Psalms 18:1



The Bible says in Psalms 18:1, “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.” In this Psalm King David will give us reasons why David loved God. And so we see why David was a man after God’s own heart. God wants to be loved. When you love someone, don’t you want them to love you in return? God has a great eternal love, and so God has a great desire and capacity to receive love. There is a reason that Jesus said the greatest commandment is to, “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, all thy soul, all thy mind, and all thy strength.” God’s greatest desire is that someone would love Him. David did. The first reason that David gave for loving God we see is that He called the Lord, “my strength.” David knew and appreciated what God did for David. The more responsibilities that you have, the more strength that you will need to face those responsibilities and the ensuing difficulties. As King of Israel King David had many responsibilities, and David had many enemies. David knew that God was His strength. David knew that God made the difference in His life. One of the benefits of being a Christian is that we have the Lord Jesus to strengthen us and to fight our battles. 


David had more to say about why he loved God. The Bible says in Psalms 18:2, “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.” When you stand on a rock, you have a sure foundation. You will not sink. Jesus used this symbolism in Matthew 7:24-25, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:[25] And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.


David called God “my fortress.” David was a king and a soldier. He established Jerusalem and made it a fortress. David knew something about fortresses, and David knew that God was the best fortress of all. A fortress is designed to protect you from the enemies. That is exactly what God will do. David also said that God was “my deliverer.” When David was attacked, or when he was surrounded, or when things did not look good for him, he knew that God would deliver him. Almighty God would get involved. God is going to protect His children. David knew that and David loved God for it.


David called God “my strength” in verse one, and David calls God “my strength” again in verse two. Paul learned the same thing about God. Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” How do you get a hold on that kind of strength? You do what David did. He said about the Lord, “in whom I will trust.” To have faith in the Lord means to trust in the Lord. It means to rely upon Him for every situation that comes your way. When you trust in Jesus like that, His strength gets involved. David knew that he had the strength of God as a resource.


David said that God was his “buckler” and “the horn of my salvation.” A buckler is a shield. God would shield David from the attacks against David. This is language that is similar to that used in Ephesians chapter six that talks about the Christian armor. The spiritual life is a spiritual battle. It says in Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Describing one part of the armor, it says in Ephesians 6:16, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Finally, in Psalms 18:2 David said that God was his “high tower.” A tower was used in war. The soldiers up in a tower had a great advantage over the enemy, and those in a tower could see much further. God is in heaven, and thus He is higher than all. God sees all things. Guess who has the advantage: the one who trusts in the Lord or the one who does not.


The Bible says in Psalms 18:3, “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” I wonder what David said when he called upon the Lord? He said this: “Help me.” That is a prayer that God always answers. David knew that his prayer would be answered, and so he said with confidence, “so shall I be saved from mine enemies.


David mentioned four things that he had to suffer. David said in Psalms 18:4-5, “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.” The four sufferings are: 1. The sorrows of death, 2. The floods of ungodly men. 3. The sorrows of hell. 4. The snares of death. Two of the four have to do with “sorrows.” There is a sorrow to death. Thank God that we have the victory over death through the Lord Jesus Christ, but as long as we are on this earth and lose loved-ones, we will be affected by the sorrows of death. At least we do not sorrow like those who have no hope. The sorrows of hell can be understood by the Hebrew word “sheol” that is translated “hell.” Here it means the place of the dead. People can be troubled when they think about the next life, and where they will be after this life is over. One of the values of the Gospel of Christ is that you can lose that sorrow with the assurance that you soul is saved, and that when you leave this world, you will live in heaven forever.


David said, “the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.” There are floods of ungodly men because there are lots of them. There are floods of ungodly men because the ungodly will be aggressive and push against you. In David’s case, they were pushing against him to kill him.


At the end of verse 5 David spoke of “the snares of death.” Death is the greatest enemy of mankind. The end is coming. Life is temporary. And there are many dangers. This is not only true concerning ourselves, but also true concerning everyone that we love.


