Thursday, August 22, 2013

Psalm 18

Today's scripture is Psalm 18. Go here to read it in your preferred version. (I know this is a long one, but hang with me!)

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The 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.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
In 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.
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
15 Then 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.
16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.
19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
24 Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.
25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
28 For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
31 For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?
32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.
42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
43 Thou 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.
44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
46 The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
47 It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
48 He 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.
49 Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

I will love you, my God. You are my strength!

He is my rock. Literally my "stronghold" or my "security". He is my fortress. Again, my "stronghold". He is my deliverer. My "safety", my "security", my "escape". He is Jehovah, the one true God. My strength. The one I can trust. My buckler, or my shield. The horn of my salvation. He is my salvation and the truth of that salvation. He is my high tower. My "refuge", my "stronghold", my "retreat".

I will call upon God who is so worthy of praise! Because of God and His works, I can be saved. Not of anything I could do.

Look at what God has delivered me from. A lot of this scripture applies to David personally but we all have things God has saved us from. We all have reasons why God should not love us. Yet he continues to deliver us and rescue us. 

Verse 4 - David was depressed - perhaps even suicidal at some point in his life. He was afraid of men even though he knew they were nothing compared to God. But David knew (verse 6) he could still call on God and his cries would be heard by God.

We can see the power of God in nature - the earth shakes and the hills move.

We can see His anger in action here. God is as a consuming fire. The coals are people who are just fanning those flames. But when we call on God, He Himself will bow the heavens and come to us.

Verse 11 - He makes darkness His secret place. To us, God is physically invisible. But when He shows himself to us the clouds pass and we see this brightness that is God.

God is thunder. He is hail and lightning. We see His power in these forms of nature.

Verses 15-19 - Thank God, when I am drowning, He will take me and deliver me. Draw me out from the water. He is my "stay". My comfort. He keeps me from sinking. He delivers me because He delights in me.

Verse 20 - Yes, God will reward me according to my righteousness. And according to the cleanness of my hands. Know what is great? I am clean because of what Jesus has done for me! So when God looks at me, He does see someone who is righteous!!

Verses 21-24 - David feels that he truly has kept the ways of God and not departed from them. David put God's commands first. He feels he was upright (innocent) and kept himself from sin.

Verses 25-26 - When we are merciful, God loves to show mercy to us. When we are pure, God will show us how pure He is. But when we are devious, or shrewd, God will show us He can be this way as well.

Verse 27 - God will save the poor/humble/lowly, but those who are haughty and pride-filled will most likely not even ask for help.

Verse 28 - God, you are my light. You are the one who takes away my darkness.

Verse 29 - With God's help I can get over any obstacle.

Verse 30 - God's way is perfect. His word is proven and tested. He is my shield. 

Verse 31 - There is no god except the one true God. He is the only true rock, too.

Verse 32 - It is God who gives me strength. Clothes me in strength, and shows me the right way to go.

Verse 33 - He sets me aside... separate. He has made me unique.

Verse 34 - He teaches me to run in certain circumstances but also knows I need to be equipped for battle too.

Verse 35 - God has given me the shield of salvation. He holds me in His hand. Lets me lean on His strong hand when I can't hold myself up. When God is gentle and patient with me, it makes me become a better person.

Verse 36 - God has made sure I won't slip as I walk on my daily path. He widens my path so I won't teeter so much.

Verses 37-40 God will save me from my enemies. This could be something other than people. Lusts, temptations, anxieties, doubts, fears, etc. We should loathe these things until they are under our feet. Destroy them. Ask God to help subdue this thing against us.

Verse 42 - When we rely on God, our troubles and crises can turn "as small as dust". He will give us strength to cast those things out of our lives and into the streets.

Verse 46 - The Lord lives. Blessed be my rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted!

Verses 47-48 - God will avenge me. There is no need for me to try to do that. He will deliver me. He will help me rise above any of this mess on earth.

Verses 49-50 - I will give thanks to God and sing praises to Him because He has delivered me and shown mercy to me.

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