Psalm 18 Second Continued
Psalm 18:35 “Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.”
Thy protection, which hath been to me like a shield to defend me.
“Thy right hand hath holden me up”: Kept me from falling into those snares and mischiefs which mine enemies designed, and I feared I should fall into.
“And thy gentleness hath made me great. Or, meekness, as the Hebrew word gnanvah, is translated (Num. 12:3; Psalm 45:4; Zech. 2:3). That is, thy clemency, whereby thou hast pardoned my sins, which otherwise would have undone me. And hast mitigated thy corrections which I have deserved. Or, thy grace and benignity, which thou hast manifested to me, and exercised in and for me.
Just as Abraham had faith, and it was counted unto him as righteousness, we must have faith to receive salvation.
Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Faith is believing in things you cannot see.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
The Right Hand of God is Jesus Christ our Lord. We will find that our help is God. He is holding us up to keep us from falling. Even when we do not realize He is helping us, He is holding us up. Gentleness and longsuffering go hand in hand. God is not only gentle, but patient with us. He is waiting even now to come back, so that a few more will be saved.
Psalm 18:36 “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.”
The idea here is, “Thou hast made room for my feet, so that I have been enabled to walk without hindrance or obstruction. So in (Psalm 31:8), “Thou hast set my feet in a large room.” The idea is, that he was before straitened, compressed, hindered in his goings, but that now all obstacles had been taken out of the way, and he could walk freely.
“That my feet did not slip”: The meaning is that he had been enabled to walk firmly; that he did not limp. Before, he had been like one whose ankles are weak or sprained; now he was able to tread firmly. The divine favor given to him was as if God had given strength to a lame man to walk firmly.
To me this would mean that God had made his step sure. We know that the path to righteousness is narrow and straight, so it does not mean that God has widened the path. It just means that God made his feet sure in the path.
Verses 24-30 and 37-38: These verses should not be taken out of context, making David look like an arrogant boaster. (As in verses 25-36 and 39-50), both David and the community, although responsible for living with integrity within the covenant relationship, are fully dependent on the resources of God to do so. Therefore, his “boasting” is biblical since it is ultimately in the Lord (Jer. 9:23-24).
Psalm 18:37 “I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.”
He had not only routed them, but had enough strength to pursue them. He had not only pursued them, but he had been enabled to come up to them. The idea is that of complete success and absolute triumph.
“Neither did I turn again”: I was not driven back, nor was I weary and exhausted, and compelled to give over the pursuit.
“Till they were consumed”: Until they were all either slain or made captive, so that the hostile forces vanished. None of my enemies were left.
We know that there was a literal meaning of this verse, because David did defeat his enemy. I believe that looking at this from the spiritual standpoint would mean: withstand the devil, and he will flee from thee.
Psalm 18:38 “I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.”
I have so weakened them, so entirely prostrated them, that they were not able to rally again. This does not refer so much to wounds inflicted on individuals in the hostile ranks as to the entire host or army. It was so weakened that it could not again be put in battle array. The idea is that of successful pursuit and conquest.
“They are fallen under my feet”: I have completely trodden them down, a common mode of denoting entire victory (Psalm 119:118; Isa. 25:10; Lam. 1:15; Dan. 8:13; Luke 21:24).
We know that God was with David in battle. This is like a victory cry over the enemy.
Psalm 18:39 “For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.”
See (Psalm 18:32). That natural strength, courage and valor, which David had, were from the Lord. And so is the Spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind, which believers have. And likewise, that strength which Christ, as man, had and used in his combat with the powers of darkness (see Psalm 80:17).
“Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me”: As the psalmist ascribes his strength, so he attributes his success to the Lord. Who likewise subdues the sins of his people, and all other enemies of theirs. And who also makes the enemies of his Son his footstool (Psalm 110:1).
It was a dangerous thing to come against the anointed of God then, and it is a dangerous thing now to come against the anointed of God. The next Scripture shows how even David was fearful to come against the anointed of God.
