October 24, 1993
This chapter could be called "A Song of David." With little variation, it is Ps 18. Evidently, it was written at the beginning of David's reign because their is no mention of forgiveness of the sin with the woman. Apparently, it was written soon after he was established upon the throne of Israel because he is praising God for deliverance from all his enemies, and for deliverance from Saul's efforts to kill him.
I must admit that I had great difficulty putting anything together from this chapter until I looked it up in CHS's "Treasury of David." There he pointed out that the Lord Jesus used the opening and closing verse to describe Himself, which then opened the passage for me.
As we look at this section, we see that both the opening verse, v. 3 and the closing verse, v. 50, are quoted in the NT, Heb 2:13 & Rom 15:9. In both cases, the verses are the Lord Jesus speaking through the author. Therefore, both 2 Sam 22 and Ps 18 are clear descriptions of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah God's King over all the earth. [This fact might well release us from the implications of this passage which seem to be that the warfare is strictly spiritual.]
David does describe his exploits and God's hand upon him in Ps 18 & 2 Sam 22, but what is being said reaches much farther than David. This psalm describes the Lord's actions in behalf of His faithful servant, and the servant could be defined three ways: David, Christ (Isa 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.) and the servants of God of all ages, Gal 4:7, Ga 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Furthermore, we can read this song of praise as a two-edge sword
first, David describing what took place in his life as the physical king over the people of God when God physically subdued those who were against him,
second, a prophetic statement describing what has and will take place with the Son of David, v. 51, the Lord, King and Anointed one of the Father, King Jesus.
This section presents us with some extremely serious considerations for the day in which we live.
As we look at this passage, we will refer to the speaker as the servant of the Lord. Therefore, the servant could be David, Christ or His faithful saints of all ages. The speaker could, then, be any one of the three or all three. (I am inclined to think that it primarily speaks of Christ.)
Let's look at the first verse before we really get into the meat of this passage:
1) This song was sung to the Lord by David in secret. Latter, he edited it and delivered it to the chief musician for the service of the church. The strong implication, therefore, is that this psalm is for the church for all ages.
Our outward praise for God must be an overflow of our heart toward Him.
2) enemies... David, the man after God's own heart, had enemies. Woe to the ones who have no enemies.
3) Saul is listed separate from David's enemies. Therefore, even though Saul tried for many years with even more tenacity than the Philistines, David did not consider Saul an enemy.
Saul hated David, but David refused to hate Saul.
Saul spitefully used David, but David refused to be spiteful to Saul.
Saul took advantage of David, but David refused to retaliate.
The list is endless of what Saul did or tried to do to David, but in every case, David kept his hands and heart clean and pure.
Saul's actions toward David and David's actions toward Saul are extremely important to understand and keep in mind as we look at this psalm. We will refer to Saul's and David's relationship as we go along.
4) We expect the world to hate us, but we should not be surprised if those professing to be of the people of God hate us also. If anyone was justified to return evil for evil, David was, yet he did not.
We never have an excuse to return hatred for hatred or evil for evil.
5) Those who have received mercy from the Lord owe Him honor and praise. These words of 2 Sam 1 are David's words of a song he sang to the Lord. His heart lifted up to the Lord in praise.
We see in Ps 18, that David shared his praise for the world to hear. Our thanks to the Lord for His goodness and mercy should be for all to hear.
6) in the day... David gave his thank offering while it was still fresh on his mind. He wasted no time in giving the glory and praise to the Lord for his deliverance.
7) David professes that the Lord delivered him from all his enemies one way or another. David assures us from his own experiences that Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all, Psalms 34:19.
Thus this psalm speaks to and for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of all ages:
2 Timothy 4:16-18 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Though we may fall into the hands of wicked men this side of death, the Lord will deliver us according to His purpose in our life. We have the assurance that He will deliver us safely unto his heavenly kingdom.
8) I saved the most important point until last. I wanted this to be our last thought before we started looking at the passage, viz., David trusted the Lord in his line of duty, so the Lord protected him from his enemies.
We cannot understand and properly apply this psalm without this in mind. It must be read and understood in the light of the person who wrote it and in the light of the genuine Servant, the Lord Jesus of Whom it speaks.
Both the author and the One Who was prophetically speaking were men after God's own heart. Both of these men had only one basic goal and purpose in life, viz., the glory of God on earth, the advancement of the Kingdom of God and the care of God's name.
1 Sa 13:14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him [to be] captain over his people, because thou hast not kept [that] which the LORD commanded thee.
Ac 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
David, as much as humanly possible, loved God and placed the Lord first in everything.
Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
We see, therefore, that both the Prophet, David, and the one of Whom the Prophet spoke, were fully committed to the cause of God on earth.
What I am trying to say is that it is presumptuous for one to think he can claim the promises of this passage apart from seeking first the Kingdom of God on earth. We cannot go our own way, do our own thing, please our own lusts and desires and expect the Lord to preform for us what He did for His servants, David and Christ.
I am afraid that we have all be influenced by the modern notion that the Lord will supply our needs with very little regard for our life, actions and attitude toward Him. The modern notion is that we can give to the cause of the Kingdom of God on earth of ourselves, our funds and our labor at our convince, and yet still expect Him to provide all our needs.
This psalm (& the rest of them) cannot be read and applied with that kind of an attitude.
Let's consider a few more important points before we go into the text.
I) We find this psalm deals primarily with warfare and contending with the ungodly who are intent on destroying the godly. This section does not deal with food or raiment, but with physical protection in the time of war. The Lord is presented here as a God of war, and the servant as a soldier in the Lord's army, confronting the enemy.
This "battle cry" or "victory song" is the praise of a faithful servant for the Lord's victory through him over the ungodly. It is very significant in our day of apostate, defeated Christianity that there is not the slightest hint of defeat in this song. It is a song of victory.
Christians must learn to sing and shout the victory. Most "Christians" act and sound like they are only one step from total defeat and destruction.
II) This psalm is a song of victory as the result of the Lord intervening on behalf of His faithful servant. Therefore, how much physical defence is allowed against the wicked? How much spiritual defence is commanded yet mistook for physical defence? Have we confused physical armour and weapons with spiritual? Have we confused spiritual weapons and armour with physical?
My first thought is that self-defence is permitted, but not necessarily commanded. The saints of old considered it far more honorable to give their lives for the cause of Christ than to kill others to protect themselves. But national defence or warfare for godly causes is not only permitted but required of Christians.
to here in first message.
Message and MO, "Strong man armed" is from here, Luke 11:21, 22. See both MO and Message file, October 31, 1993
December 5, 1993
2 Sam 22:2-51.
Keil said of this psalm:
This psalm is thus arranged in two leading divisions, with an introductory and concluding strophe. But we cannot discover any definite system of strophes in the further arrangement of the principal divisions, as the several groups of thoughts are not rounded off symmetrically.
I must admit that I had great difficulty putting anything together from this chapter until I looked it up in CHS's "Treasury of David." There he pointed out that the Lord Jesus used the opening (v. 3 - Heb 2:13) and closing verse (v. 50 - Rom 15:9) to describe Himself through the respective authors.
Therefore, both 2 Sam 22 and Ps 18 are clear descriptions of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jehovah God's King over all the earth.
We will use the term "servant" for the one speaking. The primary Servant of the Father was Jesus. Then we have the servant who spoke these words, King David. Then we have the general servant of the Father: the individual believers. Any of the three definitions of servant would fit in this psalm, but I believe it primarily speaks of Christ.
I found this passage difficult to divide because each section flowed into the next. But I think there are some divisions we can use. I found 12 divisions: there may be more, there may be less, but these are what caught my attention (after reading the chapter several times).
Also, let me mention, Ps 82:3, 4 & Luke 3:14.
Removed a short study on the 6th commandment from here.
My impression here is that self defense is permitted, but violence against being persecuted for Christ is not. In David's situation with Saul, we see Saul attempting to kill him because God was with him. David fled rather than even defend himself. Don't forget Jer 51:19ff identifies the Lord Jesus Christ as the Father's weapon of war.
I) Vv. 2-3, the servant expresses his faith in the Lord.
V. 1 said these were the words of David after the Lord delivered him, then v. 4 says that the servant will call on the Lord The conclusion then is that vs. 2 & 3 are statements of faith before the Lord delivered His servant from all the enemies.
These two verses are the bases of the cry to the Lord in v. 4 and the deliverance of the servant from the evil intents of the ungodly (v. 5) in the rest of the chapter.
These two verses tell us that the servant was confident that his Lord would supply everything he needed in his days of distress. Because of the important implications of this passage concerning our approaching, distressful days, we will look at these two verses closer than we normally wold.
2 Samuel 22:2
And he said, The LORD Jehovah = "the existing One" the proper name of the one true God
[is] my rock as stronghold of Jehovah, of security (fig.)
and my fortress fastness, stronghold
and my deliverer bring into security, deliver. Throughout the Word of God, we find that this word as used here does not necessarily mean physical deliverance from difficult situations (Ps 18:3, &c.)
