(Yesterday, our Wednesday night study was over Psalm 18. I’m so enjoying going through these Psalms which seem to cover every possible spiritual issue known to man. This is Part I, covering the first 24 verses.)
In this Psalm, we find out much from the rather lengthy title:
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:
This Psalm is found virtually word-for-word in 2 Samuel 22—and we do not know if the Psalm was taken from 2 Samuel 22 or vice versa. In the preceding chapters in 2 Samuel, David was on the run from a jealous King Saul—even though that had taken place years ago—and served as one of the last psalms that David had sung. Since his sin with Bathsheba, David did not have a day’s peace. Yes, God had forgiven him, but the consequences still stood.
Yet, when David spoke of this, this was before the time with Bathsheba. It was a time when David was still faithful and loyal to God and to the king, yet he was still under duress.
1. Our affection for God stems from God’s protection (1-6).
In regards to God’s people, He is in the search and rescue department. We could also say He is in the search and recovery department. David noted the “cords of death” and the “torrents of destruction” around him from his enemies. The sting of death was around us, and we were dead (Ephesians 2:1)—but God makes us alive. He hears our cry in the counsels of heaven, and takes the sting of death away from us. Christ is the ultimate refuge and strength, from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet.
2. We may hearken back to the Exodus and the Entry as an anchor for deliverance (7-19).
When God delivered the Israelites, He made His presence known at the Red Sea and on Mt. Sinai—so much so that Moses trembled (Hebrews 12:18-21). When God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, He parted the Jordan River so they could pass. At all points, enemies oppressed—those from outside and even inside the camp. God delivers those who are His, as He showed in Christ when He delivered His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21-23).
3. God protects those whose heart chase after His (20-24).
A heart surrendered to Christ is a heart cleansed by His righteousness, continually sanctified by His grace. Like David, we will fail, and fail greatly. But how do we react to failure before the Father? Psalm 51 shows that David understood that, even though he sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Samuel 11), he knew that, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (51:4). Faith in Christ is accompanied by a daily repentance for sin because of a heart that loves Christ because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). When God bestows forgiveness in Christ, the blame is gone, the guilt is removed, and restoration is complete. Chase after the One who first chased after you!