1 Samuel 26:9 “And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?”
Psalm 18:40 “Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.”
Either to slay them, or to trample or put a yoke upon them. Or rather the sense is, thou hast made them to fly before me. To turn their necks or backs unto me, as the word is used (in Joshua 7:8). And it is expressive of an utter rout and vanquishing of them.
“That I might destroy them that hate me. They not being able to face him and stand against him.
Notice again, that David is quick to give God the credit for putting his enemies in his hand. Not only did he put them in David’s hand, but actually placed their neck in David’s hand.
Psalm 18:41 “They cried, but [there was] none to save [them: even] unto the LORD, but he answered them not.”
It is (in 2 Sam. 22:42); “they looked”. That is, they looked round about, here and there, to see if there were any near at hand to help and deliver them. They cried in their distress, and because of the anguish of their spirits, and for help and assistance, but in vain. They cried, as Jarchi thinks, to their idols, as Jonah’s mariners cried everyone to their god. And, if so, it is no wonder there was none to save. For such are gods that cannot save. But it follows.
Even unto the Lord, but he answered them not; as Saul, for instance (1 Sam. 28:6). So God deals with wicked men, often by way of righteous retaliation (see Proverbs 1:28).
These people had an opportunity to surrender to God, but did not. Now it is too late for them to cry out to Him. When Jesus comes in the clouds for the believers, it will be too late for those who rejected Him completely. We must accept Jesus as our Savior, because we believe, not because we see Him with our eyes.
Psalm 18:42 “Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.”
They being given up by God, and he not answering to their cries. The phrase denotes the utter ruin and destruction of them, and represents their case as desperate and irrecoverable. Being, as it were, pounded to dust, and that driven away with the wind. Just as the destruction of the four monarchies is signified by the iron, clay, brass, silver, and gold, being broken to pieces, and made like the chaff of the summer threshing floor. And carried away with the wind, so that no place is found for them any more (Dan. 2:35).
“I did cast them out as the dirt of the streets”: Expressing indignation and contempt. (In 2 Sam. 22:43); it is, “I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did, spread them abroad”. Which also denotes the low and miserable condition to which they were reduced. And the entire conquest made of them, and triumph over them (see Isa. 10:6; compare with this 2 Sam. 12:31).
The defeat of our enemies will be as the defeat of David’s enemies, if we continue to serve the Lord. They were completely destroyed.
Psalm 18:43 “Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; [and] thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people [whom] I have not known shall serve me.”
From the contentions, seditions, and tumults of my own people under Saul. And during the civil war raised by Abner in favor of Ish-bosheth, when the tribes strove with each other. And from the invasions of the Philistines who attacked him soon after his accession to the throne.
“Thou hast made me the head of the heathen”: Of the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Syrians, and others, who were become tributary to him by his victories over them (see 2 Sam.; Psalm 8:1; 1 Chron. chapter 18).
“A people whom I have not known”: Whom I had no acquaintance with or relation to, not even by thy promise or grant. That is, barbarous and remote nations.
“Shall serve me”: Shall be subject to me.
This is a prophetic Scripture, speaking of Jesus being accepted by the heathen. You see, the Hebrews as a whole rejected Jesus as their Savior, and He turned to the Gentiles. The Gentiles did not have God’s law and had been classified as heathen. Jesus came and changed all of that. Christianity was offered to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. When the Jew rejected Jesus, Christianity was offered to whosoever would believe. Jesus is the Head of all believers in Christ, Jew and Gentile. The most believers are the Gentiles however. The very law that the Jew revered so was their downfall. They had a form of godliness, but did not understand the grace of God.
Psalm 18:44 “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.”
At the fame of my name and victorious arms. Or upon the first tidings of my coming toward them.
“They shall obey me”: They shall instantly comply with my will, as soon as they understand it.
