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For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord . He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:


[Preliminary Comments: This psalm is both the longest psalm we have encountered so far and it has the longest heading/title. It is a song; David is its composer and he, uniquely so far, describes himself as ‘the servant of the Lord'. It is clearly a song of rejoicing and the cause of that rejoicing is made obvious; it is one of the several times that he was delivered from the hands of Saul who was pursuing him. Yet it seems to include not only Saul but all other enemies of Israel over whom David has triumphed. This he attributes to the Lord! To help absorb the large amount of content we have not only used subheadings, but also a summary comment as well.]



v.1,2 David's thankfulness for all the way God is his security


v.1  I love you, Lord , my strength.

v.2  The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
     my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
     my shield and the horn of my salvation , my stronghold.

[ponder on each of the images David uses here of God]


v.3-5 When death reach out for he, he cried to God who saved him


v.3  I called to the Lord , who is worthy of praise,
     and I have been saved from my enemies.
v.4  The cords of death entangled me;
     the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
v.5  The cords of the grave coiled around me;
     the snares of death confronted me.

[note the four descriptions of the threat David had felt]


v.6a He had cried to the Lord in his distress


v.6  In my distress I called to the Lord ;
     I cried to my God for help.
[motivation for prayer is often crisis]


v.6b-15 Much picturesque to describe God on the move


From his temple he heard my voice;
     my cry came before him, into his ears.

[the picture is of God in His home, hearing David's cry come to Him]

v.7  The earth trembled and quaked,
     and the foundations of the mountains shook;
     they trembled because he was angry.

[when God is troubled, the earth is troubled!]

v.8  Smoke rose from his nostrils;
     consuming fire came from his mouth,
     burning coals blazed out of it.

[fire which destroys comes from God when He is angry]

v.9  He parted the heavens and came down;
     dark clouds were under his feet.

[it is a picture of God ‘coming down' from heaven above to sort this out]

v.10  He mounted the cherubim and flew;
     he soared on the wings of the wind.

[it's like He rides his angels to come in power]

v.11  He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
     the dark rain clouds of the sky.

[He who is hidden [see 1 Tim 6:16] comes unseen initially]

v.12  Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
     with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

[His glory is hidden from the earth as He comes]

v.13  The Lord thundered from heaven;
     the voice of the Most High resounded.

[yet when He speaks from heaven we hear thunder]

v.14  He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
     with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

[He comes with power to scatter the enemy]

v.15  The valleys of the sea were exposed
     and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord ,
     at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

[God speaks, God moves, and the earth is moved]


v.16-19 Summary: God reached down and delivered him from disaster


v.16  He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
     he drew me out of deep waters.

[He came & reached down and stopped the enemy drowning me]

v.17  He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
     from my foes, who were too strong for me.

[whereas I was helpless, He came and rescued me]

v.18  They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
     but the Lord was my support.

[my enemy came after me but God was there for me]

v.19  He brought me out into a spacious place;
     he rescued me because he delighted in me.

[out of the prison of hopeless circumstances, he set me free]


v.20-24 His righteousness has been the foundation of his relationship with God


v.20  The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
     according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

[the Lord has accepted that I am righteous and blessed me because of it]

v.21  For I have kept the ways of the Lord
     I am not guilty of turning from my God.

[I have remained faithful to him at all times]

v.22  All his laws are before me;
     I have not turned away from his decrees.

[I have remained true to His Law]

v.23  I have been blameless before him
     and have kept myself from sin.

[I have been spotless, free of sin]

v.24  The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
     according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

[and so He has blessed me]


v.25-27 The Lord reveals Himself in different ways, depending on the person


v.25  To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
     to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

[you are faithful with those who are faithful, and right with those who are righteous]

v.26  to the pure you show yourself pure,
     but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.

[the uncorrupted see you perfect, but the sneaky are wary of your wisdom]

v.27  You save the humble
     but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

[the humble you save, the proud you bring down]


v.28,29 This leaves David feeling secure and strong


v.28  You, Lord , keep my lamp burning;
     my God turns my darkness into light.

[you enable me to be light, scattering the darkness]

v.29  With your help I can advance against a troop;
     with my God I can scale a wall.

[with you with me I can triumph in battle]


v.30,31 It also reveals the wonder of who the Lord is


v.30  As for God, his way is perfect:
     The Lord 's word is flawless;
     he shields all who take refuge in him.

[God's way cannot be improved upon, speaking perfectly, shielding refugees]

v.31  For who is God besides the Lord ?
     And who is the Rock except our God?

[there is no one like Him, a steady rock of support]

v.32-36 He lists ways the Lord enables him


v.32  It is God who arms me with strength
     and keeps my way secure.

[He is the one who strengthens me and makes me secure]

v.33  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
     he causes me to stand on the heights.

[like a deer on the crags I stand steady]

v.34  He trains my hands for battle;
     my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

[He has enabled me to be the warrior I am]

v.35  You make your saving help my shield,
     and your right hand sustains me;
     your help has made me great.

[in every way you've been there for me]

v.36  You provide a broad path for my feet,
     so that my ankles do not give way.

[so my path has been sure and secure]


v.37-45 He reflects on his victories that the Lord has enabled him to have


v.37  I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
     I did not turn back till they were destroyed.

[I've been able to catch and destroy our enemies]

v.38  I crushed them so that they could not rise;
     they fell beneath my feet.

[I was enabled to bring them down]

v.39  You armed me with strength for battle;
     you humbled my adversaries before me.

[with your strength those against me fell]

v.40  You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
     and I destroyed my foes.

[in fact they turned around and fled]

v.41  They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
     to the Lord , but he did not answer.

[even though they cried for help it was not to you, so they fell]

v.42  I beat them as fine as windblown dust;
     I trampled them like mud in the streets.

[they were as nothing before me]

v.43  You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
     you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,

[you have made me victorious over enemy neighbours who I have subdued]

v.44    foreigners cower before me;
     as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.

[my fame has become known by them so they submit to me]

v.45  They all lose heart;
     they come trembling from their strongholds.

[fear of me has made them submissive to me]


v.46-50 He concludes with praise for God his security and deliverer


v.46  The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
     Exalted be God my Savior!

[The Lord is real, a support for us, may He be exalted]

v.47  He is the God who avenges me,
     who subdues nations under me,

[He is the One who has brought down nations before me]

v.48    who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
     from a violent man you rescued me.

[He saved me from violent enemies, lifting me above them

v.49  Therefore I will praise you, Lord , among the nations;
     I will sing the praises of your name.

[thus you are worthy of our praises]


v.50  He gives his king great victories;
     he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
     to David and to his descendants forever.

[you made me king, blessed me, and have given me a future]



[Additional Thoughts: There is really so much in this psalm that demands we take time to meditate on the things David says. It is a psalm of great assurance in the face of challenges to our lives and reveals the glory and might and majesty of God who David sees has come on his behalf to deliver him from impending death. Although the heading speaks of Saul, David's language here seems to indicate a much wider application that might be taken to cover all surrounding enemies. The historical text more than once declares, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went” [2 Sam 8:6,14, 1 Chron 18:6,13 – read the whole of 2 Sam 8 to get the full picture of his triumphs over surrounding nations]. Take time to go back over each verse and meditate on it.]



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