David’s response to all these sorrows and dangers of life is described in Psalms 18:6. David prayed. “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.” And David knew when he prayed that God heard his prayers and thus God would respond.


In the next verses David described the results of his prayer. David is saying that because he prayed, God went into action and did great and mighty things in response to David’s prayer. It says in Psalms 18:7-16, “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.[13] The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.[14] Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.[15] Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.[16] He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.” In verse 7 David said about God, “he was wroth.” Wicked people were against David, and that means that God was on David’s side. “God is angry with the wicked every day.” Romans 1:18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” In order to emphasize the power of God as revealed in nature, David said in verse 13 that the thunder was like God’s voice, and in verse 14 that the lightning was like God’s arrows. And so the powerful forces of nature are used to illustrate the power of God that was coming to help and to rescue. David summed it up in verse 16, “He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.” David’s help was from heaven, not from the earth or from anyone on the earth.


David said in Psalms 18:17, “He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.” The word “strong” is used twice and it is talking about the strength of David’s enemies. The ungodly people of the world are strong. They have money, they have positions of power and influence, and they have networks and alliances. As far as this world is concerned, they are much stronger than believers. That is why we do not fight them with the arm of the flesh. We trust in the Lord and what the Lord will do by His Almighty power. That is what David is saying in verse 18, “They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.”


Why did God help David? The answer to that is given over the next several verses. David said in Psalms 18:19-20, “He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.[20] The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.” One of the reasons that God helped David is given in verse 19: “because he delighted in me.” God loved David. God has a special love for every one of His children. Stay focused on the truth that God loves you, and your faith will be increased that He is going to help you in your times of trouble.


In verse 20 David refers to the principle of reaping what we sow. The reason that we reap what we sow is because God is in charge. God is always on the side of what is right, so make sure that God is on your side by doing what is right. That is what David meant by saying, “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness.” Do what is right, and you also will have the power of God’s goodness.


David said in Psalms 18:21, “For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.” Some people start following the Lord, and then they eventually fall away. We call them back-sliders. Consistency is very important in following the Lord. Of course, when you start following Jesus, your intention is to follow Him all the way to the end. Jesus loves you all the way to the end. It says in Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The word that is translated “uttermost” means literally “all the way to the end.” The way to keep following Jesus all the way to the end and avoid “wickedly” departing from God is to make sure that you keep confessing your sins to stay in fellowship with Him as I says in First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


David said in Psalms 18:22, “For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.” In order to stay faithful to the Lord, you must stay faithful to His Word. You need to read, think about, and hear the Word of God being taught. As you make decisions, and face the situations of life each day, you must remember and apply the Word of God. Too many people accept Christ, but then do not grow in the Lord through God’s Word.


David said in Psalms 18:23, “I was also upright before Him, and I kept my self from mine iniquity.” Of course, to serve God our motivation must be to do the right thing. When a person truly accepts Jesus as Savior, not only are they seeking forgiveness, but they are also desiring to start doing right and start following the Lord.


And the Bible reminds us once again of a very important principle of life: we reap what we sow. It says in Psalms 18:24, “Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.” God is the Judge of the whole earth. He sees and He knows. He is watching. God rewards good and punished evil. Some of the things that happen to us are simply the consequences of our own actions. If you want better consequences, then perform better deeds.


In Psalms 18:25-26 we are told what kind of good deeds God wants from us. It says, “With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;[26] With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.” God wants us to be merciful. Jesus also said in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” It should be easy for Christians to show mercy to others. Jesus has been merciful to us. We know that we rely upon His mercy. Mercy is when you do not give someone what they deserve. Mercy is when you are kind instead of harsh. Mercy is when you willingly forgive those who need forgiveness. In verse 25 it says that God will be upright to those who are upright. If you seek to do what is right, God will guide your path into what is right. Verse 26 says the same thing about purity. If you seek to be pure, God will guide you into a path that will lead you to purity. Of course, God has given us a free will. The froward, those who oppose God, who choose to go away from being upright and away from being pure will be given what they choose.


