April 14, 2014

Tom Lowe



Psalm 18 (KJV)

PART #1: VERSES 1-12



Title: Great Praise from a Place of Great Victory


To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,


1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.





Of all the Psalms this is the one which can be ascribed with greatest confidence to David. It is found, with some variations, in 2 Samuel 22, and the title is largely taken from 2 Samuel 22:1. It consists of a series of triumphant thanksgivings to God, with which the writer connects a highly figurative account of his deliverance from danger (Psalms 18:4-19), an assertion of his own uprightness (Psalms 18:20-24), and a description of the victories he has won by God's assistance (Psalms 18:29-48).


1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

I will love thee, O Lord.   This verse is not found in the song recorded in 2 Samuel 22: the psalm there begins with Psalm 18:2. It is impossible now to determine by whom it was added; but no one can doubt that it is a proper beginning for a psalm that is designed to give an account of God’s many blessings. It produces the feeling which all of us should have when we contemplate how very kind God has been to us.The word translated here as love signifies the most intimate, tender, and affectionate love.

Jehovah the Father is loved for the excellence of His character, because of the works of His hands, of creation and providence; and particularly because of His works of special grace and goodness, and especially because of His love for his people: “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Jehovah the Son is loved because of the loveliness of His person, the love of His heart, and his works of grace and redemption.

Jehovah the Spirit is loved because of his operations of grace; as a sanctifier, comforter, the spirit of adoption, the earnest and pledge of eternal glory.

My strength.  The Lord is the source of my strength. He,Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit; is the strength of all His saints. He is the strength of their hearts and their graces; He strengthens that which He has done for them, and in them; He strengthens so that they can do their duty, bear their cross, and every affliction, and He strengthens them so that they can stand against every enemy of their souls.

2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

The Lord is my rock. The thought expressed by David here as well as in other parts of this verse is that he was beholden entirely to God for his safety. To him, He was like a rock, a tower, a buckler, etc., that is, he had obtained from God the protection which a rock, a tower, a citadel, a buckler provided for those who depended on them. The word "rock" as it is used here has reference to the fact that in times of danger an elevated rock would be sought as a place of safety, or that men would flee to it to escape from their enemies. Such rocks abound in Palestine; and by the fact that they are elevated and difficult of access, or by the fact that those who fled to them could find shelter behind their projecting crags, or by the fact that they could find security in their deep and dark caverns, they became places of refuge in times of danger; and protection was often found there when it could not be found in the plains below. The “high ground” is the preferred position in a battle.

The saints of God can depend on Him for shelter and safety, for resources, support, and divine refreshment; with Him, they are safe and secure, and their hope of eternal life and happiness is built on Him, and therefore, they are safe from all enemies, and from all danger. Christ is called a Rock on all these accounts: “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).

When David said, “The Lord is my rock” he likely meant it in more than one sense. A rock was of help to the ancient king in several ways:

  1. It could provide vital shade, which was always needed in the merciless sun and heat of the desert, as in Isaiah 32:2: “And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”

  2. It could provide shelter and protection in its cracks and crevasses, as in Exodus 33:22: “And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by.”

  3. It could provide a firm place to stand and fight, as opposed to sinking sand, as in Psalm 40:2: “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”

Compare Judges 6:2; Psalm 27:5.

And my fortress. The Lord is my fortress to which I flee for refuge, as the Israelites did to their rocks and strong holds; and as David himself did when banished by Saul, and forced to conceal himself in rocks and caverns, and to retreat for safety to steep hills and precipices rendered by nature almost inaccessible. The Lord has been a fortress to me. The word fortress means a place of defense, a place strengthened so that an enemy could not approach it, or where one would be safe. Such fortresses were often constructed on the rocks or on hills, where those who fled there would be especially safe. The psalmist may have been thinking of those inaccessible heights in the rocky, mountainous country of Judea, where he had often found refuge from the pursuit of Saul. David says, “What those places have been to my body, the Lord has been to my soul.” He was his fortress; a place of strength and safety, fortified by His immeasurable power, where his soul was eternally safe from his enemies. Likewise, the saints of God are kept safe in and by the power of God as if they were in a fortress guarded by a garrison of soldiers: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).

Compare Job 39:28.

And my deliverer. The Lord is a living Protector, delivering or rescuing me from my enemies, not a mere inanimate defensive contrivance. He made the way clear for me to escape, delivering me out of all afflictions, and from all temptations, and out of the hands of all enemies; from a body of sin and death, and, at last, from the wrath to come. This refers to his preservation in straits and difficulties. David may have been thinking about all those times when he was almost surrounded and taken captive, but the Lord made a way for his escape; so that, while they got in at one side of his strong hold, he got out of the other, and so escaped with his life. These escapes were so narrow and so unlikely that he plainly saw that the hand of the Lord was in them.

My God. Above all, the Lord is his God, the ever-reliable, the ever-dependable, the impregnable, the One in Whom is the place of total safety. Nothing can harm us when we are hidden in God, for when we are with Him all that would affect us must come through Him. It may seem terrible, but it is under His control, and can only enter with His permission. In my God, I have found all that is implied in the idea of "God"—a Protector, Helper, Friend, Father, Saviour. The notion or idea of a "God" is different from all other ideas, and David had found, as the Christian now does, all that is implied in that idea, in Yahweh, the living God. My God, the strong and mighty One, is able to save, and He is the covenant God and Father of his people; my God is not only the object of my adoration, but He is the one who puts strength in my soul.

My strength. The Hebrew is “My rock,” although the Hebrew word (tsur) is different from that which is used at the beginning of the verse. Both words denote that God was a refuge or protection, like a rock (a firm, immovable rock) or cliff is to one in danger, though the exact difference between the words may not be obvious. That fact that David saw His God as his strength reminds us of the promise later expressed through Paul: “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). God is my strength, in whom I will trust; as Christ did, and to whom these words are applied in Hebrews 2:13{1]; and as His people are enabled to do even under very distressing and discouraging circumstances: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15). David knew the triumph of God’s strength over the long extent of trials Many people fall under the excruciating duration of an extended season of trial, and David almost did (See 1 Samuel 27; 29-30).

In whom I will trust. I have found Him to be such a wonderful refuge that I could trust in Him, and in view of the past I will always confide in him, for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

My buckler - The word used here is the same which occurs in Psalm 3:3, where it is translated "shield." The shield (or buckler) was a well-known part of ancient armor, useful in the ancient modes of warfare, when swords, and spears, and arrows were employed, but since they would provide no defense against a bullet or artillery shell they are no longer used, except in specialized applications such as riot control. They were usually made of tough and thick hides, fastened to a rim, and attached to the left arm so that they could be readily thrown before the body when attacked, or so that, as they were usually held, the vital parts of the body would be protected. From this use of the shield it was natural to speak of God as the "shield," or the "Protector" of his people—an designation which is often given to Him in the Scriptures (See Genesis 15:1; Deuteronomy 33:292 Samuel 22:3Psalm 28:7Psalm 119:114Psalm 144:2Psalm 33:20Psalm 84:11Proverbs 30:5). David could say that the Lord was his shield because He covers his head and his heart, so that he is neither slain nor wounded by the darts of his adversaries, and preserves him from the fiery darts of Satan. In Genesis 15:1{2], God announced himself as Abraham's "Shield.” (See also Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalm 3:2; Psalm 5:12; Psalm 84:11; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 144:2)

And the horn of my salvationis a metaphor taken either from horned beasts, or as some say, from the ancient custom of wearing horns of iron upon their helmet, for a crest or military ornament; the raised horn was a sign of victory, and the horn beaten down a sign of being overcome. The "horn" is the means of their defense for many animals. Their strength lies in the horn. The horn is the means of attack and defense for some of the strongest animals; with the horns they push, scatter and destroy their enemies—they are an emblem of power and strength. Hence, the word is used here, as elsewhere, to represent that to which we owe our protection and defense when we are in danger; and the idea here is, that God was to the psalmist what the horn is to animals, the means of his defense. The Lord Jesus is called the “horn of salvation” in Luke 1:69: “And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.” Deliverance comes to those who trust in this Horn.

