Psalm 18:36



The Bible says in Psalms 18:36, “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.” In considering this verse let us consider what Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it


If a path is narrow then it is very easy to slip from that path. The path of righteousness is a narrow road to follow because there is only one way that it leads: God’s way. It is all too easy to go your own way or to be misled by the many who do not go God’s way. 


One of the amazing things about the power of Jesus is that He always has a way of turning things around. The word “enlarged” in Psalms 18:36 means to widen, or to increase the borders. Without Jesus you might as well be trying to walk a tight rope across a windy canyon. But with Jesus your destiny is to walk broad streets that are paved with gold.


One of the reasons that we need God to enlarge our steps is because of the many enemies that we have. Whether you know it or not, you have many enemies. Your enemies are any spiritual force, any person, any teaching, any situation, even any of your own desires that will seek to lead you astray from the truth and from doing what is right. 


Psalms 18:37-40 says, “I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.” The life of David is such a great example of this passage right here in Psalms. If you read the books of First and Second Samuel you can learn about this example. David lived a life in which he faced many enemies. Outnumbered and with his life endangered, with the odds against him, God always brought him the victory. We should think of these physical conflicts in the life of David as a parallel to the spiritual conflicts that we will face in this life if we are going to follow Christ.


There are spiritual battles for you to fight, a great many of them. At times you will fail but you will never be defeated, not if you have Jesus. This is an important lesson to remember. There is a time to avoid conflict. And there is a time to fight. It takes wisdom to learn from Jesus what conflicts to avoid and which to stand against. But He will give you that wisdom and He will give you the strength unto the battle.


Whenever you want to find an example of something as an illustration, or to help you better understand or relate, you can never find a better example than in the life of Christ. As a matter of fact any time you read the Bible especially in the Old Testament your goal should be to see how you can find Christ revealed in that passage. Psalms chapter 18 is certainly no exception.


This passage of Scripture is above all referring to Christ. Verse 40 says, “Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.” Genesis 3:15 says, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel


Concerning the enemies of mankind, there is no greater enemy than Satan. The Bible calls him the destroyer and the devourer. How many are the marriages that have gone to waste, the families that have been destroyed, the love that has been wasted because of the lies and the hatred of the devil? How many are the lives of men that have burned away their years of opportunity because of the same? Do not be confused. It is not God that is your enemy: it is the devil. But the devil has been defeated. Jesus has brought the victory when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. It is because of this victory that no matter how much devouring and destruction the devil might bring there is always forgiveness to be found in Jesus. And forgiveness means new opportunity.


Psalms 18:41-42 says, “They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them all as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.” Concerning the battles that there are to fight, the most important one is the battle for the souls of men. Today is the day of salvation. Trust in Jesus today. Live for Jesus today. These two verses in Psalms teach us something very important. Even though the mercy and the grace of God is infinite and eternal, opportunity is limited. Today is the day of salvation. We are all the enemies of God until we turn from our sins and turn to Jesus. Any day could be your last day of opportunity to turn from your sins to Jesus and to serve Him. There is only one fate for those who have wasted all of their opportunity to turn to Jesus, “They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but He answered them not.” Undoubtedly those who have died having rejected Jesus as God and Savior, cry out to Him in hell and He answers them not.


Jesus Himself expanded on the teaching of Psalms 18:42 when he said in Mark 6:11, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.” God is not going to waste His valuable time on those who reject Him and neither should you. This is the principle that Jesus taught when He said, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine.” The truth is for those that want the truth. The Bible and its Words are precious teachings and not to be wasted on those that do not want to hear them. How can you tell where the LORD is leading you to spread His truth? It is very simple. Go to those and speak to those who will listen and who want to hear. After all, it is likely you will accomplish much more for Jesus if you share his truth with one open heart rather than 10,000 hearts that do not want to hear His precious Words.


Psalms 18:43-46 says, “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. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted


This is another passage of scripture which it should be very clear is speaking of Christ. These verses, of course, continue on with what was just taught. This is the mistake that the nation of Israel has made. They rejected the Christ. They even crucified him because their hearts were so hardened to the truth. As a nation, what great opportunity they passed up on. But even out of every missed opportunity there is new opportunity. This is the grace of God. The opportunity that the nation of Israel rejected was given instead to the heathen nations.


Rejecting Jesus and resisting His will and His work will not slow Him down. It will only result in that which God would give to you being given to someone else. Concerning salvation, concerning the human heart, concerning the psychology of salvation verse 44 explains it very simply, “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.” If a person wants the truth, If a person desires righteousness, then when they hear of Jesus they will trust in Him for forgiveness of sins. It is that simple. There is nothing complicated about it.


Psalms 18:45, “The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.” There are only two categories of people in this world, those that are part of the family of God and those that are not. Jesus is either your Savior or He is not. The primary cause of all the problems in the world is that there are so many who are strangers and so few who are children of God. For those who pass up their limited opportunities in this life to turn to Jesus verse 45 tells us exactly what is going to happen to them. They shall fade away. These same words are used in Isaiah 40:7-8, “The grass withered, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” The Word of God endures forever. Jesus is the living Word. And therefore those that trust in Him endure forever. These verses in Psalms teach us something very important about the opportunity that God offers men, and the consequences of wasting that opportunity.


If you spend time carefully thinking about the grace of God and how wonderful it is to be given opportunity by Him then you will say the same thing that is said here in Psalms 18:46, “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted


Psalms 18:47-50 says, “It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.” There are 3 key words in these verses: “avengeth”, “subdueth”, and “delivereth”.  If you are on God’s side then your enemies are God’s enemies. Everyone has enemies. Psalms 18 just taught us about this. The mistake that most people in the world make, a very easy mistake, is how to handle your enemies. The New Testament teaches that we should love our enemies. Of course, to love your enemies does not mean to compromise from the truth or from what is right.


There are two sides to the coins of how to handle your enemies. One is what you should do. The other is what God is going to do. The word “avengeth” is used many times in the Bible. It is often translated to give or to set.  “Avengeth”: Psalm 28:4-5, “Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.” There is no need for you to give unto your enemies anything other than what Jesus commanded in the Bible because Jesus is going to give to them. It is God that “avengeth”.


Now consider the word “subdueth.” This word is used a great many times in the Bible and is translated “to speak.” Revelation 19:15 says, “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”


There is nothing in this world more powerful than the words of God. God spoke and created the world. It is the words of God that save men from their sins. And when the last opportunities for this world have passed it is the words of God that will destroy everything that is opposed to truth and righteousness. It doesn’t matter how many people resist the truth, it doesn’t matter how many people lie and attempt to deny or destroy the written words of God, they will fail. And in the end on the day when Christ returns to subdue his enemies, He will do so simply by speaking. How powerful is the Word of God. Man has a will and he can resist it for now, but the day is coming when the will of man will be subdued by the spoken words of Jesus. What a truly marvelous moment that will be. Perhaps Christ will do so simply to show one last time how foolish it is to resist and to deny the words of God.


The 3rd word used here is the word “delivereth.” This word is found in Job 21:10, “Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.” Here “delivereth” is translated “calveth.” Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” To be saved from your sins is to be delivered from your enemies. There is no greater deliverance than the grace of God that is found in Christ because He gave his own life on the cross for you when you were yet the enemy of God. It is no wonder the last verse of Psalm 18 says, “Great deliverance.” There is no greater deliverance. If you want deliverance from your enemies there is only one way to find it, and that way is through Jesus Christ.




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Copyright; 2012 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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