V. 3, The God
of my rock a figure of speech used for God as support and defence of His people. But in saying that God defends His people, we must remember that the Lord tells us that vengeance is His. Most of the time, the Lord allows His people to go through great distress before He moves in their defence.
Furthermore, where to draw the line in physical defence of the faith is one of the greatest and most difficult questions in the history of the Christian religion.
in him will I trust seek refuge
[he is] my shield defence of His servants
and the horn symbol of strength
of my salvation deliverance, rescue, salvation, safety, welfare.
my high and tower are the same word. secure, height, retreat. Figurative of God as refuge.
and my refuge place of escape, as a refuge.
my saviour and thou savest are the same word. deliver, save those in peril God saves his people from external evils.
me from violence violent, cruel, oppressive, damaging, wrong, false and unrighteous.
Vv. 2, 3 Even though this psalm appears to be presenting the Lord as a means of escape from trouble and bad situations, such an understanding would not be consistent with Scripture. The Lord is nowhere presented as a place to hide from the trials and troubles of life even though many attempt to understand salvation in that light.
Certainly, the Lord is a refuge, hope, assurance, &c., in the midst of the cruel, violent, oppressive and unrighteous situations surrounding us, but His refuge is a spiritual refuge. The word of God does not teach monasticism: that is, hiding from the tribulations of life on a mountain top or behind closed doors.
We know this psalm is not speaking of withdrawing in a monistic sort of way because one of the servants of this passage is Christ. It is a prophetic statement about the Lord, and the Lord sure did not avoid the violence when He was here. In fact, Peter exalts the Lord as our example in difficult situations.
The confidence of the faithful servant of God is that the Lord does all things will, that all things work together for good and the Lord's army will be victorious.
II) Vv. 4-7, the servant cries to the Lord for help.
V. 4 is the servant's confidence that the Lord will see him through whatever comes his way. The Lord is presented as One Who is available at a moments notice to aid His faithful servant. The servant here is determinant to trust the Lord to "save" him. "I will call," says the servant, and "the Lord will save." Furthermore, the Lord is worthy of praise.
I am not at all discounting the fact that the Lord did indeed deliver His servant David from the clutches of his physical enemies, e.g., Saul, the Philistines, &c, and that some of those deliverances were supernatural.
But we cannot say that the servant is seeking a supernatural escape from the clutches of evil men. Obvious facts leave such an understanding totally without substantiation. We have no record of a "supernatural snatching away" of anyone from their bad situation. The servant is seeking refuge in the face of evil men in his relationship to the Lord. This psalm records the inner peace the servant is given in that relationship.
Vv. 5, 6 is what caused the servant to cry out to the Lord.
1) waves of death
2) the floods of ungodly men
made him afraid
3) sorrows of hell
compass him about
4) snares of death
These four things lead to:
V. 7 the servant crying out, and the Lord hearing his voice.
I think it is significant that in the servant's distress he called on the Lord. In other words, his distress caused him to go to the Lord and not to the government or not to personal retaliation against his oppressors.
Distress straits, distress... of my spirit. And I believe this is the key: Brown, Driver, Briggs (DBD) has two separate listings for distress, and both are # 6862. The distress in v. 7 refers to distress of spirit; the other distress is adversary, foe. And the other distress is not used in this psalm.
Thus it was out of the distress of his spirit that the servant cries out to the Lord. It was not from the distress of his adversaries.
In v. 4, he expresses his determination to cry out to the Lord; in v. 7, he does cry out to the Lord.
The Lord, located in His temple, hears the cry of His servant
1) the servant was unjustly persecuted.
2) the servant did not fight back against his enemies. The Lord seeks vengeance for those who do not seek their own vengeance. (Heb 10)
V. 8 opens with the word, THEN. The question is when did the Lord respond to the cry?
Note that the Lord did not respond until the servant, In his distress called upon the Lord, and cried to his God. I think this is important to see. The Lord did not respond in vv. 5, 6, but rather after the cry in v. 7.
I believe, furthermore, that this is also seen in the situation with the children of Israel in Egypt. It was not until after they cried unto the Lord in their distress that the Lord moved to deliver them. That means that the Lord is the One who brought about their distressful conditions, so they would cry out to Him. Then He could and did deliver them.
It sure makes one wonder if the Lord is not bringing about some very distressful conditions today to force His people to flee from the gods of this world to Himself.
(He has warned about learning the way of the heathen in the state school system. As judgment for Christians not obeying His warning, he is removing their children from them.)
See ConCon mailing for treatment of JAMES 5:13ff.
December 26, 1993
III) Vv. 8-16 the Lord responds to His servant's cry.