Compare Psalm 22:21; Psalm 75:4-5, Psalm 75:10; Psalm 92:10; Psalm 132:17; Psalm 148:14.

And my high tower.  The Lord is to me what a high tower is to one who is in danger. In Proverbs 18:10 we read, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." The word used here also occurs in Psalm 9:9{3], where it is rendered "refuge." Such towers were erected on mountains, on rocks, or on the walls of a city, and were regarded as safe places mainly because they were inaccessible. Hence, the old castles in Europe were built on lofty places, and in places where they were not easily accessible, and where they are above and out of the reach of every enemy (Isaiah 33:16){4]. The high tower was not only a place of defense, but a place from which one could overlook the country around it, and always be able to discover danger before it could get near.

The Lord was like a high tower (literally, "high place," beyond reach of danger.) to David, for he could run to Him in prayer when he was in danger: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10); in 2 Samuel 22:3, the following clause is added, “and my refuge, my Saviour, thou savest me from violence.” The psalmist saw the Lord as his High Tower and He possessing all these qualities of defense (and annihilation) was sufficient for any circumstance which might arise.

These various epithets, of which there are nine, show the extensiveness of the safety which is available in Jehovah—the various ways he has to deliver his people from their enemies, and protect them from danger.

3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

I will call upon the Lord. The idea here is that David would constantly call upon the Lord. Whenever he was in trouble or was facing some dangerous situation he would go to the Lord in prayer, and appeal for His help. His past experiences having to do with the Lord had been so encouraging that he was led to put his confidence in Him in all that might happen in the future. He had learned to flee to Him in danger, and he had never put his trust in Him in vain. The idea is, that a proper view of God's dealings with us in the past should lead us to feel that we may put confidence in Him in the future.

What a remarkable discovery, when he became conscious of the fact that the object of his worship possessed the above nine particulars which he has pointed out in the above (v. 2). It is no wonder that he resolves to call upon him; and no wonder that he expects, in consequence, to be saved from his enemies; for who can destroy him whom such a God undertakes to save?

The psalmist will call upon the Lord in prayer, for fresh mercies, and further appearances of the Lord (a theophany){5], and discoveries of his grace and favor. This calling is not going to be something that takes place in the future when he is in danger, though he will appeal to Him anytime he is threatened, but the idea here is a continuing need by the psalmist for the Lord’s presence with him, which will inspire him to pray continually.

(comp. Psalm 5:10, 12; Psalm 6:8-10; Psalm 10:15, 16, etc.).

Who is worthy to be praised. It is the Lord who is worthy to be praised, for His perfect character, the works of His hands, His divine goodness, and more especially for his covenant of grace and blessings in Christ. I will praise Him in prayer, or with a hymn; in him I will place my confidence. The chief thought of this line has also been expressed by the Apostle Paul, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). God is a being who is in every way worthy of praise. I will call upon Him, I will praise Him, and He will save me from my enemies, for no one can obtain their request from God if they do not include His glory with their petition.

So shall I be saved from mine enemies. David’s confidence in God’s readiness and ability to save him from his enemies was founded upon his past experiences, where the Lord saved him from death at the hand of Saul and his own son Jonathan. He had had such ample experience of his protection that he could confide in him as One who would deliver him from all his foes. He had often proved the power of prayer, especially when he came prepared to praise God for the prayers He answered; and therefore he is bold to ask the Lord for all that is good. David has declared the Lord to be the proper object of praises, because He is good and does good: “Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes” (Psalms 119:68). David vows to praise him:

  1. By loving him entirely.

  2. By trusting in him steadfastly, (See Psalms 18:1).

  3. By calling upon him continually, here, and in Psalms 116:2-3{6], which is a psalm very much like this one (in the beginning especially) both for substance and method.

(Comp. Psalm 5:10, 12; Psalm 6:8-10; Psalm 10:15, 16, etc.).

4 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

The sorrows of death compassed me. These words and the words that follow, in this verse and Psalm 18:5, can be applied to both David and Christ. With regard to David, they show the traps that were set for taking his life, the deadly menace he faced, and the anxiety he felt on account of it. And they can be applied Christ, because His life to the time of his death involved sorrow; He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and He personally bore and carried the sorrows and grief of all His people. And His sorrows overwhelmed Him in the garden, where He saw the sins of His people, which he was about to bear upon the cross; and from an apprehension of the wrath of God, and curse of the law, which He was going to meet with for them, when his soul was eaten up with sorrow, bringing Him to the very brink of death (Matthew 26:38{7]). My friend, His sorrow was so great, and lay so heavy upon him, that it almost pressed him down to death, he could barely live under it. The Lord’s sorrows may have been increased when He anticipated the very pains and agonies of death; he died the death of the cross, which was a very painful and excruciating death (Psalm 22:14{8]). The Hebrew word for "sorrows" denotes the pains of child bearing, and it is fitting to use it here for the sufferings and death of Christ; through which he brought many sons to glory.

The sorrows of death. The word rendered “sorrows” means “a cord, a rope,” and hence, "a snare or noose," which denotes a condition of great danger and alarm, as if death was inevitable; and the idea here is that he was taken in the snares of death, or in the bands of death—“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 116:3). David was almost trapped in those nets or schemes by which, if he had been entangled, he would have lost his life. The strategies to which he refers were those that were designed for his capture and destruction; hence, called the cables or cords of death. Death is represented as a hunter, who goes out with nets and cords, encompassing his victims and driving them into the toils.

Compassed me—“surrounded me” or “coiled around me.” That is, he was in imminent danger of death, or was feeling the type of pangs and sorrows which are commonly thought to accompany death. David probably refers to some period in his past life—perhaps his suffering from the persecutions of Saul—a time when he was so plagued with troubles and worries that it seemed to him that he must die.

The corresponding verse in 2 Samuel is 22:5, which says, “When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.” The picture is of the psalmist being buffeted by wave after wave as he labors to advance through a raging sea. The waves representing the pains and sorrows of his life. With regard to Christ the allusion may be to the power of death, under which the Messiah was held for a while, but was loosed from it at His resurrection—“Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” (Acts 2:24).

And the floods of ungodly men made me afraid, may specifically be applied to the Lord Jesus. The ungodly men would, in that case, be the multitude of men such as Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Roman soldiers, and the Jewish people, who all gathered together against Him; so the Targum{9] renders it, "a company of wicked men"; or the variety of sufferings he endured because of them; such as spitting upon, buffering, scourging, etc. The word rendered “ungodly men” is “Belial,” and signifies vain, worthless, and unprofitable men; men of no account, lawless men, and very wicked persons. The word “Belial” is used in the New Testament for Satan (2 Corinthians 6:15{10]), and the “floods of Belial” may not refer so much to the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, as to his violent and impulsive attacks upon Christ in the garden, when He was struggling with him, “and being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).

The floods of ungodly men. The word rendered floods means, in the singular, a stream, brook, rivulet; and then, a torrent, such as that which is formed by rain and snow-water in the mountains (Job 6:15{11]). The word is used here to refer to ungodly men as if they were poured forth in streams and torrents, in such multitudes that the psalmist was likely to be overwhelmed by them, as one would be by floods of water. If applied to Christ, it may refer to the hours the Lord spent fastened to the cross, when all the sins of His people came flowing in upon Him, like mighty torrents, from all quarters; when God laid on Him the iniquity of them all, and He was made sin for them; and in a view of all this "he began to be sore amazed" (Mark 14:33{12]).

