Psalm 18:1-15 today.
We’re on day 18 of our look at the Psalms and by a happy coincidence we began on August 1st. This has meant that it has been easy to remember where we are as it was Psalm 1 on the 1st, Psalm 2 on the 2nd etc. As Psalm 18 is one of the longest in the Bible, that sequence is about to end, as we take a few days to look at this beautiful Psalm.
Football chants can sometimes be very funny. When the stadium announcer reveals the size of the crowd and mentions the number of away fans present, if the number of away fans is small, I’ve heard the home fans singing; ‘What’s it like to see a crowd?’ and ‘Shall we sing a song for you?’ When away fans become quiet after their team has fallen behind, I’ve heard the home fans sing; ‘You only sing when you’re winning.’ Perhaps it’s a song that could be sung to believers. When all is well or when there has been an obvious answer to prayer we want to sing but when things are difficult it isn’t so easy. The thing is, God is worthy of praise regardless of our situations. Yesterday we saw that David sung when he wasn’t winning and today we will look at the song he sang when he was.
‘I love you, Lord, my strength.’ David’s opening line is wonderful. He had been through some terrifying experiences, been surrounded by his enemies and had lost everything but the Lord had delivered him. It’s often when we go through tough times that we find out who our friends are. Out of David’s trials had come a strong relationship with God. He knew that he was loved by God and could look back and say; ‘I love you Lord.’ Maybe we should do the same!
David invested his life in God’s goodness. Note how he describes the Lord; ‘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.’ Without the Lord, David was nothing. The Lord had taken him from caring for sheep, protected him from powerful enemies and placed him on the throne. The Lord wasn’t one of David’s ‘interests’ or hobbies, he was his everything.
It’s one thing to believe in God and to believe that he is holy and all powerful but David was able to testify that when he was in distress, he called out and the Lord heard him. “From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” When we think of where David had been; on the run, living in the wilderness or feigning madness in the land of his enemies and then think of who God is, it is a miracle that God heard him. He hears your cry too, wherever you are and whatever you have done.
The final part of today’s passage is a description of God acting in power to rescue David. It is beautiful poetic language. It isn’t meant to be taken literally; it’s poetry, but it does reveal a literal truth. God who formed the universe acted in power to save David and if you think that is amazing (and it is), what about this; God heard my prayer. He heard me when I cried ‘Lord save me’ and not only that; in order to save me he sent his own perfect son to die in my place. Now that is a miracle and it’s no wonder we want to sing songs of praise. Hallelujah!
Over the mountains and the sea your river runs with love for me
And I will open up my heart and let the Healer set me free
I’m happy to be in the truth and I will daily lift my hands
For I will always sing of when your love came down
I could sing of your love forever (x4)
(I Could Sing of Your Love Forever – Martin Smith)