Psalm 18

Psalm 18

1. Introduction

The Psalms are prayers, praises and prophecies set to music. In other words they are sacred instructional songs. In Hebrew the Book of Psalms is called the Book of Praises.

David was “a man after God's own heart,” (1 Samuel 13: 14) not because he was perfect, or exceptionally intelligent or generous; but because he recognized and appreciated the true worth of Israel's God Jehovah and was not ashamed to testify to this knowledge in public. David was totally won over to Yahweh's side. His songs are a record of prayer and praise amidst the most trying circumstances. So enthusiastic was he about his Maker that he personally composed some 73 psalms! You can be certain that for the past 2500 years somewhere on earth a song by king David is sung every Sabbath day. David is the greatest song writer this world has ever seen. Let us study one of his songs.

David’s Threefold Declaration
Psalm 18: 1: “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.”
Verse: 3: I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
Verses: 21: For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God...
24: Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

2. Yahweh's Amazement

Did you know that there are some things which surprise even the Almighty? To be sure He knows the end from the beginning; but even so, there are a few things which greatly surprise Him: He wonders! He is astonished!
Isaiah 59: 16:“And he saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no intercessor...

The Almighty was amazed when He discovered that no one was praying, no one was interceding - for themselves, for their families or for their countries. Are you amongst those who surprise Yahweh? To be sure you all believe in Him. You believe in prayer; but do you intercede?
An unknown Christian wrote in the best book on prayer I have ever read:
“Let us never forget that the greatest thing we can do for God or for man is to pray. For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work.
Prayer is omnipotent; it can do anything that God can do!
When we pray God works. All fruitfulness in service is the outcome of prayer.”

(The Kneeling Christian. page 17. Zondervan Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)

3. The Circumstances / Prayer / Answer

Before we can pray with real effect, we must know something about the Most high, His character, His plans, His power and His personal interest in us. This comes with study and experience. Psalm 18 teaches us several lessons.

A True Believer

Psalm 18: 1: I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.”
Verse: 3: I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

His Plight

Verses: 4: The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
5: The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

What David did when in trouble

Verse: 6: “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”

Yahweh’s Response

Verses: 7: Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.
8: There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
9: He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
10: And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
11: He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
12: At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
13: The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
14: Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
15: Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy 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 them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.
18: They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.
19: He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.”

4. Reasons For Success?

Why was David's prayer successful? Why did Yahweh answer him in such a dramatic way when millions pray with little or no effect? We know that God has no favourites (Acts 10: 34-35). Then why did He answer David (a type of Christ) in this astonishing way? The answer is given in verses 20-24. Let us study these verses because they contain the formula for answered prayer.

Secret No.1 ... David obeyed Yahweh’s law

Verses: 20: “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he 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 mine iniquity.
24: Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.”

Secret No.2 ... David was Humble before Yahweh

Verses: 25: With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
26: With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
27: For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
28: For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
29: For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Success in prayer comes in direct proportion to the supplicant's personal holiness. In other words, the more holy, righteous and humble a person is, the more likely is he to have prayers answered. (See Sermon Notes sermon 256 and sermon 257.) Also note that the Most High reacts to people according to this unchanging principle mentioned in:
Galatians 6: 7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Let no one imagine that Yahweh has abandoned His methods of reacting to man's attitudes, or that He now responds in a new way. You may be sure that though He is a Person of infinite mercy and goodness, He still reacts to our prayers according to our attitudes and our willingness to forsake sin and do His will. The above verses prove this.

5. Blessings from Yahweh

In addition to answering prayer, Yahweh bestows many blessings on His saints. These blessings are listed below:
Strength and Perfection:
Psalm 18: 32: It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
Spiritual Stability and Honour:
Verse: 33: He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
Victorious in Battle:
Verses: 34: He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
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.
36: Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
37: I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
38: I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
39: For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
40: Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
41: They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
42: Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

Peaceful Authority:
Verse: 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.
Divine Vengeance:
Verses: 47: It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
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.

We Christians have absolutely no need to avenge ourselves. The Most High will take care of our enemies in His own time and in His own way. Let everyone note that:
Hebrews 10: 31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

6. In View of These Facts

In view of these eternal truths, what should we do? Listen to king David:
Psalm 18: 49: Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
50: Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

7. Praise

Verses: 46: The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted...
49: Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.


In the Son’s Name — For the Father’s glory.
Max W. Mader