“The strangers shall submit themselves unto me”: The Hebrew is literally, the sons of the strangers shall lie unto me. That is, shall submit themselves to me. Not willingly and cheerfully as they will pretend, but only out of fear and by constraint. By this it appears that this is spoken with reference to David, and not (as some would have it), to Christ. Because Christ’s people are a willing people (Psalm 110:3), and those whom he conquers freely obey him.
1 Corinthians 1:21 “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
In the study of Jesus’ days of ministry upon the earth, you will find that the simple people readily accepted Him. They were called strangers, because the natural Jew was thought of as being knowledgeable of the laws of God. The law of God was given to the children of Israel on the way to the Promised Land. They had used the law to benefit themselves. At the time Jesus walked on the earth, it had been changed in meaning to fit the High Priest in power at the time. Had they really understood their law, they would have recognized Jesus as Messiah. The Gentiles, who had never been allowed to study the law, accepted Jesus quickly when they heard Him preach.
Psalm 18:45 “The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.”
Like the leaves of trees in autumn, when they fall and perish. To which hypocrites and nominal professors are compared (Jude 1:12).
“And be afraid out of their close places”: Their towers and fortified places, or the rocks and mountains to which they betake themselves for shelter. But, as not thinking themselves safe enough, through fear and dread, come out of them (see Micah 7:17).
To stay strong in the Lord, we must get our strength from the Lord. We Christians have been grafted into the Tree of Life. As long as we are connected to the Tree, we will have the strength to remain with God. If we get separated from the tree, we will soon wither and die. I am sure Jesus felt that fading away, when He was so alone on the cross.
Psalm 18:46 “The LORD liveth; and blessed [be] my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.”
Life is the essential attribute of Jehovah. He is the Living God in contrast to the dead idols of the heathen. The experience of David’s life is summed up in these words. It had been to him a certain proof that God is the living, active Ruler of the world (compare Joshua 3:10).
“And blessed be my rock”: Let him have all blessing and praise, for he is worthy of it.
“And let the God of my salvation be exalted”: God was the God of his salvation in a temporal sense, saving him daily from his many enemies. And in a spiritual sense, being the contriver, author, and applier of it to him. On which account he would have him be exalted both by himself, and in the high praises of his people. Ascribing the whole of salvation to him, and giving him all the glory of it. Some render the words, “the God of my salvation is high”. He is the Most High God, the High and Lofty One that inhabits eternity, and is above all others. In (2 Sam. 22:47), the words are read, “and exalted be the God of the Rock of my salvation”.
Praise God! There was a resurrection morning. THE LORD LIVETH. We should never cease praising the Lord Jesus Christ for what He has done for us. We should exalt His name forever. The God of my salvation is Jesus. He is my Rock, He is my Lord, He is my Savior. Liveth means to continually live. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. We are not like those who worship idols (nothings). We serve the living God.
Psalm 18:47 “[It is] God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.”
Or “gives vengeance unto me”, or “for me”. Vengeance only belongs to God, and he repays it for and in behalf of his people. Private revenge is not to be exercised by any. Public vengeance on delinquents may be exercised by the civil magistrate, to whom God gives power and authority to exercise it (Rom. 13:4). As he did to David, as king of Israel. Though the phrase rather seems to design the victories which he obtained over his enemies. Which were punishments to them, vengeances inflicted on them, and owing to God. So, the acceptable year of the Messiah’s coming, and the time of his people redeemed by him, is called the day of vengeance of our God, both on his and their enemies (Isa. 61:2).
“And subdueth the people under me”: The Edomites, Moabites, and others (as in 2 Sam. 8:1). Or the Gentiles under Christ (see notes on Psalm 18:39).
We need not be concerned with our enemies. God is our avenger.
Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
All people are controlled by the Lord. He is our Creator and has absolute control over His creation.
Psalm 18:48 “He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.”
From all my foes.
“Yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me”: So that I triumph over them. Instead of being subdued by them, and trampled under their feet, I am exalted, and they are humbled.