The Bible says in Psalms 18:27, “For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.” We can always count on God. God cares about anyone who is afflicted by dark spiritual forces or by ungodly people. People who have “high looks” God will bring down. An honest person will be a humble person because we are all sinners. A person with “high looks” is truly ungodly. They do not know themselves nor do they know God.


The Bible says in Psalms 18:28, “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.” In a dark world, we need light. David was confident that God would give him the light that David knew he needed. We need to be enlightened by God to understand His Word. We need light to know which path to take when we make a decision.


The Bible says in Psalms 18:29, “For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” In verse one David called God “my strength.” As a warrior king, David was often involved in combat in the ancient days when it was largely physical force and hand-to-hand combat. It is amazing what a person can do when they are gifted and trust in the Lord to use and bless those gifts and abilities. 


The Bible says in Psalms 18:30-38, “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.[31] For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?[32] It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.[33] He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.[34] He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.[35] Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.[36] Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.[37] I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.[38] I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.” In these verses David goes into more detail about all the things that the Lord had done for him, repeating some of the things that he said at the beginning of Psalms chapter 18. But before David goes into these detail, in verse 30 David mentions God’s “way” and God’s “word.” Make sure you go God’s way, make sure you stay in the Word of God, and make sure that you trust in the Lord; and then you will experience the same benefits that David saw. God is a “rock.” God gives “strength.” God gives the perfect “way.” God gave David the ability to run fast: David’s feet were like “hinds' feet” because of God. We live in a day when some athletes get a lot of attention because of their God-given abilities. How many of them give glory to God for the abilities that God gave them? In verse 34 David said that God “teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.” In other words the strength that David had as a young man, David knew that God had given to him. Also, David implies that he is even stronger because of God. You will do much better in any task when you trust in the Lord than you will if you do not trust in the Lord.


In verse 37 when David said, “I have pursued mine enemies,” and in verse 38 when David said, “I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet,” David is saying that God gave David victory over his enemies. God will also give you victory if you trust in the Lord. That is why it say in First John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”


David continues with the theme that God has given David victory over his enemies. The Bible says in Psalms 18:39-45, “For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.[40] Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.[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.” Once again in verse 39 David uses the word “strength” when talking about what he received from God. David also gave credit for any victory that he had to God. David said, “thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.” Give credit where credit is due. If you won the victory over enemies, it was God who gave you that victory.


Notice that the Bible says in Psalms 18:41, “They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.” This tells us one type of prayer that is not answered: when a person is only interested in saving their own skin. God wants us to repent of our sins. If someone does not repent, they are not being honest with Jesus. When we call upon God, it must be with the desire to do His will. If we call upon Him to deliver us from some bad situation, but retain our selfish will, why should God deliver? God will not.


God turned the tables for David. God does that. It proves that God is in charge, and not man. David was attacked, but because of God, the ones who wanted to attack David ended up being ruled by David. David said in verse 43, “thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.


The Bible says in Psalms 18:46-50, “The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
[47] It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.[48] 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.[49] Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.[50] Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore
.” At the beginning of this chapter in verse two David said that God was his “rock,” and now in verse 46 he says it again. David knew that he would not sink in the quick-sands of life because David knew that he had a firm foundation: the Lord. David also knew that God gave him “salvation.” I hope that you know that you are saved. If not, you can get on your knees, pray to the Lord Jesus and get saved. In verses 47 and 48 once again David praises God for giving him victory over his enemies. David relied upon God, and God did not fail him. In verse 50 David also praised God for “mercy.” We are sinners. When God delivers us, it is not because we deserve to be delivered. It’s because God was merciful to us. Do not fear that God will not help you because you have sinned. Trust in the blood of Christ that was shed for you. By the way, these are eternal mercies. David said that the mercy was “to his seed for evermore.” If you are saved through faith in Christ, you have the same kind of mercy that will last forever. This is just another of many places in the Bible that states we are safe in the hands of Jesus now and forever. We who believe in Jesus are eternally secure.            






Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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