Psalm 18 is a psalm of David, a song celebrating “the day when the LORD rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.” This psalm, the longest of Book One, praises God for His deliverance. It is also recorded, with slight differences, in 2 Samuel 22. At the center of this psalm is a strong confession of faith: “With the merciful you show yourself merciful” (v. 25).
This psalm begins (vv. 1–6) and ends (vv. 46–50) with praise offered to God. It is praise filled with love and thanksgiving for God’s protection from enemies and from death. The praise rejoices in the victories God has given His king and His people—victories displayed before the world.
The central section of the psalm (vv. 20–29) celebrates the faithfulness of David and of God. David served the Lord with integrity (we will look at the difficulties that seem to surround this kind of claim below). The Lord on His part had always been reliable and blessed His king. On each side of this central meditation on faithfulness we have the record of God’s powerful help for David (vv. 7–19; 30–45). Each of these two sections has its own character. Verses 7–19 emphasize the work of God to save David. Verses 30–45 highlight David’s success as God worked through him.
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