Today's Devotions

Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire +

    It is doubtful if, in 1972, those attending one of Jim Cymbala's worship services in a run-down Brooklyn church imagined Read More
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Don  Carsonhttp://www.esvbible.org/Leviticus+15/

http://www.esvbible.org/Psalm+18/

http://www.esvbible.org/Proverbs+29/

http://www.esvbible.org/2+Thessalonians+3/

DAVID WROTE PSALM 18 after the Lord had delivered him from the hand of Saul and all his enemies.

It is a joyous, grateful psalm. Some of the same themes we found in Psalms 16 and 17 are repeated here. But among the new elements in this psalm are the following.

First, the language of this psalm abounds in colorful nature metaphors (especially in vv. 7-15) — a fairly common feature of Hebrew poetry. When God answered, "the earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook"; "smoke rose from his nostrils," and fire from his mouth. "He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet": (18:7-9); alternatively, "He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind" (18:10).

"The LORD thundered from heaven," his voice resounded; "he shot his arrows ... great bolts of lightning." The "valleys of the sea were exposed" at the blast from the Lord's nostrils (18:13-14).

This is marvelous. Just because these are not the metaphors we commonly use today does not mean we cannot appreciate them, or grasp what the psalmist is telling us. God's power is ineffable; he controls even nature itself, which simply does his bidding; the most terrifying displays of power in nature are nothing more than the results of his commands. The metaphorical language can extend to how the Lord rescued David: "he drew me out of deep waters" (18:16) — though of course David was not in danger of literal drowning. But it must have felt like it more than once, when Saul and the army were hot on his trail.

Second, while many lines in this psalm describe in wonderful, sometimes metaphorical language how God has helped David, others picture God strengthening David to enable him to do what he had to do. "With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall" (18:29). "It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great" (18:32-35).

Perhaps God does not strengthen us to make war. But in a theistic universe, we confess God gives us strength to write computer programs, to sort out administrative problems, to change yet another diaper, to study the Greek text of the New Testament, to bear up under insult.

"The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!" (18:46).
Leviticus 15; Psalm 18; Proverbs 29; 2 Thess. 3

Reflections to Consider

  • Corporate Spirituality

    Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship Solitude, community and ministry are three areas requiring balance and integration in the Christian walk. The Read More
  • Companion of the Souls

    When the two disciples recognised Jesus as he broke the bread for them in their house in Emmaus, he "vanished Read More
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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Warfare Spirituality +

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free +

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
  • Deliver us from Evil +

    Spiritual warfare is something that few Christians, regardless of their denomination, are accustomed to thinking about, let alone engaging in. Read More
  • Baby, you're a rich man! +

    The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is Read More
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