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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Psalms 18

Verses 1-50

Psalms 18:1-50

The eighteenth psalm has a long title to it. It is to chief musician. It is a psalm of David, the servant of Jehovah, who spake unto Jehovah the words of this song in the day that Jehovah delivered him from the hand of all of his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said,

I will love thee, O LORD, my strength ( Psalms 18:1 ).

So that is all an introduction to the psalm, which is written in the Hebrew, just the introduction to the psalm. This evidently is the time when he was pursued and he escaped the hand of Saul and went down to Achish, because he speaks about dwelling, in the latter part, of dwelling among the heathen and all, and no doubt it was as he had fled from Saul to the Philistines so that Saul would not pursue him any more. And so now safe from the pursuit of Saul, having been delivered by the hand of God from Saul.

"I will love thee, O Lord my strength."

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress ( Psalms 18:2 ),

He had been actually been running in that rocky wilderness area around the Dead Sea, Engedi, and those rocky cliffs, hiding in those caves and using the rocks as a place of defense and as a fortress. "The Lord is my rock and my fortress,"

and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; he is my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower ( Psalms 18:2 ).

All of these are defensive weapons of war. God is all of it. He is my defender. He keeps me. He is my high tower. He is my buckler. He is my strength.

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: and so shall I be saved from my enemies. For the sorrows of death encircled me, the floods of ungodly men ( Psalms 18:3-4 )

All of the troops of Saul, he came out with several thousand men pursuing David. And David looked over there and saw all these guys and he knew they were after my hide. And they had encircled David. He was trapped. "The sorrows of death encircled me."

The sorrows of hell encircled me about: the snares of death prevented to me. And in my distress I called upon the LORD, I cried unto my God: and he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even unto his ears ( Psalms 18:5-6 ).

Now, out of His temple. The temple was not yet built in Jerusalem, but he is talking about God's temple in heaven.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also the hills moved and were shaken, because of his anger. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: and coals were kindled by it. And he bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub [one of those angelic beings], and did fly: and he did fly upon the wings of the wind ( Psalms 18:7-10 ).

And all of this is very beautiful poetic and picturesque speech. Of course, this was a song written in Hebrew type of poetry. Very descriptive and very beautiful indeed.

In verse Psalms 18:16 he said,

He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has recompensed me ( Psalms 18:16-20 ).

Verse Psalms 18:25 ,

With the merciful you will show yourself merciful; with the upright man, you will show yourself upright; with the pure you will show yourself pure; with the forward you will show yourself forward. For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but will bring down the high looks. For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all of those that trust in him. For who is God save Jehovah? And who is a rock save our God? It is God that girded me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. He teaches my hands to war, so that the bow of steel is broken by my arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of my salvation: and thy right hand hath held me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great ( Psalms 18:25-35 ).

Interesting phrase, "Thy gentleness hath made me great." And he goes on and tells how the Lord had subdued his enemies that were rising up against him. And then he, in verse Psalms 18:43 ,

Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; you have made me the head of the heathen ( Psalms 18:43 ):

He had actually gone been down in Ziklag, in the area of the Philistines, and he was the head of the city of Ziklag,

and of people whom I have not known shall serve me ( Psalms 18:43 ).

Now this, of course, David was speaking of himself, but it became prophetic of Jesus and the gospel going unto the Gentiles.

The LORD liveth; blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted ( Psalms 18:46 ). "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 18". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.