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Summary: Psalm 18 consists of a series of triumphant thanksgivings to God, with which the writer connects a highly figurative account of his deliverance from danger, an assertion of his own uprightness, and a description of the victories he has won by God's assistance . . .

April 14, 2014

Tom Lowe

Psalm 18 (KJV)

PART #1: VERSES 1-12

Title: Great Praise from a Place of Great Victory

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto 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: And he said,

1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

Introduction

Of all the Psalms this is the one which can be ascribed with greatest confidence to David. It is found, with some variations, in 2 Samuel 22, and the title is largely taken from 2 Samuel 22:1. It consists of a series of triumphant thanksgivings to God, with which the writer connects a highly figurative account of his deliverance from danger (Psalms 18:4-19), an assertion of his own uprightness (Psalms 18:20-24), and a description of the victories he has won by God's assistance (Psalms 18:29-48).

1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

I will love thee, O Lord. This verse is not found in the song recorded in 2 Samuel 22: the psalm there begins with Psalm 18:2. It is impossible now to determine by whom it was added; but no one can doubt that it is a proper beginning for a psalm that is designed to give an account of God’s many blessings. It produces the feeling which all of us should have when we contemplate how very kind God has been to us. The word translated here as love signifies the most intimate, tender, and affectionate love.

Jehovah the Father is loved for the excellence of His character, because of the works of His hands, of creation and providence; and particularly because of His works of special grace and goodness, and especially because of His love for his people: “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Jehovah the Son is loved because of the loveliness of His person, the love of His heart, and his works of grace and redemption.

Jehovah the Spirit is loved because of his operations of grace; as a sanctifier, comforter, the spirit of adoption, the earnest and pledge of eternal glory.

My strength. The Lord is the source of my strength. He, Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit; is the strength of all His saints. He is the strength of their hearts and their graces; He strengthens that which He has done for them, and in them; He strengthens so that they can do their duty, bear their cross, and every affliction, and He strengthens them so that they can stand against every enemy of their souls.

Psalm 27:1, "The Lord is the strength of my life."

Psalm 28:8, "he is the saving strength of his anointed."

Psalm 29:11, The LORD will give strength to his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

• Compare: Psalm 46:1; Psalm 73:26; Psalm 81:1; Psalm 140:7.

2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

The Lord is my rock. The thought expressed by David here as well as in other parts of this verse is that he was beholden entirely to God for his safety. To him, He was like a rock, a tower, a buckler, etc., that is, he had obtained from God the protection which a rock, a tower, a citadel, a buckler provided for those who depended on them. The word "rock" as it is used here has reference to the fact that in times of danger an elevated rock would be sought as a place of safety, or that men would flee to it to escape from their enemies. Such rocks abound in Palestine; and by the fact that they are elevated and difficult of access, or by the fact that those who fled to them could find shelter behind their projecting crags, or by the fact that they could find security in their deep and dark caverns, they became places of refuge in times of danger; and protection was often found there when it could not be found in the plains below. The “high ground” is the preferred position in a battle.

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