"Made me afraid." Made me apprehensive of losing my life. To what particular period of his life he is referring to is impossible now to determine.

5 The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

The sorrows of hell. The word used here is the same as that in the clause “the sorrows of death” which occurs in the previous verse, and which is also rendered "sorrows." It is correctly translated in both verses as "sorrows," and the idea is that His sufferings encompassed, encircled, or enclosed Him, or seized Him. The idea then, is His descent to the under-world, or the going down to the place of the dead. But some would seem to favor interpreting the word as “cords” instead of “sorrows.”  If it means "cords, or bands," then the idea is that He was seized with pain as if cords were used to bind Him and then to drag Him down to the abodes of the dead. This clause has also been rendered “the cords of the grave(s)”, under the power of which The Lord Jesus was detained for a while; the allusion then, may be to the manner of burying among the Jews, who wound up their dead bodies in linen clothes, so that they were like persons bound hand and foot; and this is how they appeared then they were laid in the grave (see John 11:44); and so was Christ, till He was raised from the dead, when He showed Himself to have the keys of hell and death, and to be no more under their power, or to ever again be held by them.

The word rendered here as “hell” is the Hebrew word she'ôl. It means the “under-world, the regions of the dead,” which is figuratively considered to be a city or large habitation with gates and bars in which there are many chambers (Proverbs 7:27). "Sheol" is never full, but is always asking or craving more (Proverbs 27:20; Hebrews 2:5). Here it means, not a place of punishment, but the region of the dead, where the ghosts of the departed are considered as residing together. The sorrows of hell is a description of one who was overcome with the dread of death and the thought of what comes afterwards.

Compassed me. See the same expression in verse 4, above.

The snares of death. The word “snares” refers to nets and snares, which are used in bagging wild beasts by suddenly throwing cords around them and binding them fast. The idea here is that "Death" (death and hell are personified) had thrown around him its nets or snares and had bound him fast. He was just on the point of dropping into the pit which they had dug for him. In short, David was all but a dead man; and nothing less than the immediate interference of God could have saved my life. As for Christ, this clause expresses the insidious ways and methods which the enemies of Christ used to entrap him, and take away his life, and in which they succeeded: “And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him” (Matthew 26:4).

Prevented me. The snares of death prevented me. The Hebrew word which has been rendered here as “prevented” means to "anticipate, to go before." The idea here is that those snares had, so to speak, “suddenly rushed upon him” or “seized him” or "took Him by surprise”; the sense is, he was taken in by his enemies. He does not mean that he was in their power.

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

In my distress refers, most probably, not to any particular incident or circumstance, but to any number of times when he was distraught due to false accusations made against him or the many times that Saul pursued him with the intention of taking his life. In what follows, he relates the methods he used to procure relief when distressed, and his success in obtaining that relief. Each time he called upon the Lord, and had found him ready to help, though sometimes help came as he stood on the brink of capture.

I called upon the Lordthe Lord, the great Jehovah, the everlasting I AM, who is the most High in all the earth, and who is able to save; “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared” (Hebrews 5:7). I called, that is, I prayed for God to help me escape this trouble. He did not rely on his own strength, or look for human aid, he looked to God alone.In my distress I called upon the LORD, and his enemies could not prevail against him, unless God should abandon him. They hoped that this was the case, and that therefore they should prevail; but God kept His promise—“I will never leave you or forsake you!”

And cried unto my God - The word used here denotes an earnest cry for help. (Compare Job 35:9{13]; Job 36:13).In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God. At the precise moment, when he is entangled in the snares, and on the point of being slain, the psalmist represents himself as invoking the aid of the Almighty. The Apostle Matthew records that Jesus cried out to God as His life was coming to an end: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). And three days later, God raised Him from the dead, and today He is exalted and worshipped in heaven as Lord and God. Those who are in Christ can cry out to God as He did, since we are often distressed through sin and Satan, through God hiding His face, through a variety of afflictions, and the persecutions of men. A time of distress is a time for prayer; and sometimes God uses suffering and distress to bring Christians to the throne of His grace. What a great privilege it is to have such a throne to come to for grace and mercy to help in time of need, and to have such a God to sympathize with them, and help them. And their encouragement to call upon Him, and cry unto Him, is, that He is Jehovah, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent; who knows their wants, is able to help them, and is a God that is willing to do it.

He heard my voice out of his temple, that is, God, while in His temple, heard my voice. The word rendered temple cannot refer here to the temple at Jerusalem, for that was built after the death of David, but it refers either to heaven, which is considered as the temple, or dwelling-place of God, or to the tabernacle, which is considered His abode on earth. The sense is not substantially altered, whichever interpretation is adopted. (Compare Psalm 11:4{14]) The prayer of the psalmist, was a spoken one, and not merely mental; and hearing it implies a gracious regard for it, an acceptance of it, and an agreeable answer to follow. This idea is supported most superbly in verse 7 and the following verses.

And my cry came before him, He heard my cry. It was not intercepted on the way, but came up to Him, and He accepted it.

Even into his ears. God did not cover himself with a cloud that his prayer could not pass through; but it was admitted and received; it reached His ears, and even entered into them, and was delightful music to them: “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:15).

7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

Then the earth shook and trembled, as it did immediately after Christ cried out to God upon the cross (Matthew 27:50-51{15]); and some days afterwards, when His people were praying together, the place where they were assembled was shaken (Acts 4:31{16]), as a sign that God's presence was with them. The shaking and trembling of the earth is often used as a sign of God’s presence, and of the greatness of His majesty; a case in point is when God descended on Mount Sinai, the mountain moved and quaked exceedingly—“I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking; all the hills were swaying” (Jer. 4:24).

Beginning in verse 7, there is one of the most sublime descriptions of God that can be found in any language. It is taken from the fury of the storm and tempest, when all the elements of nature are in commotion; when God seems to go forth in the greatness of His majesty and the terror of His power, and to bring everyone before him to their knees. We are not to regard this as descriptive of anything which literally occurred, but rather as expressive of the fact of divine intervention. It does not appear from any part of David's history that there was any such storm as he describes. There might have been such a storm, though there is no particular mention of it: unless it may be thought that something of this nature is insinuated in the account given of David's second battle with the Philistines (See 2 Samuel 5:23-24{17]). It is undisputable, however, that the storm is represented as real; though David, in describing it, has heightened and embellished it with all the adornments of poetry. There is nothing wrong or improbable with supposing that in some of the dangerous periods of David's life, when surrounded by enemies, or even when in the midst of a battle, a furious tempest may have occurred that seemed to be an instance of special divine intervention on his behalf, but we have no distinct record of such an event, and it is not necessary to suppose that such an event occurred in order to have a correct understanding of the passage. All that is really necessary is to regard this as a depiction of the mighty interventions of God on the behalf of Israel’s great king, and to suppose that His actual intervention was as direct, as unmistakable, and as awe-inspiring as the psalmist has recorded it. There are frequent references in the Scriptures to such storms and tempests which serve to illustrate the majesty, the power, and the glory of God, and of the manner in which He intervenes on behalf of His people. (See Psalm 144:5-7; Psalm 46:6-8; Psalm 29:1-11; Job 37:21-24; Job 38:1; Nahum 1:3; and particularly Habakkuk 3:3-16. The description in Habakkuk strongly resembles the passage before us, and both were drawn, no doubt, from an actual observation of the fury of a tempest.)