“Thou hast delivered me from the violent man”: Margin, as in Hebrew, man of violence. The man characterized by injustice and wrong. The man who endeavored to overcome and subdue me by force and arms. There is probably a special allusion here by the psalmist to Saul as his great enemy. But perhaps he had also in his eye others of the same kind. And the meaning may be that he had been delivered from all of that class of people.
David was victorious over all of his enemies. Saul was not spared in this. God removed Saul and made David king. One of the things I see in this, is the fact that Satan thought he had defeated Jesus, but Jesus rose again. The very act that Satan thought would do away with Jesus was Jesus’ greatest victory. On the cross, Jesus defeated sin and on resurrection morning death was no more.
Psalm 18:49 “Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.”
In a sort of Old Testament mission statement, David proclaims God’s glory “among the Gentiles” and calls them to faith (2 Sam. 22:50; Rom. 15:9).
“And sing praises unto thy name”: Which is comely for the saints to do. And which Jesus Christ himself did, in the great congregation of his disciples, and among the Gentiles. By his apostles, and others, on the account of the conversion of them.
Jesus was not only in the lineage of David, but was also David’s LORD. David was not only thankful to the LORD for his victory, but proclaimed it as a witness to the heathen.
Psalm 18:50 “Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.”
“Great deliverance giveth he to his king”; for he is King of kings and Lord of lords; but that is made king by Him, as David was. Who did not usurp the throne, but was anointed king by the appointment of God. And was placed by him upon the throne. To whom he gave great deliverance from his enemies, or “magnified salvations” to him. Which were great in kind, and many in number. And as Christ is, whom God has set as his King on his holy hill of Sion, against whom the Heathen raged, and kings and princes set themselves. But he is delivered from them all, and saved from the power of death and the grave. And ever lives to reign over, protect, and defend his people. In (2 Sam. 22:51), it is stated that he is “the tower of salvation for his king”. With which compare (Prov. 18:10).
“And showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore”: Which may be understood either of David literally, who was the Lord’s anointed, and to whom God showed mercy in various instances. And then by his seed is meant the Messiah, who was of his seed according to the flesh. Or of the Messiah, whose name signifies Anointed. And by his seed are meant his spiritual seed. All the elect of God, who are given him as his children, to whom he stands in the relation of the everlasting Father. And as mercy is kept with him for evermore (Psalm 89:28). So, it is shown to them in regeneration, in the forgiveness of their sins, and in their everlasting salvation.
The concluding verse is another royal messianic affirmation of the Davidic Covenant in (2 Sam. Chapter 7).
Just as David was delivered from his enemies, we were delivered from our enemies. This is speaking of the Christians when it speaks of his seed. This Psalm was written by David, king of Israel, but certainly is prophetic and looks to the spiritual David as well. His mercy and grace is our hope.
Psalm 18 Second Continued Questions
- What must we have to receive salvation?
- What was counted unto Abraham as righteousness?
- What does Romans 10:9 say, I must do to be saved?
- Without ________ it is impossible to please Him.
- Who is the Right Hand of God?
- What does (thou hast enlarged my steps under me) mean?
- What does the author think is the spiritual meaning of verse 37?
- Why did David not come against Saul?
- David is always quick to give ______ the credit for his victories.
- We must accept Jesus as our Savior, because we believe, not because of what?
- What happened to David’s enemies?
- What does verse 43 prophesy of?
- Why were the Gentiles classified as heathen?
- Who was Christianity first offered to?
- The world by _________ knew not God.
- It pleased God by the foolishness of _____________ to save them that believe.
- Who readily accepted Jesus?
- Had the Jews really understood their law, they would have recognized Jesus as __________.
- Why should we never cease praising The Lord Jesus Christ?
- Who is the God of my salvation?
- What does liveth mean?
- Who is my Rock?
- What are idols?
- What 2 things did Jesus defeat on the cross?
- What 2 Davids’ do we see in verse 50?