Obviously, the response of the Lord as recorded here cannot be taken literally. The upheaval of the elements is consistently used by the Spirit to picture the Lord's movement in the affairs of men.
The Lord's intervention is compared to natural disasters and things common in God's creation: earthquakes, smoke, fire, darkness, wind, water, dark clouds that accompany a severer storm, thunder, lightening, storms at sea and blasts of wind.
We know of nothing like these "acts of nature" as described here during the time of David. That is not to say that the Lord does not intervene into His creation on behalf of His faithful servants in a literal way: He did literally rain hail from heaven upon His enemies in Judges, &c., but that was an exception.
By the Psalmists describing the Lord's actions through events we can identify with (e.g., rain, show, storms, winds, &c.), he shows us God's "sovereign dominion over all the creatures and all the counsels of men..." (MH, p 562)
Therefore, throughout Scripture we have established the fact that acts of God against the ungodly are identified by or compared with things that take place in creation: natural calamities of all kinds.
Thus when we get into the Revelation, we must hold to what has already been firmly established in the OT, viz., most, if not all, of the natural calamities mentioned in Revelation are characterization of things we can understand from nature of the movement of God against sin.
In this case, the upheaval of the natural elements describes the Lord's response in vengeance against those who mistreated His servant. We should also keep in mind that the following is the result of the servant's prayer to the Heavenly Father.
1) the Lord's intervention for His servant's sake is compared to a tremendous shaking of heaven and earth. The Lord moves against the men who are attempting to destroy His servant after the servant prays against them.
I believe we are living in a day of great and terrible shaking when the things that can be shaken are and will be shaken to their very foundations. The houses of evil men that they have worked so long and hard to build and protect are going to come down. In His anger, the Lord speaks and all that can be shaken will be shaken.
2) smoke... fire... coals kindled. This is an oriental expression which shows great wrath. The wrath of God against the actions of the ungodly who move against His faithful servant kindles everything that will burn.
There is nothing that makes God more angary than the mistreatment of His children,
De 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. Ps 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, Pr 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. La 2:18 Their heart cried unto the Lord, O wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night: give thyself no rest; let not the apple of thine eye cease. Zec 2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
His anger and wrath is not like ours; it is holy and wholly justified. The whole picture here depicts the Lord's decent to aid His faithful servants in their distress.
3) God moves from His throne in heaven.
Prayer moves heaven and earth. I like what CHS said here:
If I must have an enemy let him not be a man of prayer, or he will soon get the better of me by calling in his God into the quarrel.
4) cherub... This is an important point. The Lord was pictured as dwelling between the cherubs on the ark of the covenant. The Ark contained the commandments of God. Thus the Lord is pictured here as a covenant-keeping God who moves in terms of His law-word.
He may not move as we wish He would, or as fast as we desire. But we have the assurance that He will move. Hebrews presents this to us:
A) He 10:19-25, the Lord's faithful servants have free and
open access to the Heavenly Father through prayer.
B) He 26-31, the Lord presents Himself as the God of fiery vengeance against those who hath trodden under foot the Son of God..., v. 29.
5) v. 12, He moves in secret places, in unknown, hidden and fearsome ways. Darkness and thick clouds are no hinderance for Him; in fact, it is used for His purpose.
Any fool can see God at work in the bright sunlight. It takes the eyes of faith to see God at work in the darkness, gloom and storm around us.
6) vv. 13-15, the picture here is of a terrible thunderstorm. The clouds are horribly black, but they are lit up with bolts of lightening. The storm and all that accompanies it hold no fear for the faithful servant, but the wicked had better hide their faces from the wrath of the Lamb when He seeks His vengeance against them.
Every thunderstorm we see should remind us of our God's control of all things for His glory and honor. They should remind us and assur us of God's promised vengeance against those who work against His faithful servants. They should remind us His assured protection of His own. They should remind us that the battle is His, not ours, and He will do battle for us. Even nature proclaims the justice of our God.
7) notice where the sign of God's justice is located: in the clouds of the air. The Lord moves and speaks right in the midst of his domain, and he is absolutely powerless to hinder our God's movement.
8) the Lord sends out His arrows, and they never miss their mark.
The arrows of the Lord are seen in a couple ways:
A) arrow of destruction against God's enemies. Sinners are scattered and discomfited by the actions of our God. The proud of this earth are turned into quivering, fearful masses of flesh at the movement of our God.
B) Ps 45:5 tells us of the arrows of God sent to the hearts of His enemies. These arrows cause His enemies to fall under Him. This is an obvious reference to the work of the Spirit in the heart of the unconverted. In Ps 45:5, the unconverted are subdued to the King.