The shaking of the earth; the trembling of the mountains and pillars of heaven; the smoke that drove out of his nostrils; the flames of devouring fire that flashed from his mouth; the heavens bending down to convey him to the battle; his riding upon a cherub, and rapidly flying on the wings of a whirlwind; his concealing his majesty in the thick clouds of heaven; the bursting of the lightning from the horrid darkness; the uttering of his voice in peals of thunder; the storm of fiery hail; the melting of the heavens, and their dissolving into floods of tempestuous rain; the cleaving of the earth, and disclosing of the bottom of the hills, and the subterraneous channels or torrents of water, by the very breath of the nostrils of the Almighty; are all of them circumstances which create admiration, excite a kind of horror, and exceed every thing of this nature that is to be found in any of the remains of heathen antiquity.

No wonder that when God arose in this manner, all his enemies scattered, and those who hated him fled before him.

The foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken. The foundations of the hills also moved and were shaken. In violent earthquakes, the earth seems to rock to its foundations; mountain ranges are sometimes actually elevated to a height of several feet; rocks topple down; and occasionally there are earth-slips of enormous dimensions. The shaking of the earth and heavens was prophesied in Haggai 2:6{18], and in Hebrews 12:26{19] it is the voice of the Lord causing the shaking. The foundations also of the hills moved—the mountains seemed to rock on their foundations. In the corresponding place in 2 Samuel 22:8 the expression is, “The foundations of heaven moved and shook;" that is, that on which the heavens seem to rest was agitated. Many suppose that the expression refers to the mountains as if they held up the heavens, like gigantic columns.

Because he was wroth, that is, because he was angry. Anger is often compared to a raging flame, because it seems to consume everything before it. Hence, we speak of it as "heated," as "burning." Hence, we say of one enraged that he is "inflamed by passion." The expression here is awe-inspiring: God seemed to be angry, and for this reason, He came forth in this awful manner, and the very earth trembled before Him. If He were a mere man, we would say that he had good reason to be angry with the Jewish people for disbelieving and rejecting the Messiah, for hardening themselves, and taking counsel together against Him, and putting Him to death. But He was much greater than any man, so, for these things God was angry with them, and His wrath flamed against them so that their nation, city, and temple were destroyed: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1). Likewise, in the last days, His wrath will fall upon the Pagan empire and antichristian powers: “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16). 

God's anger against the psalmist's enemies produced the entire disturbance which he is describing.

8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

There went up a smoke out of his nostrils: This, along with what follows, describes a very severe thunder storm; the "smoke" represents thick black clouds, gathered together; "fire" symbolizes lightning; and "coals of fire" stands for hot thunderbolts; and the whole verse may have been borrowed from, and perhaps is an allusion to what took place at the giving of the law on Mount Sinai—“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled” (Exodus 19:16). The majesty of God is on display here, and the language is reminiscent of the description of leviathan in Job 41:19: “Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.” The "smoke of his nostrils" seems to indicate the indignation of God against the enemies of David, of Christ, and of His people, and the punishment He will inflict upon them—“who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me, for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day” (Isaiah 65:5). The Targum{9] takes it to mean the pride and insolence of Pharaoh; some Bible scholars believe the expression is derived from wild beasts when excited with anger, and when their rage is indicated by their violent breathing (See Psalm 74:1; Deuteronomy 29:20; Isaiah 65:5).This is, of course, figurative language, denoting the immensity of His anger, and how horrible God's judgments will be to the wicked.Emissions of smoke are a common feature of volcanic disturbances, with which earthquakes are closely connected.

The ancient people placed the seat of anger in the nose, or nostrils; because when the tempers flare the breath becomes heated. Psychologists consider open wide nostrils as a sign of an angry, fiery disposition.

And fire out of his mouth devoured, means that consuming fire came out of His mouth. Thus, we render the next clause, Coals were kindled by it; but the words do not mean that fire proceeding from God kindled coals, but that burning coals came out of His mouth and burned and consumed everything around Him. God is a wall of fire surrounding His people, and a consuming fire to His, and to His people’s enemies. One opinion says that this clause expresses the wrath of God upon the Jewish nation, and His sending the Roman armies to burn their city—“The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city” (Matthew 22:7). 

Coals were kindled by it. Everything seemed to glow and burn. The lightning, that appeared to flash from His mouth, set everything on fire. The Jews were like dry trees, therefore they were suitable fuel for the fire of divine wrath,and soon became like coals of fire. This image may remind one of the words of Revelation 16:8: “The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. The antichristian party, upon whom the forth vial of God’s wrath will be poured, will be scorched with heat, and blaspheme the name of God.

So far as the language of this verse is concerned, it may be applied either to the destruction of Jerusalem, to any mighty overthrow of His enemies, or to the Day of Judgment. The great truth expressed here is that all of God’s enemies would be destroyed if Yahweh should come amidst flames of fire. That truth should be sufficient to fill a wicked world with alarm. Compare the following verses.

  • The LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. (Isaiah 29:6).

  • The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. (Isaiah 30:30).

9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

He bowed the heavens also. He made the heavens bend under Him when He descended to take vengeance on His enemies. This illustration by the psalmist seems to express the appearance of the Divine majesty in a glorious cloud, descending from heaven, which underneath was substantially dark, but above, bright, and shining with boundless luster; and which, by its gradual approach to the earth, would appear as though the heavens themselves were bending down and approaching towards us. In a storm the clouds do actually descend, and the whole heaven seems to be bowed down to earth. This clause is another allusion to the tempest, when the clouds sink low; when they seem to sweep along the ground; when it appears as if the heavens were brought nearer to the earth; and to use a common expression, "the heavens and earth were coming together." The Lord comes in the clouds to execute wrath and vengeance on wicked men—“Send forth lightning and scatter [the enemies]; shoot your arrows and rout them” (Psalm 144:6). The Targum{9] here is, "he bowed the heavens, and his glory appeared"; that is, the glory of His power, and of His mighty hand of vengeance; for it is not His grace and mercy that he brings, but his indignation and wrath. Jehovah is represented here as a mighty warrior going forth to fight the battles of David, When He descended to the engagement, the very heavens bowed to make his descent appear even more awful: His military tent was substantial darkness; the voice of His thunder was the warlike alarm which sounded the beginning of the battle; the chariot in which He rode was the thick clouds of heaven, conducted by cherubs, and carried on by the irresistible force and rapid wings of an impetuous tempest; and the darts and weapons He employed were thunder-bolts, lightning, fiery hail, deluging rains, and stormy winds! No wonder that when God arose all His enemies were scattered, and those that hated Him fled before Him.

And came down - God himself seemed to descend in the fury of the storm. God is said to "come down" to earth whenever he delivers the oppressed, and takes vengeance on their oppressors (see Exodus 3:8; 2 Samuel 22:10; Psalm 144:5).

And darkness was under his feet. - A dark cloud; or, the darkness caused by thick clouds. Darkness signifies the wrath of God as the clear light signifies God's favour. Compare these verses:

  • "The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." (Nahum 1:3).

  • "The mountain burned ... with thick darkness." (Deuteronomy 4:11).

  • "These words the Lord spake out of the thick darkness." (Deuteronomy 5:22).

  • "Clouds and darkness are round about him." (Psalm 97:2).

The idea here is that of shocking majesty and power, for we are nowhere more impressed with the idea of majesty and power than in the fury of a storm. A deep darkness commonly accompanies both earthquake and storm. When God actually descended on Mount Sinai, it was amid thunder and lightning, and "a thick cloud" (Exodus 19:16), elsewhere called "thick darkness" (Deuteronomy 5:22). Darkness is expressive of the awfulness of the Judgment to wicked men who must go down to the place of eternal sorrow; who are not allowed to see the face of God, are barred from is presence, and denied communion with Him, and to whom everything appears awful and terrible.

