Psalm 18

For the Chief Musician. By David the servant of the LORD, who spoke to the LORD the words of this song in the day that 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. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. 3 I call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; and I am saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death surrounded me. The floods of ungodliness made me afraid. 5 The cords of Sheol were around me. The snares of death came on me. 6 In my distress I called on the LORD, and cried to my God. He heard my voice out of his temple. My cry before him came into his ears. 7 Then the earth shook and trembled. The foundations also of the mountains quaked and were shaken, because he was angry. 8 Smoke went out of his nostrils. Consuming fire came out of his mouth. Coals were kindled by it. 9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down. Thick darkness was under his feet. 10 He rode on a cherub, and flew. Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his hiding place, his pavilion around him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies. 12 At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed, hailstones and coals of fire. 13 The LORD also thundered in the sky. The Most High uttered his voice: hailstones and coals of fire. 14 He sent out his arrows, and scattered them; yes, great lightning bolts, and routed them. 15 Then the channels of waters appeared. The foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. 16 He sent from on high. He took me. He drew me out of many waters. 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me. 18 They came on me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. 19 He brought me out also into a large place. He delivered me, because he delighted in me. 20 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness. According to the cleanness of my hands has he recompensed me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all his ordinances were before me. I didn’t put away his statutes from me. 23 I was also blameless with him. I kept myself from my iniquity. 24 Therefore the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. 25 With the merciful you will show yourself merciful. With the perfect man, you will show yourself perfect. 26 With the pure, you will show yourself pure. With the crooked you will show yourself shrewd. 27 For you will save the afflicted people, but the haughty eyes you will bring down. 28 For you will light my lamp, LORD. My God will light up my darkness. 29 For by you, I advance through a troop. By my God, I leap over a wall. 30 As for God, his way is perfect. The LORD’s word is tried. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God, except the LORD? Who is a rock, besides our God, 32 the God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect? 33 He makes my feet like deer’s feet, and sets me on my high places. 34 He teaches my hands to war, so that my arms bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have also given me the shield of your salvation. Your right hand sustains me. Your gentleness has made me great. 36 You have enlarged my steps under me, my feet have not slipped. 37 I will pursue my enemies, and overtake them. Neither will I turn again until they are consumed. 38 I will strike them through, so that they will not be able to rise. They shall fall under my feet. 39 For you have armed me with strength to the battle. You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. 40 You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me, that I might cut off those who hate me. 41 They cried, but there was no one to save; even to the LORD, but he didn’t answer them. 42 Then I beat them small as the dust before the wind. I cast them out as the mire of the streets. 43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people. You have made me the head of the nations. A people whom I have not known shall serve me. 44 As soon as they hear of me they shall obey me. The foreigners shall submit themselves to me. 45 The foreigners shall fade away, and shall come trembling out of their close places. 46 The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock. Exalted be the God of my salvation, 47 even the God who executes vengeance for me, and subdues peoples under me. 48 He rescues me from my enemies. Yes, you lift me up above those who rise up against me. You deliver me from the violent man. 49 Therefore I will give thanks to you, LORD, amongst the nations, and will sing praises to your name. 50 He gives great deliverance to his king, and shows loving kindness to his anointed, to David and to his offspring, forever more.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, Heb 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, Le 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 #(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.

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