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Psalm 18

 

Where does your strength come from?  David knew where his strength came from, it happens to be the same place where ours should come from The Lord!

 

Psalm 18 is third longest psalm     Déjà vu  It is found almost word for word in 2 Samuel 22

David’s fight with Saul is over, a time of peace with no wars   

In Israel no political fighting between the north and south

Peace reigns and David’s heart is full of gratitude

David has a lead a life of dependence on God

This is the background of Psalm 18

The message is simple-“Lord you are my strength”

Verses 1-3

David doesn’t wait to say the most important thing, “I love you, Lord, my strength”

Imagine being the strain of being a king, a tiring task

David looks to God to give the strength a warrior and a king needs

David uses these words to describe his Lord:

·       Rock =solid and firm, unmoved by the things around it, not a little rock but a huge one

·       Fortress=a place of strength that provides defense from attack

·       Deliverer= a rescuer from trouble and danger

·       Refuge=a place of safety

·        Shield=tool to deflect the blow of the enemy

·       Horn=animal horn, a symbol of power and strength

David is dependent on the Lord to give him strength to continue

We are the same, we try to live Godly lives the world wears us down, beats us up in spiritual battle

We come on Sunday to be renewed for the Lord heals and comforts

Truth-we may allow these wounds when we do it our way and now we are taking refuge again

We must lift each other up, not tear each other down

We call on the one who saves us from our enemy           

Verses 4-5

Death ensnares us, like seaweed entangles the legs of a swimmer and pulls him down

Look at the vivid imagery that David uses to describe our Lord

Verses 6-19

The Lord hears our desperate cries and responds

·       Earth trembles, mountains shaken to foundations from His anger

·       Nostrils Smoke, fire and burning coals from His mouth

·       Dark Clouds under His feet He parts the heavens

·       Soars on the wings of the wind

·       Dark clouds, Hailstones, a Mammoth  Storm

·       Lightening like arrows to rout our enemy

·       He parts the water with His breath and pulls David out of deep waters

God has a way of dealing with our enemies, provided we let Him.   If you are like me there are too many times where I wage the war.  And being the foolish man that I can be, I do it without His protection over me.  Have you been fighting wars and battles on your own strength?  Slide Philippians 4:13   But I can do very little on my own

Verse 19   He rescues David, He rescues us & puts us in a secure place

“He rescue me because He delights in me”     Have you realized how much He delights in you?      

We must remember that God loves us just as much as He loves David, a love so deep and strong that He gives us salvation through Jesus.  Jesus overcame the cords of death providing a way for us to overcome death as well.  Natural death will come to all of us, even David.  But death no longer holds us, we will rise with Jesus to eternal life when we make the Lord Jesus our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer, our Refuge, our Shield, our Stronghold.   Even in the midst of our troubles we must remember that the victory is assured, that we will overcome the world.   1 John 5:4-5

It is our faith in Jesus Christ that allows us to overcome the world.

When we recognize this what should our response be?  To Praise Him with all that we have in us!

Verses 20-24     

Was David righteous?   Was he blameless?    Did he keep himself from sin?

No, David like any other man born of a human father sinned but  when he did he sought after God to restore the relationship.

In his commentary on the Psalms James Johnston says,

“David was indeed a man after God’s own heart.  Throughout the book of 1 Kings, David is the yardstick-the Gold standard-against whom the rest of the kings of Israel are measured.  Yet David was not without sin. 1 Kings 15:5

“For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life-except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” 

When David sinned with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, he started by breaking the 10th commandment-he coveted another man’s wife.  Then he broke the seventh commandment by committing adultery and the sixth commandment by having Uriah killed. This was stealing (the eighth commandment), and he lied too (the ninth commandment).  The affair dishonored his parents (the fifth commandment) and brought shame on the name of God (the third commandment). “

 

David sinned, just as we do.  However, David was always quick to return to God and again follow His ways.  That is something many of us still struggle with, how to admit our guilt before God and be restored. 