10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly.  The cherub in the theology of the Hebrews was a metaphorical representation of power and majesty in the image of a being of a high and celestial nature, “whose form is represented as composed from the figures of a man, ox, lion, and eagle,” (Ezekiel 1; 10). Cherubs are first mentioned as guarding the gates of Paradise (See Genesis 3:24{20]); then as carrying the throne of God upon their wings through the clouds (Ezekiel 1; 10); and also as figurines or images made of wood and overlaid with gold, over the cover of the ark, in the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle, and of the temple (See Exodus 25:18{21]; 1 Kings 6:23-28). The Shekinah, or visible symbol of the presence of God rested between the two cherubim in the temple; and for this reason, God is represented as "dwelling between the cherubim," (See Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89; Psalm 80:1{22]; Psalm 99:1). The cherubim are not to be regarded as real created beings, or as an order of angels like the seraphim (Isaiah 6:2-3), but as imagery representing majesty, and emblematic of the power and glory of God. Here God is represented as "riding on a cherub;" that is, as coming from heaven on the clouds which are regarded here as a cherub (compare Ezekiel 1); He is viewed as if, He were seated on his throne while being carried along in majesty and power amidst the storm and tempest (See Isaiah 14:13; Isaiah 37:16{23]).

The Targum{9], Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions translates it in the plural form, "cherubim"; and the meaning may be either the angels, who are viewed as horses and chariots, on whom Jehovah rides, and who He makes use of when executing his wrath and vengeance (Zechariah 6:5{24]); or the ministers of the Gospel, who are the living creatures in Revelation 4:7{25]; and answer to the "cherubim" in Ezekiel's visions. The impression given is of God using the ministry of angels in raising such storms and tempests as are described here, whether they are interpreted literally or figuratively, and especially God’s use of angels to bring about many of those great events which take place in the administration of His providence; and particularly His immediate intervention in the affairs of men which manifest the remarkable judgments by which he punishes sinful nations, or in the remarkable deliverances which he works out for his people. His judgments come swiftly, as if He did fly upon the wings of the wind.

And did fly—meaning He seemed to move rapidly on the flying clouds.

Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind, which may mean the speedy help and assistance God gave to His Son, and gives to His people; and the swift destruction of their enemies (Psalm 104:3[26]). The words in 2 Samuel 22:11, say the very same thing, "and he was seen upon the wings of the wind"; both are true, both suit His purpose, and both picture His majesty. Wings are ascribed to the winds by the Heathen poets, and they are represented as winged on ancient monuments. Rapidity of motion adds to the grandeur of the scene. Rapid motion is represented by the flight of birds; hence, the term wings is applied to winds to denote the rapidity of their movement. The whole illustration s designed to represent the majesty with which God seemed to be borne along on the tempest. The Hebrew word is a peculiar one, used of the swooping of birds of prey (See Deuteronomy 28:49; Jeremiah 48:40; Jeremiah 49:22).

11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

He made darkness his secret place. The Hebrew word rendered "secret place" means “a hiding,” and “something hidden, private, and secret.” Hence, it means a covering, a veil; it is applied to thunder: "I answered thee in the secret place of thunder;" that is, in the secret place or hiding place—the deep, dark cloud, from where the thunder seems to come. Here the meaning seems to be that God was surrounded by darkness. He had, so to speak, wrapped himself in night, and made his abode in the gloom of the storm—“You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through” (Lamentations 3:44). One Bible scholar gives his interpretation thus: “He made darkness His veil round about Him; His tent He made of dark waters and black clouds.”

Jehovah is pictured in a secret place where He is hidden by wrapping Himself in darkness or in dark clouds; there He lies; not so that he cannot see what is done by others, as wicked men imagine, (Job 22:13{27]); but so that he cannot be seen by others. The Targum{9] interprets it, "he caused his Shekinah to dwell in darkness.'' When executing His judgments He did not allow himself to be seen. God's actions are always secret and mysterious.

His pavilion means His tent—“For in the time of trouble he will keep me safe in his tent: in the secret place of his tent he will keep me from men's eyes; high on a rock he will put me” (Psalm 27:5). The darkness of the rain-charged storm-cloud is the tent in which Jehovah shrouds His Majesty. His pavilion round about him were dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies; these served as a tent or tabernacle, in which He dwelt unseen by men—“And who has knowledge of how the clouds are stretched out, or of the thunders of his tent?” (Job 36:29).

This verse may be relevant to the dark period of the Jews, after their rejection and crucifixion of Christ; when God departed from them, left their house desolate, and left them without His presence and protection; when the light of the Gospel was taken away from them, and they were blinded; they had eyes, but could not see; and they exhibited a darkness of mind and hardness of heart. These were some of the dark, deep, and mysterious methods of divine Providence which is represented here by picturing God as being surrounded with darkness, dark waters, and thick clouds—“What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, 8 as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day” (Romans 11:7-8).

Round about him - Perhaps a more literal translation would be, "the things round about him—his tent (shelter, or cover)—were the darkness of waters, the clouds of the skies." The idea is that he seemed to be covered with watery clouds.

Dark waters. The Hebrew is “darkness of waters.” The allusion is to clouds filled with water; charged with rain. His abode was in the midst of clouds and waters, or watery clouds. Representing the Lord’s pavilion or tent as dark waters spreading all around Him is truly poetical and grand. And, since storms and tempests are often instruments of the divine displeasure, they are included here as the means of expressing it; and God, who has the whole artillery of the heavens at His command, and holds the reins of tornados and cyclones in His hand, and directs their course through the world when and how He pleases, is represented here as employing them against His enemies in the day of battle and war.

Thick clouds of the skies - The word rendered here as skies means, in the singular, fine dust or a cloud of dust; in addition, in the plural, it is used to denote clouds, Job 38:37{28]; and hence, it is used to denote the region of the clouds, the firmament,  and the sky. Perhaps a more accurate rendering here would be, "clouds of clouds;" that is, clouds rolled in with other clouds; clouds of one kind rapidly invading those of another kind, and piled on each other. There are four different kinds of clouds; and though we cannot suppose that such a distinction could be made in the time of the psalmist, yet anyone watching the movement of clouds may, in time,  make such a distinction, and it is possible that by the use of two terms here, both denoting clouds - one thick and dense, and the other clouds as resembling dust, the psalmist meant to insinuate that clouds of all kinds rolled over the firmament, and that these constituted the "pavilion" of God.

12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

At the brightness that was before him. From the corresponding verse in 2 Samuel 22, we read, “From the brightness before him flamed fiery coals,” which, no doubt gives the correct sense of our text; and the picture it conveys is of the dark curtain of clouds through which projectiles of lightning (hail and fiery coals) emanate from the Divine brightness in which they hide. Could any phenomena be more overpowering and bewildering than “a tempest dropping fire?” A modern poet captured the feeling of the verse when he penned these words:

“Then fire was sky, and sky fire,

And both one brief ecstasy,

Then ashes.”—R. BROWNING


Compare the following versions—

New International Version: Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

King James Bible: At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

Darby Bible Translation: From the brightness before him his thick clouds passed forth: hail and coals of fire.

World English Bible: At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed, hailstones and coals of fire.

Young's Literal Translation: From the brightness over-against Him His thick clouds have passed on, Hail and coals of fire.

Some others have translated this verse, “At his lightning, his clouds swelled and burst out into hail-stones and balls of fire.” The meaning is that because of the lightning his clouds became agitated, that is, swelled, and, in a manner of speaking, boiled over, being expanded by the heat. In the former part of this depiction, the clouds are represented as condensed, heavy, and lowering, ready to burst out with all the fury of a tempest; and here they are seen as beginning to unburden themselves, by the eruption of the lightning in the form of fire, flames, and hail-stones mixed together. The abrupt manner in which the burning coals and hail-stones are mentioned, points out their sudden and intense fall from the heavens.

