The inscription to Psalm 18 describes David as a “servant of the LORD”. It says that David “sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all of his enemies and from the hand of Saul”.
With powerful poetic language, David tells his personal story of rescue and victory over the enemy as the chosen King over God’s people. This psalm, or song, was then sung in corporate worship by God’s people as a reminder and a celebration that God will act on their behalf.
This psalm declares:
God will rescue His people.
God will equip His people to walk blamelessly and to fight the enemy.
God will give His people victory over the enemy.
God will use His people to proclaim His name to the nations.
While this psalm has a historical context, it is also for us today. In its fifty verses, Psalm 18 provides imagery and words we can use to call on God to rescue us, equip us, give us victory, and give us purpose.
Need words to praise God for who He is?
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved by my enemies. (v 1-3)
Feel like circumstances are squeezing the life out of you? You are not alone. David felt that too. Do what he did: cry out to God.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears. (v. 4-6)
Wonder what it’s like when God comes to the rescue?
Read verses 7 through 15 to get a picture of what it’s like when God parts the heavens to fight on behalf of His people.
Feel like you are drowning? God will rescue you.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters. (v. 16)
Feel overpowered? God will rescue you.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me? (v. 17)
Feel like the ground is crumbling under you? God will rescue you and support you.
They [my enemies] confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support. (v. 18)
Feel confined and forgotten? God will rescue you.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me. (v. 19)
Feel trapped in darkness? God will rescue you.
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light. (v. 28)
Feel weak? God will equip you.
With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall. (v. 29)
Feel lost? God will use His Word to show you the way.
As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect. (v. 30-32)
Feel powerless against the enemy? God will equip you and give you victory.
He trains my hands for battle…
You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great. (v. 34-35)
You armed me with strength for battle;
you made my adversaries bow at my feet.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes. (v. 39-40)
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people…(v. 43)
Wonder why you are here? God’s rescue has a purpose beyond our own well-being. We are rescued so that we can praise God among the nations.
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
His is the God who avenges me…
who saves me from my enemies.
You exalt me above my foes;
from violent men you rescued me.
Therefore, I will praise you among the nations, O LORD;
I will sing praises to your name. (v. 46-49)
God will do for you what He did for David.
God will rescue you.
Cry out to Him.
God will equip you to walk blamelessly and to fight the enemy.
God will give you victory over the enemy.
God will use you to proclaim His name to the nations.
Father, you are my Rock, my strength, my shield, my salvation, my stronghold. I love you. Thank you for the words of the psalms that remind me that I can cry out to you when life is overwhelming. Thank you that you will rescue me, you will equip me, and you will give me victory so that I can be a part of your purpose to take your name to the nations. Amen.
Read more about Psalm 18 here.