Psalm 18: My God Is My Rock (Part 2)
David was a warrior, a man of war (2 Sam. 17:8). His life was filled with one battle after another. The Psalms written up to this one were written during the time he faced some enemies. However, in 2 Samuel 22 we are informed that David was at the end of his life and his battles were over. As David surveyed his life he rehearsed what God had done for him throughout his life and his battles.
David began this Psalm with praise to God for helping him to triumph over his enemies. Have you ever thought of yourself as a soldier in the army of the Lord? Every Christian is called to be a soldier in the army of God. Soldiers are called to counter evil with the overwhelming good that flows from a heart in love with God. (2 Timothy 2:3–4; Eph. 6:10-18). Christians are in a spiritual warfare. The devil, the world, and the flesh are our real enemies. These spiritual enemies are out to destroy the effectiveness of the believer. As we win battles over these enemies we should feel as David felt regarding God and praise Him also.
The dominate theme in this Psalm is that God is our Rock. There are seven metaphors in all in this Psalm. The most important one seems to be David’s use of the metaphor, the Rock. It appears in verse 2 and also in verses 31 and 46. When we reflect on God’s faithful care for us, we ought to be filled with the same type of love that David proclaimed for the Lord: an enthusiastic love that we cannot contain and keep to ourselves. To fulfill the Great Commandment to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength, we need to declare our love boldly and unreservedly for God (Mk. 12:30).
When we are confronted by our enemies, the devil, the world, and the flesh we need to call upon God, our Rock to deliver us. Just as David learned that God would help him, we too need to realize that not only has God promised us help He will deliver us.
God will deliver us from our enemies (vv. 3-5)
God will hear your cry -- - move heaven and earth to help you (vv. 6-15), This is a poetic description of God’s omnipotent power to help us.
Observe verses 16-19: “He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. 19 He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.”
Why did God delight in David? David answers this question in verse 20-24: “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 blameless before Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore, the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.”
This section clearly teaches that any teaching that takes away our personal responsibility to respond to God’s love in obedience is false. God’s true grace leads to action in the form of obedience to His commands. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13).
I want to close this part of the Psalm emphasizing that God, as our Rock, is superior to any foundation man has invented. At the time of death Atheists have realized that their atheism is a failure for help and support. For example:
Voltaire famous atheist: “I am abandoned by God and man; I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months’ life.”
Thomas Hobbs political philosopher “I say again, if I had the whole world at my disposal, I would give it to live one day. I am about to take a leap into the dark.”
David Hume, atheist philosopher, famous for his philosophy of empiricism and skepticism of religion, he cried loud on his death bed “I am in flames!” It is said his “desperation was a horrible scene”.
Thomas Payne the leading atheistic writer in American colonies: “Stay with me, for God’s sake; I cannot bear to be left alone, O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? “I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. 0 Lord help me! Christ help me! …No, do not leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.”
Sir Thomas Scott, Chancellor of England “Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty.”
This great Psalm reveals to us that God delights in you! He loves and cares about you. You are especially important to Him and we need to remember this when we feel overwhelmed by the troubles and problems of this life. Is God your Rock?