“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” (Psalm 18:2).
Psalm 18 is a song of victory, proclaiming God’s greatness and might in battle. According to the superscript of the psalm, David wrote it after God had delivered him from all his enemies, including King Saul. In light of that context, we can experience secondhand just how awesome our God is and how He rescues those who are obedient to Him.
At the beginning of the psalm, David shares how he was about to die. The specter of death haunted him wherever he went, its cold fingers on his shoulder. But when he cried out to God, the LORD answered him. And what a way in which He answered! David describes God as descending from heaven on a cherub, shrouded in dark clouds. The earth quakes before Him, smoke and fire pour from Him, and thunder and lightning flash from His hand. Everything about Him is terrifying as He pours out His wrath against those who dare touch His anointed one. He snatches His beloved out of the very cords of death and sets him in a safe place, where no one can harm him. “They confronted me in the day of my calamity,” David writes, “but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me” (vv. 18-19). It’s interesting how David says that God rescued him because God delighted in him. It was on no merit of his own; it was entirely God’s initiative.
The psalm continues to relate all the ways in which God has helped and supported David. He has given him victory over his enemies, sending them all fleeing in fear. He has enabled David to do impossible things, for nothing is impossible with God. He has made even foreign nations come trembling before David, paying homage to him. This man who was once forced to run for his life is now feared by hundreds of peoples.
How else can David end his psalm but with praise? “The LORD lives,” he exults, “and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation” (v. 46). Our God is so great! He hears the cries of those who are in distress, who are near death, who are oppressed by those who hate them. And when He hears, He comes down in His righteous wrath, pouring out fire and thunder against the evildoers and snatching His faithful ones out of their peril and shepherding them to safety. He is God, and there is no one who can stand against Him!