“Psalm 18”

Categories: Daily Living, David, Devotion, Expository Study, Lord, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Song, Spiritual Growth, Trust

Psalm 18

                “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies …. The Lord liveth and blessed be my rock: and let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Ps. 18:3, 46). If you sang those verses as you read them, you are truly a blessed person. Though we will never know the tune (or cadence) to which David set Psalm 18, modern men have set some of this psalm to music that allows us to sing it.

                Psalm 18 was David’s cry of thanksgiving after being delivered from Saul. It has the unique position of being a psalm quoted almost entirely in II Samuel 22 also. When reading First Samuel, we know David was chased by Saul for a while when it was clear that he was to be king instead of Jonathan (I Sam. 18:10-26:25). When David killed Goliath, the women sang, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (I Sam. 18:7). After this event, and seeing how the people responded to David, Saul became jealous and was determined to kill him. Thankfully, this did not happen. At the same time, David was faced with opportunities to kill Saul, but refused to kill the “Lord’s anointed.” As a result, God caused an end to the hostilities when Saul was made aware that his life could have been taken by David, but it wasn’t (I Sam. 26:21).

                An interesting fact about this Psalm is that some suggest the original word used was not “Saul” but “Sheol” (grave) that was used in that first paragraph. This was referred to in Psalm 18:5, also. If it was actually David praising God for delivering him from the grave, it must certainly include praise for his deliverance from Saul because Saul wanted to kill him! Either way, (whether Saul or Sheol) David’s praise and gratitude to God are just as real, as vibrant, and this attitude needs to be seen today!

                I find it fascinating that the praise David gives God in verse 2 is repeated throughout the psalm. David speaks of God as …

  • Rock (v. 2, 31, 46) – not a mere pebble, but a large rock where thousands might stand and even build their homes! Think of Matthew 16:18. This rock will stand!

  • Fortress (v. 2) – In other words, He’s a fortified refuge for God’s people! They have a place to go when they need protection and comfort.

  • Deliverer (v. 2, 17, 19, 40, 43, 48, 50) – He delivers us from the danger and sin in this world if we let Him.

  • Strength (v. 2, 17b, 29, 32, 34, 39) – Since we are weak, He provides strength!

  • Buckler/Shield (v. 2, 30, 35) – He has the shield to help us when Satan attacks. In Ephesians, Paul wants all Christians to carry the “shield of faith” to “quench the fiery darts (arrows) of the wicked” (Eph. 6:16).

  • Horn (v. 2, 33-34) – just as an animal’s horn is used for protection, so God is that “horn of salvation,” protecting us from spiritual dangers, like Satan, while we are on earth.

  • High Tower (v. 2) – though the term “tower” is not used, the reference to God being “on high” or above us is seen in verses 13-14, and 16.

                David learned about God from experience. Have we learned to trust in God as David did? If not, why not? He loves and cares for us and we need to turn to Him for everything in this life!

- Jarrod M. Jacobs