Wednesday of Pentecost 11 – Psalm 18:1-16

1 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.

Do you want to impress all your friends? Tell them that you can read two chapters of the Bible at once. Have them turn to II Samuel 22 while you read aloud Psalm 18. They are almost word for word the same. Why is that important? Because it gives us a little insight into what this Psalm is talking about. II Samuel tells us:

And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.”  II Samuel 22:1

The psalm continues for some time after this reading ends. It has 50 verses. David had a lot to say on that day, but we end it right here at vs. 16 because we need to hear that today. God sent from on high and drew me out of many waters.

For David his many waters included his king and father-in-law who was bent on killing him, a giant who threatened to feed his flesh to the birds of the air, a rebellious son who nearly did him in, and a host of enemies. Perhaps the darkest enemy David faced was his own passions as he entered an adulterous affair with Bathsheba and murdered her husband to cover it up. David was in danger of being overwhelmed by many waters.

Do you feel like you are in such danger today? You might. I am regularly in communication with some folks who are in danger from a spouse, diseases, poverty, or their neighbors. We are all in danger from those same sins and passions to which David fell prey. Pray this psalm with David. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. God will come through with resurrection and new life. The waters will not win.  

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