Psalm 18 and Easter

rescuePsalm 18 is one of my favorite psalms. The psalm is a picture, of sorts, for us today of the search and rescue mission of God that was seen on the cross. It shows up in our Bible reading today in the context of David’s deadly hide and seek game with Saul. His life is genuinely in jeopardy, and in the midst of it God delivers David from Saul.

Psalm 18 could be broken down like this:

v. 1-3 – David praises God, with great proclamations of God’s characteristics.

v. 4-24 – David describes God’s intense search and rescue mission, saving David from death. We see the hopelessness of David’s situation, and then God’s unstoppable power of deliverance.

v. 25-29 – God’s love for His people and correction of the selfish is described as David rejoices in his deliverance.

v. 30-45 – We see how God equips the one who was in jeopardy, empowering him for conquest.

v. 46-50 – David praises God for his power and victory.

This psalm is “bookended” with praise of God. In between, we see a movement of God deliverance and empowerment (David was lost à David was rescued à David was empowered à David was unleashed to do God’s work). It’s a powerful psalm.

As you read this psalm today, know that God’s unstoppable passion to rescue and empower David is the same unstoppable love He has for you. Praise Him today for this great love, love which was best seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus, love that was unleashed so that you could be free and in relationship with God.

 

Psalm 18 (NLT)

I love you, Lord;
you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.

The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave[a] wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
10 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,[b] he flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
11 He shrouded himself in darkness,
veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
12 Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
and rained down hail and burning coals.[c]
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded
amid the hail and burning coals.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused.
15 Then at your command, O Lord,
at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.

16 He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
18 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
19 He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
22 I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
23 I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
26 To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
27 You rescue the humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
28 You light a lamp for me.
The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.

30 God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
31 For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
32 God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
35 You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
36 You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.

37 I chased my enemies and caught them;
I did not stop until they were conquered.
38 I struck them down so they could not get up;
they fell beneath my feet.
39 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
40 You placed my foot on their necks.
I have destroyed all who hated me.
41 They called for help, but no one came to their rescue.
They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
42 I ground them as fine as dust in the wind.
I swept them into the gutter like dirt.
43 You gave me victory over my accusers.
You appointed me ruler over nations;
people I don’t even know now serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they submit;
foreign nations cringe before me.
45 They all lose their courage
and come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he subdues the nations under me
48     and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.
50 You give great victories to your king;
you show unfailing love to your anointed,
to David and all his descendants forever.

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