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Read Psalm 18

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

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.

In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
    and the foundations of the mountains shook;
    they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
    consuming fire came from his mouth,
    burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
    dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
    he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
    the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
    with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
    at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
    I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
    and have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
    to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
    but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
    with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
    I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
    they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
    you humbled my adversaries before me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
    and I destroyed my foes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
    to the Lord, but he did not answer.
42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
    I trampled them like mud in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
    you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
44     foreigners cower before me;
    as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
    they come trembling from their strongholds.

46 The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
    who subdues nations under me,
48     who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
    from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing the praises of your name.

50 He gives his king great victories;
    he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
    to David and to his descendants forever.

Go Deeper

In Psalm 18, we see David sing praises to the Lord after his deliverance from the hand of his enemies and specifically from the hand of King Saul. David praises God and sings of his love for the Lord as he affirms the fact that God is his rock, fortress, and deliverer (among many other descriptions). As we’ve already seen so many times in the Psalms, God hears the calls of His people. In our distress, our victories, the highs, and the lows, God hears our cries. 

In verses 16-19, we see God reaching down and pulling David out of his disaster. When he needed help from his enemies, God was David’s support and rescued him from his powerful enemy. On his own, David could not withstand the strength of his foes. In his humility (v.27) and righteous ways (v.20), David is saved by the Lord. Perhaps most amazing in David’s description of the Lord’s work is the fact that God delighted in him. Psalm 18:19 says “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” In other passages we see God takes pleasure in us (Psalm 147:11) and rejoices over us with gladness (Zephaniah 3:17). 

How can this be? Doesn’t God know our sin? Doesn’t He know what we did last night when no one was looking? About the fight at the dinner table where we yelled at each other? When we clicked that link and lingered too long over that image? When we had a few too many drinks and flirted a little too much? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

The beauty is that He knows and He still delights in His children. Sometimes we forget the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). This same God delighted over His children in the days of David, in the New Testament, and this very day. He rescues us not because of anything we’ve done, but He delights in us because of Jesus.


  1. What do you want or need to tell the Lord? Take a moment to pray to God, remembering that He hears you (Psalm 18:6).
  2. Do you struggle with the idea that God delights in you? Why or why not?
  3. God saves the humble, but brings low those whose eyes are haughty (Psalm 18:27). What are some ways you can be more humble today?

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3 thoughts on “Psalm 18”

  1. David gives powerful images of both God’s might/wrath as a consuming fire to sin and the love and tenderness with which He cares for us. We are prone to forget that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He does not change. David offers countless attributes of God’s character: faithful, blameless, pure, shrewd, rescuer, humbler, light-bringer, perfect, pure, a shield, a rock, strength, security, loyal, trainer, & protector. Everything we could ever need or want rests in Him. Today, I’m joining in David’s praise of our amazing God with a heart of devotion and gratitude. “From the rising of the sun to the going down of it and from east to west, the name of the Lord is to be praise.” Psalm 113:3

  2. This is a verse that I had highlighted—-This God—-his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30

  3. I just listened to “I Will Call Upon the Lord.” There are many choices so it’s hard to pick one. A great way to start or listen throughout the day.

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