Much like the United States’ “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, Psalm 18 is David’s hymn of rejoicing for God’s favor and the victory He gave David over his enemies. For the sake of brevity, I will focus on the first three verses.
Psalm 18:1 – “I will love [love deeply and fervently] thee, O LORD [Jehovah; Yahweh; Eternal, Self-Existent God ], my strength [help].
David expresses his deep love and affection for the LORD in the first phrase of the psalm (18:1) and continues his adoration of the LORD with nine names, nine metaphors that describe the character of the God we serve. David’s first name for the LORD is “my Strength” (18:1b), meaning my help. David was a proven warrior and a great general; however, he knew from experience how much he needed the LORD to be his strength and help.
David expresses his faith in the LORD in Psalm 18:2, painting a verbal portrait of the LORD with eight additional metaphors.
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock [stronghold; cliff], and my fortress [castle; fort], and my deliverer [Savior; Rescuer]; my God [Almighty God], my strength [rock; mountain], in whom I will trust [confide; have hope; seek refuge]; my buckler [small shield], and the horn [strength] of my salvation [liberty; deliverance; prosperity], and my high tower [defense; refuge].
“Rock” and “fortress” are names for the LORD that define His loving protection of His people. David had often sought refuge from his enemy among the rocks and in the caves of the wilderness. I believe those experiences and the safety David had found among the rocks were reminders to David that God wants His children to flee to Him in their hour of trouble and need.
David reminds us that the LORD is also our “Deliverer” and mighty “God” Who can save His people from their enemies by the power of His might. The LORD is like a rock, “my Strength”, and never changes. People change; people come and people go; but the LORD is a sure refuge and is worthy of our “Trust”.
Verse two closes with three names for the LORD that are indicative of a battlefield. The LORD is “my Buckler”, a small shield that protects when an enemy presses hard upon us. A reminder there is no salvation or deliverance apart from the LORD, David confesses, the LORD is “the Horn of my Salvation”. The ninth name David gives to describe the LORD is, “my High Tower”, a fortified walled tower used to ward off the attacks of an adversary; a refuge to Whom saints may flee for safety.
Psalm 18:3 – I will call [call to; cry unto] upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised [boast; glory; sing praise]: so shall I be saved [delivered; preserved] from mine enemies [foe; adversary].
David’s courage had waned, his fear of man had well-nigh overwhelmed him, but his hope in the LORD had proved to be sure. Indeed, the LORD alone is worthy to be praised!
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith