If the Lord allows you to live a long life, what will you be able to tell others about at the end of a lifetime of trusting the Lord? Would you take credit for your accomplishments or give tribute to the Lord? Most commentators believe David wrote this Psalm toward the end of his life and the Psalm itself said David was singing these words concerning how the Lord delivered him from his enemies and King Saul. Psalm 18 is almost an exact replica of 2 Samuel 22 and they show David’s great love for the Lord and the Lord’s power in delivering David because of His great love for him. David sets the tone for the entire Psalm by saying, “I love You, Lord” in the very first verse. Won’t the words, “I love you” change everything! The one thing that sets Christianity apart from all other religions is a love relationship between God and man.
David was a mighty warrior who humbly gave full credit to the Lord for his victories during the most difficult times of his life. In this Psalm, we see David’s heart, and that’s not something warriors are known for putting on display. Brawn, yes. Affection, no. Most mighty warriors instantly and solely take credit for their conquests, but not David. David reminds us the Lord helps us when we call on Him (vv. 1-19), blesses those who follow Him (vv. 20-27), and strengthens people who surrender to His ways (vv. 29-45). David ends this Psalm with a doxology, a hymn of giving glory to the Lord (vv. 46-50). In other words, David loved God, obeyed Him, grew in Him, and all this brought about more praise. What a life! What if our lives were summed up by saying we loved, obeyed, grew, and glorified the Lord? What a testimony! That’s a life well lived for God!
When we express our love to God, He expresses His love to us. That’s because love is reciprocal…or it should be. Love always illustrates itself as well. Love includes words, but is followed by loving actions. It’s not just words, and it’s not just actions…it’s both! This is how you recognize true love! It’s easy to see David’s love expressed in these 50 verses of Psalm 18 and God’s love in return. Some see God as just a powerful being, but He is love as well. David richly described the power of God as a rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, salvation, stronghold, horn, and refuge (v. 2), but he also described the heart of God as attentive (v. 6), faithful, blameless, and pure (v. 25). Although God is mighty enough to viciously destroy (vv. 6-15), He also lovingly supports and rewards those who seek Him (vv. 16-19). Think about this truth for a moment: David said God dealt with him according to his righteousness and purity (v. 20). Sometimes we want God to do our bidding regardless of our responsibility of holiness. “So what if I haven’t followed You Lord, do what I say” is often the mantra of many prayers. David followed the Lord’s law and stayed away from sin (vv. 21-23), therefore he was able to repeat, “The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight” (v. 24).
Faith and love in the Lord not only changes our situations (vv. 20-27), it also changes us (vv. 29-45). David’s outward ability as a warrior was greatly affected by his inward devotion as a worshiper. Verses 29-45 describe how David’s hands, arms, feet, and even ankles were strengthened by the Lord. It’s amazing how we grow in the Lord foremost from the inside out, not the outside in. David realized his strength as a warrior came from his relationship with the Lord. David wasn’t boasting about how strong his extremities were, but how strong his God was! It is interesting how David names himself in third person in the last verse, almost like it’s too good to be true for God to personally help David so much across his entire life. So good it is hard for David to take it all in that he is the one God did all this for! Surely this must be another David, but it is him! God is that good! When you start adding up all God has done for you, it will leave you overwhelmed, grateful, and speechless! How loving is our God!
1. Can you list at least ten ways God has blessed you?
2. Do you give credit to the Lord for your successes?
3. What relationship does inward devotion to the Lord have with outward strength and stamina?
Lord, help me remember all my success is because of Your great love for me. Thank You for strengthening, equipping,rescuing, and rewarding me. I don’t deserve it and sometimes it feels like You should be doing all of this for someone else. I am humbled and overwhelmed by Your great love for me. And because of that, I will glorify and praise Your name. Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.
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