9) v. 16, God's assault against the wicked was so great that it laid bare the bottom of the sea and the foundations of the world. We see here the utter vanity of trying to hide from the Lord. Evil men lurk in the dark to do their evil deeds, but the Lord sees, knows and will reveal their wickedness in His good time.
The blast of His nostrils exposes all man's folly. There is no place man can go to escape the eyes of the Lord, Ps 139:8. But more importantly for us, there is no place we can go or there is noting that wicked men can do to us that can keep the Lord from seeing us and hearing our prayer.
Jan 2, 1993
Vv. 17-20, the Lord delivers.
The Author of deliverance is Divine, He sent
The work of deliverance is heavenly, from above
The deliverance itself is marvelous, He drew me out of many waters.
Like Moses of old, David is drawn from the water. Believers of all ages have been baptized in many waters of agony and trials, but delivered by the hand of the Lord. The torrential floods of evil cannot drown those who have been washed in the blood of the lamb. But washing alone will not deliver: we must cry out for and depend totally upon the mercy of our God. We will see more of this in v. 21.
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me... Certainly, our enemy is the devil, but he has a great many helpers here on this earth that must be confronted. There are more enemies than we can keep track of, but the Lord knows each one.
When delivered, we must not forget from whence deliverance came, He sent from above. For the Psalmist says. The enemies were too strong for him, and they are far too strong for us. Our weakness is not a cause of weaping; rather, our weakness is a cause for Divine help.
The enemy is conquered, but only conquered in Christ. Our only hope in the conflict, as was David's, is a vivid realization of our own weakness and of the power of His might, Eph 6:10-18.
The men, enemies of God and of God's people, had a day of victory and rejoicing over the saint of God. Their crafty action may well have destroyed David if it had not been for the Lord. The Lord was his stay; that is, his support in the midst of the enemies' movements against him.
He brought me forth... Joseph pined in prison for many years before being delivered. David moved to the throne of Judah from the cave of Adullam.
into a large place... After experiencing the confinements his enemies placed him in, he is delivered. "Enlargement is the more delightful after a season of pinching poverty and sorrowful confinement." CHS
Also, because the Lord might not move according to our time table does not mean He is not going to move.
because he delighted... This clearly speaks of Divine, Sovereign and free grace. Why would Jehovah God delight in any person enough to shed His Divine bounty on that person? This is a divine mystery and a question that not even the angles can solve. David evidently had this question in mind as he wrote,
Ps 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
We see, therefore, from this section that though we may be pressed down under the heels of the enemies of God, the Lord, in His Divine mercy, will one day see that His people prevail.
Vv. 20-28, the reason the Lord intervened for His servant.
I believe a great error would be to try to claim the promises contained in this Psalm and fail to closely consider this section. I believe we can justly call it, THE REASON FOR DELIVERANCE.
This Psalm is obviously a prophetic statement concerning the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Christ, therefore, is the only One who could ever stand before both God and man and declare Himself totally righteous. But David is writing this Psalm in the "first person." In other words, he is honestly recounting what the Lord had done for him in his distress.
By faith, we are clothed with His righteousness,
Ro 3:22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Ro 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
So obviously one's righteousness must start by faith in Christ.
David was not perfect, but he kept his sins confessed and his conscience clear. Paul said it like this,
Ac 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and [toward] men.
If Paul had to work at keeping his conscience clear, how much more of an effort will it require on our part? But we should also remember that even though Paul could claim a clear conscience and righteous works before God and man, he still met a violent end. His purity before God and man protected him until his job for the Lord was complete.
Notice also that it was not pride on David's part to refer to his righteousness in life any more than it was pride on Paul's part. Righteous, holy living and strong moral character are not to be spoken of shamefully.
Both the positive and negative aspect of purity is spoken of:
V. 22, I have... I have not... It takes both the positive and negative for a holy, righteous life. And it takes equal grace to follow the ways of the Lord and to avoid the ways of the world, flesh and devil.
I have kept... He knew the law of the Lord and worked at walking
not wickedly departed... This implies a wilful, persistent, defiant departure from the ways of the Lord. He did not in his heart say, "I don't care what the law of the Lord says, this is the way I am going."
departed from... Notice who departs from Whom. God does not depart from man; man departs from God.
V. 23, For all his judgments... David here goes into some detail of his righteous life. David here says that the measure of his every action was
the Word of God.
