The Psalms

Psalm 18

David praises God for his manifold and marvelous blessings, 1-50.

1 [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the Servant of the LORD: who spoke the words of this song to the LORD in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul, and he said,]

I will love you, O LORD, my strength.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,/
my God, my strength in whom I will trust,/
my buckler, the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

I will call upon the LORD who is worthy to be praised./
So I shall be saved from my enemies.

The sorrows of death compassed me/
and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

The sorrows of hell encompassed me./
The snares of death seized me.

In my distress I called upon the LORD/
and cried to my God./
He heard my voice out of his temple,/
and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled,/
and also the foundations of the hills moved/
and were shaken, because he was angry.

There went up a smoke out of his nostrils,/
and fire out of his mouth devoured./
Coals were kindled by it.

He bowed the heavens also, and came down,/
and darkness was under his feet.

10 And he rode upon a cherub and flew./
He even flew upon the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his secret place, his pavilion around him,/
dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed/
with hail stones and coals of fire.

13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens,/
and the Highest gave his voice/
with hail stones and coals of fire.

14 He even sent out his arrows and scattered them,/
and he shot out lightnings and completely defeated them.

15 Then the channels of waters were seen/
and the foundations of the world were uncovered/
at your rebuke, O LORD,/
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

16 He sent from above, he took me,/
he drew me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strong enemy/
and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.

18 They attacked me in the day of my calamity,/
but the LORD was my stay.

19 He also brought me forth in a large place./
He delivered me because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD rewarded me/
according to my righteousness./
According to the cleanness of my hands/
he has recompensed me.

21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD/
and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22 For all his judgments were before me,/
and I did not put away his statutes from me.

23 I was also upright before him/
and I kept myself from my iniquity.

24 Therefore, the LORD has recompensed me/
according to my righteousness,/
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25 With the merciful you will show yourself merciful./
With an upright man you will show yourself upright.

26 With the pure you will show yourself pure./
With the perverse you will contend.

27 For you will save the afflicted people,/
but will bring down high looks.

28 For you will light my candle./
The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

29 For by you I have run through a troop./
And by my God I have leaped over a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect./
The word of the LORD is tried./
He is a buckler to all those who trust in him.

31 For who is God except the LORD?/
Or who is a rock except our God?

32 It is God who girds me with strength/
and makes my way perfect.

33 He makes my feet like those of a doe/
and sets me upon my high places.

34 He teaches my hands to war/
so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms.

35 You have also given me the shield of your salvation./
And your right hand has held me up/
and your gentleness has made me great.

36 You have enlarged my steps under me,/
and my feet have not slipped.

37 I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them,/
neither did I turn back until they were consumed.

38 I have wounded them so that they were not able to rise./
They have fallen under my feet.

39 For you have girded me with strength to battle./
You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

40 You have also given me the necks of my enemies/
so that I might destroy those who hate me.

41 They cried, but there was no one to save them,/
even to the LORD, but he did not answer them.

42 Then I beat them as small as the dust before the wind./
I cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43 You have delivered me from the strivings of the people/
and you have made me the head of the heathen./
A people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me./
The strangers shall submit themselves to me.

45 The strangers shall fade away/
and be afraid from their close places.

46 The LORD lives. Blessed be my rock./
Let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47 It is God who avenges me/
and subdues the people under me.

48 He delivers me from my enemies./
You even lift me up above those who rise up against me./
You have delivered me from the violent man.

49 Therefore, I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the heathen/
and sing praises to your name.

50 He gives great deliverance to his king/
and shows mercy to his anointed,/
to David, and to his offspring forever.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 18[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

We all know through what difficulties and almost insurmountable obstacles David came to the kingdom. Even to the time of Saul's death he was a fugitive, and, as it were, an outlaw, and wearily passed his life in fear, amidst many threatenings and dangers of death. After God had, with his own hand, placed him on the royal throne, he was immediately harassed with the tumults and insurrections of his own subjects, and the hostile faction being superior to him in power, he was often at the point of being completely overthrown. Foreign enemies, on the other hand, severely tried him even to his old age. These calamities he would never have surmounted had he not been aided by the power of God. Having therefore obtained many and signal victories, he does not, as irreligious men are accustomed to do, sing a song of triumph in honor of himself, but exalts and magnifies God the author of these victories, by a train of striking and appropriate epithets, and in a style of surpassing grandeur and sublimity. This psalm, therefore, is the first of those psalms in which David celebrates, in lofty strains, the wonderful grace which God had shown towards him, both in putting him in possession of the kingdom, and in afterwards maintaining him in it. He also shows that his reign was an image and type of the kingdom of Christ, to teach and assure the faithful that Christ, in spite of the whole world, and of all the resistance which it can make, will, by the stupendous and incomprehensible power of the Father, be always victorious.

[v.1] - This psalm can be found in 2nd Samuel, ch. 22.

[v.49] - Quoted in Romans 15:9.