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 Reflections on Psalm 18

Ps. 18:1-2 (NKJV) –
I will love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


Commentary by C. H. Spurgeon:

“'My God;' this is all good things in one. There is a boundless wealth in this expression; it means, my perpetual, unchanging, infinite, eternal good. He who can truly say ‘my God,’ may well add, ‘my heaven, my all.’ ‘My strength;’ this word is really ‘my rock,’ in the sense of strength and immobility. My sure, unchanging, eternal confidence and support……a rock for firmness and immutability. ‘In whom I will trust.’ Faith must be exercised, or the preciousness of God is not truly known; and God must be the object of faith, or faith is mere presumption.”

Ps. 18:4-7, 16-18 (NASB) –
The cords of death encompassed me,
And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me.
The cords of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the LORD,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice out of His temple,
And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
Then the earth shook and quaked;
And the foundations of the mountains were trembling
And were shaken, because He was angry.
He sent from on high,
He took me; He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the LORD was my stay.

Commentary by Timothy Cruso (1657-1697):

“Let no appearing impossibilities make you question God’s accomplishment of any of His gracious words. Though you cannot see how the thing can be done, ‘tis enough if God hath said that He will do it. There can be no obstructions to promised salvation which we need to fear. He who is God of this salvation and the Author of the promise will prepare His own way for the doing of His own work, so that ‘every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low.’ Luke 3.5. Though the valleys be so deep that we cannot see the bottom, and the mountains be so high that we cannot see the tops of them, yet God knows how to raise the one and level other. Isa. 63.1. ‘I that speak in righteousness (or faithfulness) is mighty to save.’ If anything should keep back the kingdom of Christ, it would be our infidelity; but He will come though he should find no faith on the earth. See Rom. 3.3. Cast not away your confidence because He delays His performances. Though providences run cross, though they move backwards and forwards, you have a sure and faithful word to rely upon. Promises, though they be for a time seemingly delayed, cannot be finally frustrated. Dare not to harbour such a thought within yourselves as Ps. 77:8; ‘Does His promise fail forevermore?’ The being of God may as well fail as the promise of God. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in His time, which is always the more convenient season. Accuse Him not of slowness who hath said, ‘I come quickly,’ that is, He comes as soon as all things are ready and ripe for His appearance. ‘Tis as true that the Lord is not slack concerning His promise’ (2 Pet. 3:9), as that He is never guilty of breaking His promise. Wait, therefore, how long soever He tarry; do not give over expecting: the heart of God is not turned though His face be hid; and prayers are not flung back, though they be not instantly answered.”

Ps. 18:23 (NASB) –
I was also blameless with Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.

Commentary by Henry Dove:

“Whilst He assists our weakness, He does not intend to encourage our laziness, and therefore we are also ‘to labour, and strive according to His working, which worketh in us mightily.’ as the apostle expresses it, Col. 1:29.”

Ps. 18:31 (NKJV) –
For who is God, except the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?

Commentary by C. H. Spurgeon:

“Where else can lasting hopes be fixed? Where can the soul find rest? Where is stability to be found? Where is strength to be discovered? Surely in the Lord Jehovah alone can we find rest and refuge.”

Ps. 18:32 (YLT) –
God! who is girding me with strength,
And He maketh perfect my way.

Commentary by C. H. Spurgeon:

“Then let us ascribe all the glory to Him who girt us with His own inexhaustible strength, that we might be unconquered in battle and unwearied in pilgrimage.

Ps. 18:35 (NKJV) –
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;

Commentary by C. H. Spurgeon:

“Above all, we must take the shield of faith, for nothing can quench Satan’s fiery darts; this shield is of celestial workmanship, and is in all cases a direct gift from God Himself.”

Ps. 18:35 (NKJV) –
Your right hand has held me up,

Commentary by C. H. Spurgeon:

“We are such babes that we cannot stand alone; but when the Lord’s right hand upholds us, we are like brazen pillars that cannot be moved.”

Ps. 18:44 (NKJV) –
As soon as they hear of me they obey me;
The foreigners submit to me.

Commentary by C. H. Spurgeon:

“In many cases the gospel is speedily received by hearts apparently unprepared for it. Those who have never heard the gospel before, have been charmed by its first message, and yielded obedience to it; while others, alas! who are accustomed to its joyful sound, are rather hardened than softened by its teachings. The grace of God sometimes runs like a fire among the stubble, and a nation is born in a day. ‘Love at first sight’ is no uncommon thing when Jesus is the wooer. He can write Caesar’s message without boasting, ‘Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)’; His gospel is in some cases no sooner heard than believed.”

(All quotations taken from “The Treasury of David” by C. H. Spurgeon.)


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