The lightning that came out of the thick clouds may denote either the coming of Christ to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, which was swift and sudden, clear and apparent; or the spreading of the Gospel in the Gentile world, in which Christ, the brightness of his Father's glory, appeared to the illumination of many—“For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:27); and both may be intended, as the following verses show.

His thick clouds passed - or, vanished. They seemed to pass away. The light, the flash, the blaze, penetrated those clouds, and seemed to dispel, or to scatter them. The whole heavens were on fire, as if there were no clouds, or as if the clouds were all driven away. The reference here is to the appearance when the vivid flashes of lightning seem to penetrate and dispel the clouds, and the heavens seem to be lighted up with a universal flame. His thick clouds passed depicts the passing away of the gross darkness, which had for so many years covered the Gentile world, when God sent forth His light and truth in the person of Jesus Christ and multitudes, who were darkness itself, were made light in the Lord.

Hail-stones. The same Gospel that was enlightening to the Gentiles and brought life unto them, was dreadful, like hail stones, and tormenting, scorching, irritating, and provoking, like coals of fire, and the aroma of death unto death to the Jews when God provoked them by sending the Gospel to the Gentiles, and calling them. Or Hail-stones and coals of fire may symbolize the heavy, awful, and consuming judgments of God upon the Jews, which are sometimes represented by hail storms—“The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up” (Revelation 8:7). Hail stones and coals of fire seem to come almost simultaneously, i.e., hail like that which fell in Egypt before the Exodus (See Exodus 9:22-34), when "there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail" (Exodus 9:24{29])—a fire which "ran along upon the ground," or some very unusual electrical phenomenon. Notice how the feeling of the terrible fury of the storm is heightened by the mention of “hail,” so rare in Palestine.

And coals of fire. The words rendered coals of fire here signify living, burning coals. Where the lightning fell it devoured all before it, and turned whatever it touched into burning embers. There seemed to be coals of fire rolling along the ground, or falling from the sky. In the corresponding place in 2 Samuel 22:13 the expression is, "Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled." That is, fires were kindled by the lightning. The expression in the psalm is more terse and compact, but the reason for the change cannot be determined.

scripture reference and special notes

{1] (Hebrews 2:13) And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

{2] (Genesis 15.1) After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

{3] (Psalm 9:9) The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

{4] (Isaiah 33:16)He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure

{5] Theophany—a visible manifestation of a deity.

{6] (Psalms 116:2-3) Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. 3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

{7] (Matthew 26:38) Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

{8] (Psalm 22:14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

{9] Targum—(Hebrew tarˈɡum) an Aramaic translation, usually in the form of an expanded paraphrase, of various books or sections of the Old Testament.

{10] (2 Corinthians 6:15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

{11] (Job 6:15) My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away.

{12] (Mark 14:33) And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

{13] (Job 35:9) By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry: they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty.

{14] (Psalm 11:4) The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

{15] (Matthew 27:50-51) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

{16] (Acts 4:31) And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

{17] (2 Samuel 5:23-24) And when David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. 24 And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.

{18] (Haggai 2:6) For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;

{19] (Hebrews 12:26) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

{20] (Genesis 3:24) After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

{21] (Exodus 25:18) And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover.

{22] (Psalm 80:1) Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth

{23] (Isaiah 37:16) "O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.

{24] (Zechariah 6:5) The angel answered me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.

{25] (Revelation 4:7) The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle.

[26] (Psalm 104:3) and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.

{27] (Job 22:13) Yet you say, 'What does God know? Does he judge through such darkness?

{28] (Job 38:37) Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

{29] (Exodus 9:24) hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.



Psalm 18 (KJV)

PART #2: VERSES 13-50

Title: Great Praise from a Place of Great Victory

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,



13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

18 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

(v. 13) The LORD also thundered in the heavens. The storm breaks forth—the Lord’s voice resounded in the heavens. Thunder and lightning (v.14) were His arrows, and hail with repeated lightning, which often seems like balls or coals of fire, rained down from heaven. The description of the Lord’s intervention given in this psalm, and especially in verses 7-19, is called a theophany, one of many in the Old Testament, in which God visibly manifests Himself. Because we are human, we look for God in a human form and miss Him when He comes in the midst of a tempest, as this psalm describes. The theophany characteristically has two parts: the Lord leaves His residence and nature reacts. It is therefore a highly poetic and vivid way of describing the fact that the God of Israel intervened in history on David’s behalf. The entire psalm is a celebration of that fact.

(v. 14) Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them. The Lord sent lightning bolts like arrows to scatter His enemies.

(v. 14) And he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. The fiery brightness of lightening shaped like burning arrows rapidly shot through the air, accurately describes the most terrible part of a fierce storm. Before the terrors of such a scene the enemies of god are confused and overthrown in dismay.

(v. 15) Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke. The trenches of the seas and the foundations of the world were revealed at His coming. This poetic description of God’s divine intervention in battle portrays a tremendous storm in which God used many of the awesome phenomena of nature. Such terrible events were understood as expressions of God’s judicial wrath—“Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth” (Psalm 18:7). Who can stand before such a God?

(v. 16) He sent from above pictures a heavenly scene where the Almighty is seated on a throne directing these terrible scenes. God—sent—His hand reached down to His humble worshipper, and delivered him (drew me out).

(v. 16) He drew me out of many waters. Many waters means “many calamities.” Like Moses, he was drawn out of the water (Exodus 2:10{2]). In these verses (16-19), David explained that by such an intervention the Lord rescued him from “the waves of death (v. 4).” It was as if he were drowning in the midst of his strong enemies (v. 17), and the Lord drew him out of the deep water, because He delighted in him (v. 19), and led him to a place of safety.

Such a dramatic portrayal of divine intervention suggests similarities with the giving of the Law (See Exodus 19:16-18). Similar events are recorded in Joshua 10:11, Judges 5:20, and 1 Samuel 7:10. Descriptions like this are also frequent in prophetic visions of divine intervention (See Isaiah 29:6; 30:27; 64:1; Habakkuk 3:3-4{8]).

(v. 17) He delivered me from my strong enemy. Oh, how you and I need a personal, vital relationship with God! Let’s come to grips with Him. He has delivered us from the enemy. Do you need help today? Do you need a partner today? I want to recommend One to you. He will never desert you. He will never leave you alone. He will never forsake you. He says, “. . . lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). That is the reason you should depend on Him instead of depending on any human being. Psalm 118:8 says, “It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man.”

David called on the Lord (Psalm 18:6{1]), and at just the right time, God reached down and delivered David from his strong enemies. The earth shook, the Lord thundered, and deliverance came. God crushes, smashes, bruises, wounds and maims the foe until he retreats in utter defeat. In graphic figures like those describing the theophany when the Law was given at Mount Sanai, the power of God is demonstrated. Then, centuries later, He reaches down and takes Christ from the still sealed tomb. Hallelujah! Christ is risen!

(v. 17) He delivered me . . . from them which hated me. David said that those who hated me had charged him with having hands that were not clean (v. 20), that is, with crimes such as murder, violence, stealing, bribery, and unjust gain (See Psalm 24:4; Job 9:30). Through some solemn procedure in the temple his innocence must have been pronounced.

(v. 18) but the LORD was my stay. The enemy fell in defeat, but David stood firm, supported by the Lord (See Psalm 23:4). He was now king of Israel. Ten years of exile were ended, his life had been spared, and his ministry lay before him.


