First, we look at context when studying the word of God. It helps us understand the whole story and prevents the enemy from twisting scriptures and deceiving us. So here’s the context around Psalm 18.
King David is one of the most well known people from the Bible. We grew up hearing about him slaying the giant with a sling and stone. He’s been coined a man after God’s own heart. The very first time we meet David in the Bible is when Samuel is sent to anoint a new king for Israel out of Jesse’s family. God loves David’s heart and knows him from the inside out. So while he’s not the oldest or strongest of the sons, he is God’s chosen one to lead Israel.
But here in Psalm 18 we find David a bit older and more seasoned. The Israelites adore him as a well known, victorious soldier. He’s not yet king but in fact running for his life from the current king! Ever feel called by God to do something and run straight into opposition? Yeah. God doesn’t promise it’s going to be easy but He does promise to be with us.
Finally, God has delivered him from death and saved David from Saul with his mighty power. David is rejoicing and praising God for rewarding him with life.
The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress
16He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. 17He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. 18They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. 19He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. 21For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22For all his rules were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me. 23I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. 24So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; 26with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. 27For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. 28For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. 29For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.30This God – his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Next, check out my post on studying the Bible on your own for what colors mean what and where I get that info. Verses can almost always fit into more than one category so if you start highlighting according to the Good Morning Girls categories know that your highlights don’t have to be identical to mine. Sometimes my own aren’t even consistent lol!
- Verse 16= power of God
- Verse 17= power of God
- Verse 18= death; God
- Verse 19= power of God
- Verse 20= God; faith/obedience; God
- Verse 21= obedience
- Verse 22= commands; obedience
- Verse 23= obedience
- Verse 24= God; faith/obedience
- Verse 25= mercy
- Verse 26= kindness; sin
- Verse 27= salvation; sin
- Verse 28= power of God
- Verse 29= power of God
- Verse 30= God
Mighty is the power of God. If you haven’t had a chance, go read all about the power of God in Part One of the Psalm 18 study. Remember that your Father God in heaven delights in you! God is your stronghold. He loves you and you can lean on Him during the difficult times. I mean, how many of us have had to run and hide in caves so that we’re not killed by stabbing of sword?! I’ve been through difficult times before and I’m sure you have too. But I can’t even imagine going through that!!
David had a chance to kill Saul and he spared his life. David respected Saul as king even though Saul was on the hunt to kill David.
Even so, verses 20 through 26 were really hard for me to swallow for a long time. In the past I’d read them and get frustrated, even mad at David! How dare he act like he’s righteous?! I know for a fact David’s hands did not stay clean! So what the crap?! How is he touting that he’s so blameless?! Whoaaaa Lauren, breathe.
Absolutely, positively no one is perfect. Let me say it again. Not one single person on earth is perfect. David later sins, big time. No one is blameless. This is why Christ came to pay for our sins. Everyone sins. No one can be right in God’s eyes by obeying the law. It is only through Christ’s sacrifice that we can come to the Father.
“For by the works of the law no human flesh will be justified in His sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20
David couldn’t be perfect. And calling him a man after God’s own heart doesn’t mean to imply that he was perfect. Why? Because he’s still just a man. To think of anyone in the Bible other than Christ himself to be perfect is mistaken. Even the man after God’s own heart needed saving. Verse 2 says God is the power that saves me. Never by my own abilities – I cannot save myself. Which is great news! This means pressure to be perfect is no longer valid. I can simply live my life for the One I love. I will fall sometimes but that’s ok. He is there to pick me up, clean me off, and help me back on the path.
Psalm 18 was written before David had a lazy season and disobeyed God by not accompanying his soldiers to battle. It was written in a season before David took another man’s wife and plotted to have the man killed to hide his affair.
But after David later sins and Samuel confronts him about it, David repents. David is broken hearted over disappointing the Father, his Lord. He humbles himself. He repents and reroutes his heart back to the humility and focus with which he writes Psalm 18.
Verse 27 says, “You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud.” God, keep me humble! Let me not bloat up with disgusting pride that puts others lower than me. In verses 28 and 29, David stays humble and gives the glory for each victory to God. Recognize the God is the giver of every win.
In conclusion, verse 30 wraps up our lesson in a…well, perfect, bow. This God – his way is perfect! The only one who can ever master perfection is the creator of all. HE is truly perfect. I love how David proclaims this. His way is perfect! Trying to obtain perfection is pointless and not the point of Christianity. We are covered in love by the sacrifice of the perfect Christ. So take heart, dear one, know that you will never be perfect. The famous man after God’s own heart was not perfect. But you are loved and cared for by the perfect God. Take refuge in Him.
I made these bible verse cards to print and post where I need them most, like at the office. 😉 I thought you might need some Jesus there too, so I decided to share. Download them below!
- Psalm 18 Bible Study; Part 1. A Powerful God is Always Our Stronghold. Believing That He’s Got This.
- David’s Psalm 5 – Lead Me in Your Righteousness
- Psalm 18, Part 3; Giving Credit Where Credit is Due…and It’s Always Due
- A Perspective Overwhelmed: Overwhelming an Overwhelmed Perspective…in a Good Way
- Deuteronomy 30 – Part 2, Choose Life or Death