4.17.2013

Psalm 18

As I mentioned previously, I have been doing the 40 Day "Jesus is _____." Video Journey with Chelsea and Judah Smith. Day 11 talks about Psalm 18:



This Psalm has such special meaning to me, and it is terribly marked up in my bible.



18 I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
14 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16 He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his rules were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
24 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26 with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27 For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
29 For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32 the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
43 You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.
46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47 the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48 who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.
49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50 Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.

Now, I could go ON and ON about this chapter, but I just wanted to touch on a few verses that really stand out to me. I recently read about how to pray through scripture, thanks to a resource posted by the lovely Kate at KATEandKUBY. This really helped me see the Psalm in a different light. As I was praying through the Psalm this morning, each chosen verse stood out in a new way.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,

my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


What in this verse speaks to you? Day 11 (video above), touches on this verse specifically. Judah and Chelsea Smith go deep. In rough times, who do you typically turn to? Your parents, your friends, your roommate, your boyfriend, your pet? Or do you ALWAYS turn to God? Yeah, me neither. I am very guilty of forgetting that God is my ROCK and my stronghold, and instead I turn to Matt during times of unreasonableness and stress, expecting him to somehow know how to make me feel better.  Let me tell you, this doesn't always work, and although he is VERY understanding, supportive, and patient, often times we just end up frustrated with each other. So, why is it so hard for us to run to God during our troubled times? I think the answer is that it's sometimes easier for us to hang on to the tangible things in our life, those we can see and touch. But that takes little to no faith. I think this verse really tells us that we need to have more faith. Faith that God is always with us, that He can bear the weight of our struggles, that He can shield us from troubles, and that He will always be faithful to us-- although it may not always be OUR way. I can promise you, however, that you will get the fulfillment you need from God before you will get it from something tangible. Because that material things will fade away with time, but God won't. So, I encourage you to seek Him during difficult times, even when it isn't always the easiest. I also encourage you to ask yourself: what is preventing you from turning to God first?

In my distress I called upon the Lord;

to my God I cried for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears.


If verse 2 didn't convince you, maybe verse 6 will. I think the reason that it is unrealistic to expect someone or something to make you feel better comes down to the fact that they might not know you inside and out. They might not understand your heart. Well, I have the solution-- God. God knows you inside and out, He knows where  you're coming from, and He knows what will heal you. The New King James Version of the bible says, "He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears." Your voice, your troubles, your tears reach DIRECTLY to God's ears. He hears you, He knows you, and He wants you to come to Him. So, if verse 2 didn't convince you that God is your true stronghold, I hope this verse does. Also, take a quick look at verse 32. This tells us not only does He give us strength, but that only He can make our way perfect. Another convincing reason to let go of other items or people.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;

the foundations also of the mountains trembled

and quaked, because he was angry.


I have a hard time with this verse. Seeing God as "angry" is not always the most comforting image. I am going to be honest and tell you that I do not live in ENOUGH fear of God. I tend to lean towards the New Testament image of God over the Old Testament image. Sometimes, I justify my shortcomings with the claim that even if I mess up God will love me. But, I don't really think that's the best way to live my life. Instead, I need to remember that God can be angry, so angry that He can make the foundations of mountains shake. That's serious (If you're not convinced keep reading through verse 15)! Therefore, this verse has recently made it very clear that I need to be more God-fearing. That I need to live to please Him more fully, so that I never have to have my mountain shaken (haha).  I challenge you to ask yourself if you need to be more God-fearing, or maybe even less.

16 He sent from on high, he took me;

he drew me out of many waters.

17 He rescued me from my strong enemy

and from those who hated me,

for they were too mighty for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,

but the Lord was my support.

19 He brought me out into a broad place;

he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

 

So this is where things get really personal for me. I literally have these verses blocked in my bible. Next to them I have written, "What God did for ME before I was saved despite being unworthy; remember I NEED Him for what I cannot do." I cannot remember when I wrote that note, but I still feel that way. God drew me out of some deep waters when I met him. I probably wasn't the most pleasant person, most honest person, most giving person, or most kind person. Although I will never be perfect, things are SO much different now. He really did rescue me. I remember reading a book very early on in my faith, and reading about how the author did not feel worthy of God's love, because she had never felt truly loved in her life. I think I can relate to that. I still am not sure that I know how much God delights in me, and that is why I am doing the 40 Day Overcome the Lie Challenge. I need to somehow learn that He does delight in me, and I am worthy, no matter what my past holds. What does this verse speak to you?  

46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, 

and exalted be the God of my salvation-- 

 

Amen, literally. I need to remember that God is my rock every single day. When I'm being pleasant, when I am being miserable, when I am being annoying, He is still there. Therefore, we really need to learn how to trust in Him more often, and exalt Him as he deserves EVERY SINGLE DAY. So finally, friends, I challenge you to do just that. Find a daily study that you like, join one of the many challenges I have mentioned, read a Psalm a day, just do SOMETHING to exalt God for being your rock just one more day.

What are your favorite verses from Psalm 18 and why? I would love to hear from you all! 

1 comment :

  1. just stumbled across your blog! Loved it :) I am completely new to the blogging scene so you should give me a follow me at http://foreverconvinced.blogspot.com/ :). I love that your going over Psalm, I have been reading that book for the past month now! Thanks for the inspiring words! xo Jess

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