Verses 19-27 are to be considered together.

The word “distress” in verse 6{3] means “to be in a tight place, in a corner, hemmed in,” but when the storm was over, David found himself in a “large place” where he could take large steps of faith in serving the Lord (See Verse 36). God enlarged David’s trials (Psalms 25:17{4]), and used them to enlarge David—“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer” (Psalm 4:1). David wasn’t perfect, nor are we, but he was “a man after God’s own heart” (See I Samuel 13:14; Psalm 15:28) and a man with a shepherd’s heart (See Psalm 78:70-72; 2 Samuel 24:17). God delighted in David the way parents delight in the maturing of their children in character, obedience and service.

19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20 The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he 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 upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

24 Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself forward.

27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.


(v. 19) He delivered me, because he delighted in me. “Distress” (v. 18:4) consists of being hemmed in by trouble; “deliverance” means to be set at liberty and thus unrestricted—“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer” (Psalm 4:1).

(v. 20) The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness. After describing his deliverance by the Lord, David explained it in terms of his faith in the Lord his God. By faith David had kept his integrity (righteousness, vv. 20, 24) before God. David’s righteousness is not limited to his relations with Saul; it has been upheld in every phase of his life which he claims to be upright, honorable, merciful, single-hearted, and pure. David saw God’s faithfulness to him as the just reward for his own faithfulness to God. He, rather than his enemies (vv. 26-27) had been rewarded.

(v. 20) According to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. David declares here that one reason for his deliverance was that God was rewarding him for the cleanness (vv. 20, 24) of his hands (i.e., his life); and as just stated, for his righteousness. But this is a comparative rather than an absolute self-evaluation. All of this is made possible by trust in God.

(v. 21) For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. David testified that he had not turned (departed) from God; that he had walked in God’s ways, obeyed His laws and decrees (v. 22), and kept himself from sin (v. 23). God honored his obedient servant with tremendous victories.

(v. 22) And I did not put away his statutes from me. David knew God’s law and obeyed it, in spite of the difficult circumstances of his exile. In the spirit of Samuel (1 Samuel 12:3) and Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:3) his affirmation of righteousness was an evidence of humility and honesty, not pride and deception. Note the use of the words righteousness and cleanness (vv. 20, 24), upright (blameless, vv. 23, 25, and pure (v. 26).

(v. 23) I was also upright before him.  In verses 20-24, the psalmist appears to be boasting, but that is not the case, for his boasting is biblical, since it is ultimately in the Lord—“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

(v. 23) And I kept myself from mine iniquity, that is, “from guilt.” I have been so careful to be a man of God that I have not done anything that could be called “my inequity,” i.e., something which had become, so to say, a part of me. Likewise, Paul could say, “. . . Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day” (Acts 23:1). The principle underlying this section is that God reinforces the character which men choose to acquire, behaving toward them as they behave toward Him—“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Rom. 1:28).

(v. 24) Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness. David was faithful to the Lord (vv. 20-44; Psalm 17:3-5{9]), so the Lord faithfully cared for David (vv. 25-29). David understood the nature of the Lord and how he revealed Himself to mankind. God rewards people according to their inner character: faithfulness to the faithful, blamelessness to the blameless, purity to the pure, but shrewdness to the crooked (“twisted, perverse,” a word also used in Psalm 101:4; Proverbs 2:15; 8:8; 11:20; 17:20; 19:1; 22:5{10], “wicked”; 28:6{11]). His dealings are always just.

David was loyal (“blameless”), and God was faithful to him and kept his promises to bless him. David wasn’t sinless, but he was blameless in his motives—David possessed a single-hearted sincerity in his devotion to God. The “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8) are those whose hearts are wholly dedicated to God. Saul had been devious in his dealings with God, David, and the people, but David was honest and straightforward. It’s true that early in his exile, he lied to Ahimelech the priest and to Achish, king of Gath (1 Samuel 21), but he soon learned that faith is living without scheming. God’s character and covenants never change, but His dealings with us are determined by the condition of our hearts.

(v. 24) According to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. David had clean hands (v. 20) as well as skillful hands (v. 34; Psalm 78:72).

(v. 25) With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful. The way we relate to the Lord determines how the Lord relates to us (vv. 25-27). David was merciful to Saul, and God was merciful to David—“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

(v. 26) And with the froward thou wilt shew thyself forwardFroward means “contrary to;” those who act crooked, shrewd, devious or crafty. In other words, God will be against those who are against Him.

(v. 27) For thou wilt save the afflicted people. God saves the humble (Literally, the poor, humbly pious or afflicted).

(v. 27) but wilt bring down high looks. God defeats the arrogant (high looks means a proud look (See Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 6:17; 30:13). God makes right the affairs of man.


Verses 28-45 are to be considered together.

What was God accomplishing during those difficult years of Saul’s reign? For one thing, He was disciplining His people for running ahead of Him and making Saul king—“I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. 12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; his sin is hid” (Hosea 13:10-11). In His longsuffering, He was also Giving Saul opportunities to repent. At the same time, He was equipping David for his years of service. God takes time to prepare His servants: thirteen years for Joseph, forty years for Moses, and forty years for Joshua. The lessons David learned about himself and God during those years of exile helped to make him the man that he was. The images in these verses reveal God developing a great warrior, a compassionate leader, and a godly man.

28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36 Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

37 I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

38 I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

39 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

41 They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

42 Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.



(v. 28) For thou wilt light my candle. The image of the candle speaks of God keeping David alive during those dangerous years (See Job 18:5-6; Proverbs 13:9{5]). It also speaks of the perpetuity of his family and dynasty (Psalm 132:17; 2 Samuel 21:17; 1 Kings 11:36, 15:4; 2 Kings 8:19; 2 Chronicles 21:7), culminating in the coming of Jesus Christ to earth (See Luke 1:26-33). This expression has also been rendered “For Thou (God) will give me light,” which means that God will make me prosperous.

(v. 28) The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. The dynamic of David’s life is “the Lord my God,” whose indwelling light and vigor both maintain the burning glow of personal existence and give incentive and power whereby difficulties are overcome.

(v. 29) For by thee I have run through a troop. With God’s help (“For by thee”) David could always advance against and defeat any enemies (“run through a troop”).

(v. 29) And by my God have I leaped over a wall is perhaps a reference to the incident recorded in 2 Samuel 5:6-10: “David then led his troops to Jerusalem to fight against the Jebusites. “You'll never get in here," the Jebusites taunted. "Even the blind and lame could keep you out!" For the Jebusites thought they were safe. But David captured the fortress of Zion, now called the City of David. When the insulting message from the defenders of the city reached David, he told his own troops, "Go up through the water tunnel into the city and destroy those 'lame' and 'blind' Jebusites. How I hate them." That is the origin of the saying, "The blind and the lame may not enter the house." So David made the fortress his home, and he called it the City of David. He built additional fortifications around the city, starting at the Millo and working inward. And David became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him.

(v. 30) As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: In the first part of this section (vv. 28-45) of praise David rejoiced over God’s character and His benefits to him. God’s way, the psalmist said, is perfect and His Wordflawless, or tried. (Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5). God is worthy of all honor and adoration, not merely because of the blessings He bestows but because of His essential qualities—absolutely true in all that He says and perfect in all He does; perfect in His righteousness, faithfulness, and therefore He is utterly dependable. Therefore He cannot protect those who are antagonistic to Him, but to those who trust Him, He is utterly trustworthy. Beside Him there is none other—“I am the LORD; there is no other God. I have prepared you, even though you do not know me, so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the LORD, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:5-6). The word tried is used here in the sense of how metals are tried by fire and proved genuine—“And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6).