The righteous person has the character, actions and Word of God before him at all times. He is always seeking first the Kingdom of God; his role model is Christ:
2Jo 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
1 Pet 1:21
V. 23, Psalms 18:22 presents the departure from God this way:
22 For all his judgments [were] before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.
Note the positive and the negative... Departure from God starts with the departure from God's statute book, the Word of God. Every person that we might meet that has fallen by the wayside started his fall when he let dust collect on the Scriptures. Personal righteousness starts in the Word of God. Personal unrighteousness starts in the small areas, such as reading the Word of God.
V. 24, I was also upright before him... David spoke from confidence that he had done all he could to please his God. Again, Paul words it like this,
1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a
pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned:
1 Ti 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having
put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Heb 10:22 Let us
draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed
with pure water.
Thus our strength in the face of our enemies lies in the same place as did David's: faith and a good conscience.
V. 24, kept myself... Implies work on the servant's part. He knew the judgments and statutes of God from God's word. But he did far more than study and meditate upon those judgments and statutes, he worked hard at applying them into his life.
from mine iniquity... Implied here is a besetting sin,
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
What hinders our stand for Christ? Anger, lust, love for the things of the world??
The servant knew God, knew the word of God, and kept himself from his iniquity.
One of these days we also will remember our self-denial for the King's sake, and be rewarded accordingly.
V. 25, the Lord hath recompensed me... First, God works His holiness in us by His grace,
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.
Then God rewards us for His work in us.
This is similar to a hand made pot wining a prize at a fair. Actually, the potter won the prize, though the pot gets the praise.
V. 25, according to my righteousness..., according to my cleanness... Would we be willing to ask God to reward us according to our right actions compared to His word? Would we be willing to ask God to reward us according to the cleanness of our hearts compared to His word?
This is a bold statement, but it is made by a man after God's own heart. Don't forget, he did inherit the promise of the Messiah, Who is called the Son of David.
in his sight... Not in our sight, not in our neighbours sight, but in His sight. How do we stand in His sight? Also, remember His eyes are upon every action; nothing can be hidden from Him.
Vv. 25-27 need to be taken together, and the doctrine presented in them is one of the most obvious and prevalent in the NT.
Lu 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
The Lord is at all times just with all men. He deals to each man according to that man's measure. Every man shall have his meat weighed in his own scales, his own land measured by his own rod, and his own house painted with his own paint (watered paint will catch up).
The servant here says the Lord was merciful to him because he was merciful to others, &c.
Can we honestly say we are willing for the Lord to deal with us according to how we have dealt with others? He will.
We should do unto others as we should have the Lord do unto us because He will.
V. 28, the servant expresses his confidence that the Lord will save, or deliver, the afflicted. This, as did vv. 25-27, presents a very prevalent and well known Bible doctrine. The promise here is to those who are poor in spirit.
Afflicted here refers to humble. The contrast is seen right in the verse. Afflicted vs. haughty. See Hannah's prayer, 1 Samuel 2:1ff.
Thus, the common theme throughout this Psalm is that the Lord will seek vengeance upon the proud who unjustly persecute the meek servants of God.
Have God's people lost their afflicted attitude in their determination to stand up for their rights?
V. 28, notice the words, wilt... mayest... In other words, the promise is for future action, both for the godly and against the ungodly. Paul said it like this:
Ro 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Note the threat against the haughty, or those who are exalted in their own eyes: God will bring them down. Both saved and unsaved can fit into this description of haughty because God's hand is against haughtiness or pride.
It is far better to be brought low by afflictions than to be brought low by the anger of God.
V. 29 reads a little differently in Ps 18:
Ps 18:28 For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
Even the children of light, children of God need the Lord to light their candle. The way is not always clearly shown; many times we need divine light to shine for us.
Ecc 11:7, 8, Truly the light [is] sweet, and a pleasant [thing it is] for the eyes to behold the sun: But if a man live many years, [and] rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh [is] vanity.
Even though darkness holds no fear for the child of God, its gloom is still quite darkness surrounds us on every side.
If there were ever a dark day that needs the Lord's light, we live in it. We need to pray for the Lord to brighten the way.
Ps 119:105 NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
We must saturate ourselves with the word of God, and so much more as we see the day approaching.
The next section is vv. 30-32, the faith of the servant in his God.
I believe the order of this chapter is extremely important.
A) the servant had total confidence in the Lord.
B) the ungodly persecuted him.
C) the servant did not respond to the ungodly's actions against
him; rather, he held on to his faith in the Lord. In fact, the
ungodly's evil actions against him only strengthened his faith.
V 7, it was in his distress that he called upon the Lord. It was
not in his distress that he went to battle with the ungodly or
fled from the ungodly.
