Bought by the Blood

November 1, 2008

Psalm 18

I recently read this Psalm in my Bible reading plan and it totally rocked my world.  I have pasted the Psalm below with my own comments in block quotes.

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

18:1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

It’s neat to think about these three verses in their context.  After David’s deliverance He is praising God and not himself and his ability to survive.  David starts this Psalm proclaiming his love for God.  It is never overrated to start a prayer by proclaiming our love for God.  It’s neat to see how David attributes all of his strength to the Lord and does not take any credit for himself.  God is not some abstract thought to David, but David finds in God his rock, stronghold and deliverer.  This truly is a God worthy to be praised.  In times of trouble David looks to God as his refuge.  In times of trouble David doesn’t call upon his friends or any escapisms, but he calls upon God.

4 The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me; [1]
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.

I am so thankful that in the worst circumstances, I can call upon God and be confident that He hears me.  No matter how bleak things look, and they look pretty bleak for David, God can redeem any and all situations.  If hope was not lost when the Son of God was crucified and was buried in a tomb, then hope is eternal.

7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, [2]
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
14 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

Verses 7-15 remind me of the Mark Driscoll analogy about “Ultimate Fighter Jesus” and how many of us have misconceptions about Jesus.  Here is a quote from Driscoll at the 2006 Desiring God conference on this topic  “One of my favorite pictures of Jesus is not just in the Gospels, though I go there for my example, it is also going to revelation 19 for His authority and there we see Jesus Christ in all of His glory; where He has(and this will offend some of you) a tattoo down his leg that says, ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’  And He is wearing what color?  White!  And what is He going to do?  Declare war on those who do not repent of sin and trust in Him.  That is a Jesus with authority, that is a Jesus who rules and reigns over all nations and creation.   That is the ultimate fighter Jesus, I love that one!  That is a guy I cannot beat up, so I can sing songs to Him without feeling moderately gay, I like that.    Anytime you show up for a fight and the other guy is wearing white, he’s pretty confident how that fight will go.”

16 He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

David had God as his support, so when surrounded by those who hated him and with calamity at every side he could be comforted by the fact that those that were against are no match for Him that was with David.  There is no water to deep for God to draw David out of.  The strength of his enemies paled in the comparison of the one that gives might and power to all living creatures.  God didn’t just remove David from a rock and a hard spot to place with more breathing room, but God put David in broad territories.  I love what Spurgeon says about verse 19, “Rest assured, if we go deep enough, sovereign grace is the truth which lies at bottom of every well of mercy.”

20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his rules [3] were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
24 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

My confidence in any righteousness is because of what Christ has done for me and His blood that covers me.  The only way for my hands to be clean in the sight of a holy God is for Him to see His Son when He looks upon me.  If I am to be blameless and keep myself from guilt, then this can only be done by the help of His Spirit that indwells me and empowers me to live for God’s glory and mortify my flesh.  By God’s grace, I need to be diligent to love His Word, only by doing that can I keep His way and always have his statutes before me.

25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26 with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27 For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
29 For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect; [4]
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

What I sow, that I will reap.  Help me oh Lord to sow to mercy, purity and blamelessness.  If I sow to purity I will see you.  I want to see your perfection and fall deeper in love with you.  I want to reap a harvest of seeing your nature being proven true.  Let my heart not be haughty, but give me a spirit of dependence on you, knowing that I am nothing w/out you and your Word to guide me.  As I see myself as less and have an eager expectation of you increasing my life strengthen me to do the impossible for your name and your kingdom.

31 For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32 the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me, [5]
and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

Greatness is found in gentleness.  The victory is yours to give to me.  The strength that I will have to battle sin and the devices of satan in this world will be given to me from you.  Any blamelessness in me is formed by you working in me.  In you I stand firm and secure.

43 You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.

46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47 the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48 who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.

49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50 Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.

Deliverance is found in you.  You have given me a great salvation, purchased by the blood of your Son at Calvary.  My desire is to bless you and exalt you all my days.  Your love is steadfast and never fails.  The song of my heart is to praise our name for all that you have done for me.

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