Tuesday, March 09, 2021

2021.03.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 18:1–6

Read Psalm 18:1–6

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom was this Psalm delivered (superscript)? By whom was it written? What is David called here? To Whom did he speak this Psalm? In what day? What will David to Yahweh (Psalm 18:1)? What eight things does he call Him in Psalm 18:1-2? What will David do to Yahweh in Psalm 18:3? Why? With what result? What had surrounded David (Psalm 18:4a)? What had the floods of Belial done to him (verse 4b)? What else surrounded him (Psalm 18:5a)? What confronted him (verse 5b)? What did David do (Psalm 18:6a)? How else does he describe this (verseb6b)? What kind of pronoun does he use there (and, really, throughout this passage)? What did Yahweh do (verse 6c)? From where? How else does he describe this (verse 6d)?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from Psalm 18:1–6, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Jesus, Lover of My Soul

This Psalm covers pretty broad territory: “the day that Yahweh delivered David from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” David had many enemies! And the significance of the Psalm is underscored by its nearly full repetition at the conclusion of the David narrative in 2 Samuel 22. 

So, we can probably conclude that this Psalm gives us a general response to any and all of God’s deliverances of us—most supremely so as a response to that greatest of all deliverances, God’s delivering us from sin and death and hell in His Anointed, the Lord Jesus Christ! There are several striking things about how the Spirit carries David to lead off the Psalm in the explosion of praise that we have before us. 

One striking feature is the use of the first-person, singular, possessive pronouns. My strength. My rock. My fortress. My deliverer. My God. My strength. My shield. The horn of my salvation. My stronghold (all from Psalm 18:1-2!). My God (Psalm 18:6)! This is the nature of saving faith. It is not only sure that God is a certain way; it is sure that He is that way toward me. This God, Who is like this, is mine!

A second striking feature of these opening verses of Psalm 18 is what they reveal about God’s purposes in our distress. “In my distress I called upon Yahweh” (verse 6a). The attributes of God’s power and wisdom and mercy and faithfulness are all especially displayed when we are in distress, and we find Him to be all those marvelous things unto us that Psalm 18:2 lists.

Another striking feature is the nearness to us of our transcendent God. He is “in His temple” (verse 6c), yet this same verse illustrates His nearness to us, even from there, in three ways. He hears my voice. I make noises on earth, and He listens to those noises from heaven. My cry comes before Him. Long after the compression wave dissipates, the cry is still before the throne of heaven. 

“even to His ears”—Who, of course, has no ears. And yet He uses that language to teach us that our having ears is designed to communicate to us something about how God Himself pays attention to us, and how near unto Him our cries come: as if they are entering His very being in a way analogous to how sound waves “shake us by the tympanic membrane.”

Finally, we see that crying out to God and praising God are ordained by Him as instruments unto our deliverance (Psalm 18:3). He chooses to work in response to our praying and our praising. Truly, our God is worthy to be praised for many reasons, and these are some of those reasons that He highlights in the opening verses of this Psalm.

What distress do you find yourself in? What attributes of God are displayed in His nearness to you and His hearing you? How are you called to bring glory to Him in these attributes?

Suggested songs: ARP18A “I Love You Lord” or TPH450 “Jesus, Lover of My Soul”


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