Have you ever committed an offense before God and refused to acknowledge it?  Our stubborn and proud hearts struggle to admit when we have done wrong.  Have you ever noticed what seems to happen soon after that?  A trial of some kind enters our lives that either moves us back to God or leads to greater separation.  God loves us and wants to be the refuge we turn to but a stubborn and unrepentant heart will lead us to disaster.   God allows the trial and He allows us to choose what we will do, return to Him or go it alone. 

 

The heart of the Psalm is found in verses 25-36

This is that moment where David and us worship the Lord and speak of the character, love, and strength of the Lord and how he is actively involved in our lives as believers.  

Verses 25-31

·       He is Faithful & Blameless

·       He is Pure

·       He is Shrewd with the devious    Jacob was a deceiver who stole a birthright and God dealt shrewdly with him, hiding the fact that Jacob’s son Joseph was alive until the proper time came to save Jacob

·       He Humbles the haughty-proud and arrogant-they place themselves over others for their own gain and fame

·       He is the Light of our life

·       He gives us Strength and ability

·       He is perfect and flawless, shields those seeking refuge

 

David attributes everything to God, all his strength and abilities.  It is the place of worship that we all must come to.  Are you living your life praising God?  Do you tell about the amazing and awesome things the Lord has done in your life? Or are you taking credit for the strength given to you from Him? 

Verse 31 “For who is God besides the Lord?  And who is the Rock except our God?”  

 

Verses 32-36   

The Lord has prepared David for the work of a warrior and king  

·       Gives him strength and security

·       Feet like a deer for agility

·       Powerful arms to pull a bronze bow

·       God shields and sustains David

·       Broadens his path so he won’t stumble or fall

 

No one can compare with God! David knew this and we should too.  But it seems like too many times we forget who He is and how Great He is and how powerful He is.  Do you take the time to daily reflect on the magnificence of God?  Do you look and see His glory shining around you in His creation and His people?  If you can this week, I want you to observe someone you know to be a follower of Christ and look for God’s glory around this person.  It may be shown in an act of kindness or a selfless act that blesses someone else.  Learn to look for the glory of God and you may become the glory of God.

 

God has trained David up

Made him strong and agile for battle

Prepared the path so David he would not stumble.  He equips us too 

 Ephesians 6:10-13  

God takes care of those who are committed to His Son.

Through Jesus we are equipped with what we need, we have the power to fight the battle just like David did.  

2 Timothy 3:16-17 

Ephesians 2:10

 

Verses 37-45 

David speaks of what he has done to his enemies.  He has:

·       David pursued and overtaken them

·       He destroyed and crushed them

·       His enemies cry for help but no one saved them

·       He beat them “as fine as windblown dust”

·       They serve and cower before David

·       “They all lose heart and coming trembling from their strongholds.”

 

David acknowledges that it was God who made David strong and humbled his adversaries

It was God who made the victories possible

The Lord equips us for battle

He gives us everything we need to not only fight but to win!

The great news is that He keeps His promises, like the one He makes in Deut 31:6:

 

Like David we must hold fast to the promises of God and depend on Him and not on ourselves when the battle comes our way.

As we move into the last verses David is exuberant about what the Lord has done for him.  He wants to shout it to the roof tops!

 

Verse 46-48    “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!”

Do knowing what God has done for you make you want to shout His praise?

David knows that everything he has, every opportunity, when he was just the youngest of 8 brothers, the least likely of them all to be a king, has come from God.  As David’s life nears its end, after all the battles, all the trials, the treachery that David faced He gives thanks to God for all of it.  How about you?  Are you in that place today of thanking God for the both the good and the bad?  The joy and the pain?  

Let me close with the final verses from the Psalm which David uses to once again praise the God who has protected him in times of trouble and loved Him with an unfailing love just as He has with us.

Verse 49-50