Psalm 18: 1-12….Battle words!

I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

Comment: This is a lengthy Psalm of the warrior, fighting King. A warrior who here describes his armour. With poetry you must honour the intended meaning of the writer but you are entitled to let a number of pictures float through your mind. David uses imagery which is in many ways irrelevant to the soldiers of today. Let me mention a few things that wander through my mind.

  • When he used the word ‘rock’ was he thinking about finding shelter from a searching enemy behind or in a rocky place? Or possibly was he thinking of the ‘pebble’ which began his soldiering career as he fought Goliath?
  • Far away from the modern use of the word ‘horny’, for the people of those days it had a much more mighty and majestic meaning. It was used to carry the oil poured over his head when proclaimed ‘king’ by Samuel at the command of God or when the Levites were chosen by God as the priestly line; it was used as the ‘trumpet’ of the times to blast out, for all to hear, the message of victory over, of salvation from, the enemy.
  • He saw God as He came to his rescue when he was at the very end of his ability and about to be wrapped up in the binding cords of death and thrown into the grave of defeat and death.
  • And he uses the words of tempestuous geographic events to describe God entering into the battle scene. There are still another 38 verses to go in the Psalm, we shall see where he takes us in his wander down memory lane!

Prayer: Help me to remember with thankfulness Your goodness to me throughout my life, my Saviour God.

One thought on “Psalm 18: 1-12….Battle words!

  1. Thank you Barry for your comments on this Psalm. There are many references in the Psalms to God being our rock, our refuge, our fortress, our deliverer, our shield, our defender, and indeed He is when we trust in Him and hold onto Him, particularly when we are going through difficult times. An old hymn says, “The Lord’s my rock in Him I hide, a shelter in the time of storm.” He is there for us whatever we may be going through. God bless you.


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