Thursday, February 17, 2022

A Song of Praise (Psalm 18)

"I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies" (Psalm 18:3).

When God delivers us from our greatest afflictions, we usually respond with the deepest expressions of love toward Him. Such is the case with David in Psalm 18 when God gave him victory over his enemies. Calvin so aptly expresses the essence of this psalm in his commentary preface that I will quote it in full:

“We all know through what difficulties and almost insurmountable obstacles David came to the kingdom. Even to the time of Saul’s death he was a fugitive, and, as it were, an outlaw, and wearily passed his life in fear, amidst many threatenings and dangers of death. After God had with His own hand placed him on the royal throne, he was immediately harassed with the tumults and insurrections of his own subjects, and the hostile faction being superior to him in power, he was often at the point of being completely overthrown. Foreign enemies, on the other hand, severely tried him even to his old age. These calamities he would never have surmounted had he not been aided by the power of God.

Having therefore obtained many and signal victories, he does not, as irreligious men are accustomed to do, sing a song of triumph in honour of himself but exalts and magnifies God the author of these victories by a train of striking and appropriate epithets and in a style of surpassing grandeur and sublimity. This psalm, therefore, is the first of those psalms in which David celebrates, in lofty strains, the wonderful grace which God had shown towards him, both in putting him in possession of the kingdom and in afterwards maintaining him in it. He also shows that his reign was an image and type of the kingdom of Christ, to teach and assure the faithful that Christ, in spite of the whole world and of all the resistance which it can make, will, by the stupendous and incomprehensible power of the Father, be always victorious.”

That victory was secured on the Cross when Christ purchased salvation for His people by His blood. In the last day, that victory will be complete when all of Christ’s enemies will be destroyed. Our response to God for putting us in possession of the kingdom of heaven and maintaining us in it throughout our lives should be like David’s, filled with reverence, humility, thanksgiving, and love.

Read through this psalm again. List the various ways David praises God (His power, His righteous vengeance, and the like). Write a brief psalm of praise to God modeled after David’s psalm. Build the content of this psalm on remembrances of the work of God in your life.