D) in His wrath, the Lord intervened in behalf of His faithful servant who left the vengeance in the hands of the Lord. But it is very clear, the reason the Lord intervened was because the servant was righteous, vv. 20-28, and the Lord was/is just. It is obvious that the servant was assured of the righteousness and justice of his God back in vv. 4-6, because he cast himself upon his God.
E) NOW, vv. 30ff we have the servant's conflict with the ungodly compared to physical combat. Notice though, the war-like conflict did not start until the second half of this psalm. The servant has already gone through a great deal. Now the Lord is going to subdue the heathen under his feet.
Vv. 30-32, the Lord described.
V. 30 starts a description of the servant's strength, confidence and victory in battle.
The servant here clearly describes his source of strength and wisdom by which he conquered the enemy, v. 33.
1) V. 30, the servant overcame hosts of difficulties and scaled impossibilities by the power of God.
2) V. 31, his way is perfect...
The servant makes this statement in spite of the prevailing darkness around him and the enemies charges against him.
Can we say that His every way is perfect in spite of the calamities, darkness and paganism around us? Can we say His way is perfect all the time?
3) V. 31, the word of the Lord is tried...
Have we tried it and fount its precepts true at all times? Others have, and if nothing else, we can take their word for it. It has been tried over many years, and it has never failed.
We should mention, the servant is not talking of tempting the Lord. Rather, he is talking about the precepts of God's word working as God said they would.
4) what did the servant find as a result of trying the word of the Lord? he found the Lord is a buckler, the Lord is protection for all those who trust in Him.
Does this mean that the person is now bullet proof? No! This means that there is no longer any reason to fear men or what men can do to you. The threats of men cannot cause you to compromise.
5) The servant thinks and meditates upon his God. As a result, he exclaims v. 32.
The enemies of God have gods also, but their gods are not the Lord. Note the spelling of Lord... refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Creator; He is Sovereign; He is King; He is Lord.
6) a rock... This reminds me of Matt 7, and the rock upon which the wise man built his house. The only stability and true rest is found in God the Lord.
Vv. 33-45 is probably the next division, but these divisions are arbitrary. Here we see the work of the Lord in His servant's life. We could call this section, "A work of Grace."
1) v. 33.
V. 30, the servant spoke in past tense; therefore, in v. 33, the servant loudly proclaims the source of his strength which enabled him to survive.
I think the semi-colon (:) makes an important point concerning the strength and power. The strength and power were given to him by the Lord, but notice the purpose of the strength and power. Their purpose was to enable him to follow the perfect way of the Lord. Up to this point, the servant only talks about deliverance from the power of the enemy; he does not really talk of warfare.
Strength and power, then, were given to him by the Lord. The NT term is GRACE. Notice God's purpose of Grace: it was to enable the servant to walk in the way of the perfect way of the Lord. The purpose of grace was not to enable him to have dominion over his fellow man, but to have dominion over his own way that would attempt to depart from the Lord.
2) V. 34.
V. 33 speaks of walking in the perfect way. V. 34, then, speaks of his feet which he walks in the proper way. The Lord made his feet like hinds' fee. The hind is a deer and is known for its fleetness of foot and ability to climb. The servant had a high place of service to his God.
So have we been established by the Lord in a high place! The Lord saved us and established us in the high place of His service. But with that high place of service comes a high place of temptation and danger.
3) V. 34, my high places.
The servant needed more than one high place, and his high places were for him and his special needs.
No two people are alike, which marriage sure reveals. Therefore, each person needs a different high place. The Lord provides just what we need at the time it is needed. And He prepares His high place for us according to what we need.
V. 35 starts a description which sounds very much like physical, down and out warfare. But the Lord prevents us from taking this passage as a literal warfare by inserting v. 36, the shield of thy salvation.
Therefore, we here are given "lofty metaphors" to describe the warfare the servant is involved in. These lofty figures of speech are similar to the metaphors used to describe the Lord coming to the aid of His servant back in vv. 8-16. These are simply lofty figures of speech describing the Lord's work of grace in the life of His faithful servant.
We cannot deny that David, who wrote this psalm, had a marvelous ability at warfare. That ability, as is every ability, was given to him by the Lord. But does this verse mean that the Lord literally took David's hands and stretched the bow until it broke?
Note the second part of this verse first so that a bow of steel is broken in mine arms. The servant's shield is salvation; thus the bow of steel must also have a spiritual meaning.
Ps 11:2; 46:9
The servant is saying that the Lord snatched away the enemies weapons and destroyed them. Jesus not only destroyed the fiery suggestions of the enemy, but He also cut assurer the arguments by which the enemy sent his suggestions forth with the word of truth.
