Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Psalm 18 - Worthy to be Praised

And here we are – at one very poignant place in Scripture for me – Psalm 18. Let me say, I loved all the Psalms we studied through this week, but the bulk of my time was spent in chapter 18.

What picture of our God was drawn in your mind as you read it?

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.
Psalm 18:1-2

There is a ton to meditate on right in those two verses! But David goes on for 50 VERSES about who our God is and what He is like! It’s stunning!! And verse 3 confirms that David was thinking the same thing…

I call upon the LORD (my rock, fortress, deliverer, God, rock, refuge, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold!) who is WORTHY TO BE PRAISED, and I am saved from my enemies!

David had enemies that were visible and sought to take his life. They pursued him relentlessly and for no reason except jealousy and hatred.

Who are your enemies? Eph. 6:12 reminds us that our enemies are NOT flesh and blood! So, who are they? Maybe your enemy takes the form of a temptation, or an illness, or a worldly attitude that plagues you. Maybe your adversary works to trip you up through a neighbor, a co-worker, or even a family member. But what does Psalm 18 teach about the God we serve?

Victory begins with praise! Praise for who you know God to be! Look again at the first two verses. Who does David know God to be? For these reasons, he calls the Lord WORTHY of praise! Suffering and hardship notwithstanding – GOD WILL SAVE!

…He heard my voice …my cry reached His ears

David moves on to paint a breathtaking picture of his God who came to rescue him – Think about it…
The earth reeled and rocked. The mountains trembled and quaked BECAUSE HE WAS ANGRY!
Smoke coiled up from His nostrils, devouring fire poured from His mouth, and glowing coals flamed out from Him!
He bowed [inclined, bent] the heavens and came down. Thick darkness paved the way under His feet. He flew, riding on a cherub, coming swiftly on the wind. Thick storm clouds surrounded Him like a cloak. Hailstones and coals of fire broke through His clouds in unbearable brightness. His war cry thundered through the heavens – the sound of the Almighty’s voice spewed still more hailstones and fire! His arrows flew like lightning – with speed and surety to rout the enemy! The force of His breath split open the sea and laid it bare!

What image of God does that description evoke in your mind?

Why was God so angry? What was His righteous intent?  Consider verses 16-19…

He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.

The Lord swooped in, scooped up His beloved child, rescuing him – because the Lord delighted in him.

This whole chapter feeds my girl-need for a knight in shining armor, and the Lord meets that need emphatically, in terrible reality, over and above my imagination! In temptation and trouble, I feel the tension of David’s suffering and his inability to free himself. He NEEDS to be rescued. In his distress, he called on the only One who could rescue him. And his Rescuer swept in like a flood!!

The last line of verse 20 nearly always moves me to tears – “He rescued me because He delighted in me.”

Sister, the Lord delights in you. You are His! What battle are you facing right now? Where do you long to see your Knight swoop in to save? What do you learn from these verses about the God you serve? In your distress, call on the Lord!

There’s something else about Psalm 18 though, that you should notice. God does swoop in to rescue, but He also equips you and me for the battle!

For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God – His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.
For who is God but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? – the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand supported me, and Your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed.
I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.
For You equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. (verses 29-29)

Your God doesn’t just swoop in to rescue, He puts a sword in your hand and teaches you to stand and fight! Make no mistake – HE gets the victory! And He gives you and me strength to stand in faith and bend the bow that fires the arrow that destroys the enemy! He gives us a part in His victory! Why? I don’t know except that it delights Him. He delights in His children. He delights in restoring us to the purpose for which He created us. He delights in proclaiming His name before us as He did for Moses on the mountain…


We heard in the Word this past Sunday that we are called to put to death the deeds of the flesh – THAT’S the battle our God is training us to fight! How do we mortify the flesh? Start by gazing on, filling your mind with, loving and looking to THIS GOD WHOSE WAY IS PERFECT! Let Him train your hands for war as you seek Him in His Word! Call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised!

Start by listening to the sermon from Sunday – Christian Assurance Part 2 – Romans 8:12-17 – at https://www.parksidebible.com/teachings/video

How has our God revealed His name to you this week, sister? I long to hear!

I am praying always for you, dear sister! Stand fast and see the salvation of your GOD!

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