Psalms 18:43

43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

Psalms 18:43 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 18:43

Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people
In ( 2 Samuel 22:44 ) , it is read "my people", meaning the people of Israel; either Saul and his men, who contended with David, and sought his life; or rather the tribes of Israel, who, after Saul's death, refused to acknowledge David as their king, but afterwards came and anointed him in Hebron. The words may very well be interpreted of the contentions of the Scribes and Pharisees with Christ, and of the opposition from sinners, which he for a while endured, but is now delivered from them all;

[and] thou hast made me the head of the Heathen;
which, if understood of David, refers to the Philistines, Syrians, Moabites, and Edomites, being subdued by him, and becoming tributaries to him, ( 2 Samuel 8:1 2 Samuel 8:2 2 Samuel 8:5 2 Samuel 8:14 ) . But it best agrees with Christ, who is the head of his chosen ones among the Gentiles; the political head, King, and Governor of them, the Heathen being given him for his inheritance and possession; and which appeared in the first ages of Christianity, when the Gospel was first preached to the Gentiles by the apostles; and still continues, and will be more clearly seen in the latter day, when the Lord shall be King over all the earth. Christ was made the head of the Heathen, by the appointment and designation of his Father; and, in fact, was so when multitudes from among the Gentiles were converted and brought to the obedience of him. In ( 2 Samuel 22:44 ) it is, "thou hast kept me [to be] head of the Heathen"; which does not seem so much to intend the designation and constitution of him as such, but the continuation of him; and denotes the stability of his government in the Gentile world, of which there will be no end;

a people [whom] I have not known shall serve me;
by whom are meant the Gentiles, who were not the people of God, were without Christ and without God, and without hope in the world: not that there are any people that can be unknown to Christ, as he is the omniscient God; nor were these unknown to him, in such sense as reprobates, nominal professors, and foolish virgins, are said not to be known by him, ( Matthew 7:23 ) ( 25:12 ) . For these people among the Heathen, who are or shall be brought to serve the Lord, are such who were the objects of his love and delight from everlasting; were in his Father's choice and in his own, and in the gift of his Father to him, and in the covenant of his grace; and therefore must be known by him; moreover, they are the purchase of his blood; and the sheep he knows, for whom he has laid down his life, and of whom he has such an exact and particular knowledge, that he can and does call them by name. But the sense is, these seemed not to be taken notice of and cared for by Christ; they were not owned and acknowledged by him as his people; the Jews were distinguished from all others; they only had the law, the word of God, and his ordinances; the Gentiles were suffered to walk in their own ways; they were neglected, and the times of their ignorance were overlooked and disregarded; so that they were treated as a people that were not known for many hundreds of years: but here it is predicted, that when the Gospel should come among them, and they be called by it, they should "serve" the Lord in righteousness and true holiness, with reverence and godly fear, from a principle of love, in his name and strength, and to his glory; see ( Isaiah 55:4 Isaiah 55:5 ) .

Psalms 18:43 In-Context

41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
The King James Version is in the public domain.