Thus the Lord establishes the feet on the solid rock and teaches the hands to war. The Lord teaches the proper use of the word of God so His people can be victorious in their battles.
It is the Lord that breaks the power of the enemy.
January 30, 1994
V. 38 and those following give us a marvelous look at the grace of God.
They obviously refer to the work of Christ Who destroyed all the power of the enemy. He left His heavenly throne to pursue the enemy here on earth. He completely disarmed the enemy and totally destroyed his power.
Up to this point, this psalm has been highly figurative. Obviously David did triumph over his enemies in a very literal since through bloody warfare. But I do not believe we can say that this psalm up to v. 35 is figurative, then say that it is literal, then say once again that it is figurative again in v. 43. Note also, as we will below, that v. 44 on speaks of the future. This speaks very strongly of Christ and the assured victory in Him.
The Amalekites supposed that they had safely escaped with the loot, but David overtook them and recovered all. The Lord enabled David to do have the victory over Amlek. But notice that David did not give up until he had the victory over Amlek, 1 Sam 30:1ff.
When the Lord teaches us to war, and we fight according to His word, sins, sorrows and all forms of evil are consumed before the power of His grace.
The destruction of our enemy has been complete. The power of death and hell have been broken by Christ. His grace is needed to conquer the enemy within.
Vv. 40, 41, again very well describes the Lord.The Father gave Him total power and authority over the enemy. This passage sounds very much like Ps 2.
The servant is trained and equipped by the Lord for battle against the enemy, and the servant was victorious. In this section, he gives all credit to the work of God in his behalf. The servant put his training into action: for thou hast girded me with strength to battle, v. 40. The Lord does not give us grace, skills, abilities and desires for us to sit at home in front of the TV or to use even for our own comfort and well-being. The skill provided by the Lord is for us to apply His word into every area of life.
There are victories to be won; Christ has provided what is needed in training and weapons for the victory; the victory requires work on our part, but all the praise and glory go the Lord.
Even the ungodly, when pressed, cry out to God, but God does not hear them. Will a man head the please of his child's enemies for the man to strike his child?
How much less will the Lord hear the pleas of the ungodly against His church?
David defeated his enemies so utterly and completely that they were lie powder; their power was broken, and they became as dust before the wind.
In Daniel, we read of the Stone that ground the nations of the earth to dust to be scattered by the wind.
The picture here is of the total and complete victory of the Son of David upon the cross over every enemy of God and God's people.
Vv. 44, 45
Certainly, there is far more spoken of here than of David.
This is clearly Christ. When God is the Lord, when the Prince
of Peace reigns: strivings cease in the soul of His people; strivings
cease in the church; strivings cease in the nation whose God is
the Lord. Strivings cease from among the nations that serve the
Our responsibility is to take the gospel of peace to the nations. It is the Lord's responsibility to subdue the nations to the Prince of Peace. V. 45 assures us that the heathen nations will submit unto the Lord. We have heard stories of the receptiveness of those who have never heard the gospel of peace before; the gospel spreads like wild-fire among them. While, on the other hand, those who have heard seem to be hardened.
There is a promised day coming when all strivings will cease when the Prince of Peace reigns in the hearts of His people. Isa 55:5. What an encouragement to preach the gospel of the cross.
I think here also is the assurance of the Lord delivering His faithful pastors and christian leaders from strivings of those under them. It refers to those who would flee from problems in their family, community, church or wherever:
If they are called to that place, they had better stick it out because if the Lord cannot deliver them where they are, He will not elsewhere. Of course, the Lord moves His servants in particular cases, but I think we are too quick to move. We blame the Lord then when we move and things don't work out for us.
One thing the gospel does is bring fear to the heart of strangers of the cross. If you want to see a crowd of ungodly men flee when no man pursuith, preach the cross to them. They will flee from the water of life and peace.
The servant closes this psalm with a review of the Lord's work on his behalf.
The servant rejoices that the Lord avenged the enemy. It is sin to rejoice in personal vengeance, that is, when our enemy falls. We should be pained when a sinner falls, but, on the other hand, we should rejoice when the law of God is avenged.
In other words, as we see society crumble around us, we should be pained at the pain it causes individuals, but praise the Lord that His word is true.
V. 49 primarily refers to Saul's effort against David. Even though we may never see similar situations of being physically lifted up on high over those against us, we are now indeed seated with Christ in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers. One day the saints will judge even the angles.
V. 50 is quoted, referring to Christ, in Rom 15:9. All the power and victory that Christ had was given to Him by the Father, Jn 3:34, 35.
If the Son of God Himself was willing to give glory to the Father for all He had and did, how much more to we owe to the Father?