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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 18

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The First Book of Psalms (c 1-41)
Message: Gratitude For Deliverance (v 1-15)

Psalms 18 Commentary

(18:1-50) The Lord is Praised - This psalmist almost duplicated of 2 Samuel 22. It may have been written toward the end of David's life when there was peace among the people of Israel. In it God is praised for his glorious works and blessings through the years.

(18:2-3) God's Limitless Protection - God's protection of his people is limitless and can take many forms. David characterized God's care with five military symbols. God is like (1) a rock, an immovable foundation that can't be shaken; (2) a fortress or place of safety where the enemy can't follow; (3) a buckler, or shield, that comes between us and harm; (4) a horn of salvation because God has the strength and power to save; and (5) a tower high above our enemies. If you need protection, look to God.

(18:3) The Cherub - A cherub is a mighty angelic being. One role played by the cherubims was that of guardian. They guarded the entrance to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and were symbolically embroidered on the curtain of the most holy place (Exodus 26:31-33). Two cherubims of beaten gold were also part of the ark of the covenant, guarding God's presence in the most holy place (Exodus 25:18-22). The living creatures carrying God's throne in Ezekiel 1 may also have been cherubims.

(18:3) God is the Highest - The "Highest" was an important designation for David to make. Pagan idol worship was deeply rooted in the land, and each region had its own deity. But these images of wood and stone were powerless. David was placing the Lord alone in a superior category: He is by far the Highest.

(18:6) Many Waters - Do your troubles, like many waters," threaten to drown you? David, helpless and weak, knew that God alone had rescued him from his enemies when he was defenseless. When you wish that God would quickly rescue you from your troubles, remember that he can either deliver you or be your support as you go through them (18:18). Either way, his protection is best for you. When you feel as though you're drowning in troubles, ask God to help you, hold you steady, and protect you. In his care, you are never helpless.

(18:30) Our Shield and Buckler - Some people think that belief in God is a crutch for weak people who cannot make it on their own. God is indeed a buckler (shield) to protect us when we are too weak to face certain trials by ourselves, but he does inot want us to remain weak. He strengthens, protects, and guides us in order to send us out into an evil world to fight for him. Then he continues to work with us because the strongest person on earth is infinitely weaker than God and needs his help. David was not a coward; he was a mighty warrior who, even with all his armies and weapons, knew that only God could ultimately protect and save him.

(18:32-34) Strength For the Battle - God doesn't promise to eliminate challenges; instead, he promises to give us strength to meet those challenges. If he gave us no rough roads to walk, no mountains to climb, and no battles to fight, we would not grow. He does not leave us alone with our challenges, however. Instead, he stands beside us, teaches us, and strengthens us to face them.

(18:40-42) A Man of Mercy - David was a merciful man. He spared the lives of Saul (1 Samuel 24:1-8), Nabal (1 Samuel 25:21-35), and Shimei (2 Samuel 16:5-12) and showed great kindness to Mephibosheth (2 Samuel9). In asking God to destroy his enemies, David was simply asking him to give the wicked the punishment they deserved.

(18:43-45) Victory - David's great power had become legendary. God had given him victory in every battle. The book of 2 Samuel records victories over the Jebusites (5:6-10), the Philistines (5:17-25; 8:1-2), Hadadezer of Zobah (8:3-4), the Syrians (&5-6; 10), the Edomites (814), and the Ammonites (12:26-31). In addition, the king of Tyre had sent supplies and workers to help David build his palace (5:11). But David did not attribute his victories to himself. He fully realized that his position had been given to him by God, with the purpose of blessing God's people (1 Chronicles 14:2).

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Defeating Our Enemies

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Psalm with Chapter 18. In our text today, we see a theme of Gratitude for deliverance and victory. We see David stating that the only sure way to be delivered from surrounding evil is to call upon God for help and strength. In applying, we see that the Lord is our rock in an ever-changing evil world. The enemy is more powerful than us in our flesh but no match for the Christ in us. Knowing this truth, we can walk in the face of the wicked. Knowing the Lord is everything stated in today's Psalm. How about you? Do you allow the Lord to fight the enemy in your Life? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that the Lord is our Rock, An ever-present help in time of need, willing and able to defeat our enemies.


Psalm 18

Psalm 18

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

 2The 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.

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

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

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

 6In 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

 14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

 15Then 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.

 16He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

 17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

 18They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

 19He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

 20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

 21For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

 22For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

 23I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

 24Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

 25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

 26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

 27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

 28For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

 29For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

 30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

 31For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

 32It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

 33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

 34He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

 35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

 36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

 37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

 38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

 39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

 40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

 41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

 42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

 43Thou 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.

 44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

 45The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

 46The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

 47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

 48He 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.

 49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

 50Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.