 2Ki 6:16-17. The Chaldee explains it, "For in many afflictions his word was for my help." Henry Ainsworth.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 18. Our battles, our almost rout, our helper, our deliverances, our praise.