Although David wrote this psalm, it is not really completely true of him, instead, as we said earlier, it can be applied to Jesus Christ. David may be speaking prophetically through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit about the One who would be both his Son and his Lord (See Matthew22:41-46).

(v. 30) He is a buckler to all those that trust in him. Because David trusted God, God enabled him to run, leap, fight, and defeat the enemy (vv. 29, 32-34, 37-45). He could run through a troop, scale a wall, or leap like a deer up the mountains (See Habakkuk 3:19). David said God was his shield (buckler).

(v. 31) or who is a rock save our God? David said God is His rock (refuge)—See verse 46. God can be trusted for safety and salvation. Moses, at the beginning of his great song about the Lord in Deuteronomy 32, called God, the Rock (v. 4). The Lord is indeed a massive, unshakable foundation and force of protection.

(v. 32) It is God that girdeth me with strength. Here David describes how God gets him ready for battle, giving himstrength, agility, and efficiency (vv. 32-34); how God gave him victory over his enemies, pursuing, crushing, and destroying them (vv. 35-42), and how God gave him rule over other nations (vv. 43-45; 2 Samuel 8). Credit for victory is explicitly given to God, who made every step possible. He prepared the way, taught, trained, and led into battle.

(v. 32) and maketh my way perfect. Because God is perfect (v. 30) He could make David’s way perfect. The dominate thought throughout these verses is that David attributed every ability and victory of his to the Lord. Everything he had done and everything he now enjoyed was due to the Lord’s enabling.

(v. 33) He maketh my feet like hinds' feet. God’s help is describes here as giving swiftness to pursue or elude his enemies—“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer” (Habakkuk 3:19). Swiftness was essential to a successful warrior.

(v. 34) He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. This is not a glorification of war, for God trained him to fight his battles and to protect Israel so they could accomplish His purposes on earth. David has been carefully trained by God. This preparation has been physical; health, strength, and agility have been provided to bring David’s body to completion. It has also been instructional—skill in the use of war-like methods and arms had been gained—and moral: the Lord had freely given him His own equipment for resistance, His means of support in danger, and His gentleness (v. 35); that is, His understanding patience or, more literally, meekness, during all the long years since He so graciously raised a shepherd boy to a throne of power.

David did not invade other countries just to add territory to his kingdom. Whatever territory he gained was the result of his defeating armies that first attacked Israel.

(v. 34) So that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Bronze is probably meant rather than steel. The tips of arrows were made of bronze and the warrior’s bows were strengthened with it.

(v. 35) and thy gentleness hath made me great. Though David was a man of war, he recognized that it was God’s gentleness that made him what he was. The word “gentleness” means condescension. God condescended to look down and call David (See 1 Samuel 16), bend down and mold David, and reach down and save David (v. 16); and then He lifted him up to the throne (vv. 39-45). This reminds us of what Jesus, the Son of David, did when he “stepped down” to come to earth as a servant and die for our sins (See Philippians 2:1-11; See also John 8:1-11 and 13:1-11). Because David was submitted to the Lord, God could trust him with the authority and glory of the throne. Only those who are under authority should exercise authority.

(v. 36) Thou hast enlarged my steps under me means “to make ample room.” That is the idea expressed in Proverbs 22:4: “When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.”

(v. 38) I have wounded them that they were not able to rise. David eagerly accepts the purpose of the training God had put him through. In fullest confidence that god has efficiently and accurately prepared him for this task, he undertakes the subjugation of his foes.

(v.39) For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle. Girding means to bind or secure with a belt: to gird on one's armor. Girding was essential to free motion on account of the looseness of oriental clothing

(v. 39) Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. It is God who works in him. The conquest of his foes (those who rose up are “insurgents”) is really the Lord’s doing.

(v. 40) Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies—literally “backs of the necks”—made them retreat: “O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! (Joshua 7:8).

(v. 42) Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind. As said earlier, this passage can be applied to Christ, and He would be pictured primarily as a man of war. This is consistent with other Scriptures that teach that when He comes back to earth, He will come first of all “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 15). In verses 37-42, Christ is pictured as pursuing and utterly destroying His enemies after being equipped for war by God the Father.


(v. 43) And thou hast made me the head of the heathen. As the result of his success in battle, the king becomes the head of many nations.

(v. 43) a people whom I have not known shall serve me. Not only does He conquer domestic foes, but foreigners, who are driven from their places of refuge.

(v. 44) The strangers shall submit themselves unto me. His fame as a warrior caused even people he had not known to come to him cringing in fear. Submit as used here means “to show a forced subjection.”

Verses 46-50 are to be considered together.

After looking back at God’s gracious ministry to him, what else could David do but praise Him? “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). David didn’t take things into his own hands, but allowed the Lord to vindicate him when the time was right (See I Samuel 24:1-7, 26:1-12; Rom 12:17-21).

46 The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47 It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

49 Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

(v. 46) The LORD liveth  contrasts Him with idols: “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one” (1 Corinthians 8:4). David acknowledged the living God and promised to praise Him (v. 49). Proof that the Lord is alive is that He had rescued David from his enemies.

(v. 46) And blessed be my rock.  As his Rock (vv. 2, 31) God was his source of safety and security.

47 It is God that avengeth me implies that his cause is espoused by God as His own, and therefore, there is no vindictiveness; it is a declaration that God and not man had asserted the rightness of David’s cause.

(v. 48) Thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me. David said that God lifted him up to honors and safety.

(v. 48) Thou hast delivered me from the violent man. I believe the violent man is Satan.

(v. 49) Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.  Paul quoted verse 49 in Romans 15:9, “And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.” In Romans 15:10-11{6], the Jews and Gentiles rejoice together—the result of Paul’s ministry to the gentiles—and then Romans 15:12{7] announces Jesus Christ reigning over both Jews and Gentiles—“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10). This verse conveys a promise by David that he will utilize his dominion over many nations to spread abroad the praise of God.

(v. 50) Great deliverance giveth he to his king.  The Lord had given His king great victories, and He would also give victories to David’s descendents (his seed). But those victories would be only a foretaste of Christ’s victory over all the nations of the earth—“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Acts 2:8).

(v. 50) And sheweth mercy to his anointed.  David affirmed that the Lord had shown His loyal love (unfailing kindness) toHis anointed servant. This concluding verse is another royal Messianic affirmation of the Davidic covenant in 2 Samuel 7.

(v. 50) And sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore. The Psalm ends with David exalting the Lord for His covenant to Him and to his descendents (See 2 Samuel 7). Little children often use their own names when they ask for something (“Please give Tommy a cookie”), and David used his own name here, just like a little child, as he did also in 2 Samuel 7:20—“And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord GOD, knowest thy servant.” David used the term “for evermore,” so he must have realized that it would be through the promised Messiah that the kingdom promises would be fulfilled. “And He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).  All honor and praise is due unto the Triune God alone.

God extends His mercy to us today. This marvelous psalm closes on a note of praise to God. Oh, that there might be praise in your mouth and mine, in your life and mine, in your heart and mine, toward our God. “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so . . .” (Psalm 107:1-2). If the redeemed do not say the Lord is good, nobody else in the world will. The redeemed ought to say so. We need some “say-so” Christians.


scripture reference and special notes

{1] (Psalm 18:6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

{2] (Exodus 2:10) And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

{3] (Psalm 18:6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

{4] (Psalm 25:17) The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

{5] (Proverbs 13:9) The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

{6] (Romans 15:10-11) And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.

{7] (Romans 15:12) And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

{8] Habakkuk 3:3-4) God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. 4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.

{9] (Psalm 17:3-5) Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. 4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. 5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

{10] (Proverbs 22:5) Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

{11] (Proverbs 28:6) Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.