Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Psalm 18 - David Can't Praise God Enough!




I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and I have been saved from my enemies.
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.

This is the fourth longest psalm in the bible, counting some 50 verses.  The context is David is giving God extravagant praise for delivering him from death, at the hands of King Saul. Before David became King, he spent 20 years as a fugitive after the young shepherd boy was called into service of God. 

David starts this psalm of praise by telling God he loves him. Other versions translate it, "I will love you!" "This was a triumphant declaration made it a time of great triumph.  David wasn't bitter against God, as if he said, "Well, it's about time You delivered me." Instead he was grateful that the years of trouble had done something good and necessary in his life." - Guzik

In verse two, it is almost as if David doesn't have enough words to describe what God means to him.  He says, "My rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my shield ...."  The word "rock" meant several things in David's time.  A rock provided much needed shade from the sun and heat.  A rock had cracks and crevices that could be used to hide out from out from enemies.  David used them in this way a lot.  Finally, it was a firm place to put one's foot, as opposed to the sinking sand.  It is in this sense that Jesus gives the apostle Peter his name, which meant "the rock"  Later Jesus he would be the rock on which he would build his church.

David gives us a great example of how to pray by giving thanks and praise to God.  He had experienced God in a deeply personal way, and could not help but offer God praise in the most vivid terms.  Why was David so grateful and filled with praise?  Because David put all of his trust in God and God was faithful to and delivered him from death. 

We often talk about a prayer time, maybe we should have a "praise time"! What do you think? 

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