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18. Psalm 18

1I love thee, O Jehovah, my strength.

2Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;

My God, my rock, in whom I will take refuge;

My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.

3I will call upon Jehovah, who is worthy to be praised:

So shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4The cords of death compassed me,

And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.

5The cords of Sheol were round about me;

The snares of death came upon me.

6In my distress I called upon Jehovah,

And cried unto my God:

He heard my voice out of his temple,

And my cry before him came into his ears.

7Then the earth shook and trembled;

The foundations also of the mountains quaked

And were shaken, because he was wroth.

8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils,

And fire out of his mouth devoured:

Coals were kindled by it.

9He bowed the heavens also, and came down;

And thick darkness was under his feet.

10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly;

Yea, he soared upon the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his hiding-place, his pavilion round about him,

Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

12At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed,

Hailstones and coals of fire.

13Jehovah also thundered in the heavens,

And the Most High uttered his voice,

Hailstones and coals of fire.

14And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;

Yea, lightnings manifold, and discomfited them.

15Then the channels of waters appeared,

And the foundations of the world were laid bare,

At thy rebuke, O Jehovah,

At the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16He sent from on high, he took me;

He drew me out of many waters.

17He delivered me from my strong enemy,

And from them that hated me; for they were too mighty for me.

18They came upon me in the day of my calamity;

But Jehovah was my stay.

19He brought me forth also into a large place;

He delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20Jehovah hath rewarded me according to my righteousness;

According to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

21For I have kept the ways of Jehovah,

And have not wickedly departed from my God.

22For all his ordinances were before me,

And I put not away his statutes from me.

23I was also perfect with him,

And I kept myself from mine iniquity.

24Therefore hath Jehovah recompensed me according to my righteousness,

According to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful;

With the perfect man thou wilt show thyself perfect;

26With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure;

And with the perverse thou wilt show thyself froward.

27For thou wilt save the afflicted people;

But the haughty eyes thou wilt bring down.

28For thou wilt light my lamp:

Jehovah my God will lighten my darkness.

29For by thee I run upon a troop;

And by my God do I leap over a wall.

30As for God, his way is perfect:

The word of Jehovah is tried;

He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in him.

31For who is God, save Jehovah?

And who is a rock, besides our God,

32The God that girdeth me with strength,

And maketh my way perfect?

33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet:

And setteth me upon my high places.

34He teacheth my hands to war;

So that mine arms do bend a bow of brass.

35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation;

And thy right hand hath holden me up,

And thy gentleness hath made me great.

36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me,

And my feet have not slipped.

37I will pursue mine enemies, and overtake them;

Neither will I turn again till they are consumed.

38I will smite them through, so that they shall not be able to rise:

They shall fall under my feet.

39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle:

Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40Thou hast also made mine enemies turn their backs unto me,

That I might cut off them that hate me.

41They cried, but there was none to save;

Even unto Jehovah, but he answered them not.

42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind;

I did cast them out as the mire of the streets.

43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people;

Thou hast made me the head of the nations:

A people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44As soon as they hear of me they shall obey me;

The foreigners shall submit themselves unto me.

45The foreigners shall fade away,

And shall come trembling out of their close places.

46Jehovah liveth; and blessed be my rock;

And exalted be the God of my salvation,

47Even the God that executeth vengeance for me,

And subdueth peoples under me.

48He rescueth me from mine enemies;

Yea, thou liftest me up above them that rise up against me;

Thou deliverest me from the violent man.

49Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Jehovah, among the nations,

And will sing praises unto thy name.

50Great deliverance giveth he to his king,

And showeth lovingkindness to his anointed,

To David and to his seed, for evermore.

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43. Thou shalt deliver me from the contentions of the people. David states, in a few words, that he had experienced the assistance of God in all variety of ways. He was in great danger from the tumults which sometimes arose among his own subjects, if God had not wonderfully allayed them, and subdued the fierceness of the people. It also happened, contrary to the general expectation, that David, as is stated in the second clause of the verse, was victorious far and wide, and overthrew the neighboring nations who had a little before discomfited all Israel by their forces. It was an astonishing renovation of things, when he not only suddenly restored to their former estate the people of Israel, who had been greatly reduced by defeat and slaughter, but also made his tributaries the neighboring nations, with whom before, on account of their hostility to the nation of Israel, it was impossible to live in peace. It would have been much to see the kingdom, after having sustained so grievous a calamity, still surviving, and after having again collected strength recovering its former state; but God, contrary to all expectation, conferred upon the people of Israel more than this; he enabled them even to subdue those who before had been their conquerors. David makes mention of both these; he tells us, in the first place, that when the people rose up in tumult against him, it was none other but God who stilled these commotions which took place within the kingdom; and, in the second place, that it was under the authority, and by the conduct and power of God, that powerful nations were subjected to him, and that the limits of the kingdom, which, in the time of Saul, had been weak and half broken, were greatly enlarged. Hence it is evident that David was assisted by God, not less with respect to his domestic affairs, that is to say, within his own kingdom, than against foreign enemies. As the kingdom of David was a type under which the Holy Spirit intended to shadow forth to us the kingdom of Christ, let us remember that, both in erecting and preserving it, it is necessary for God not only to stretch forth his arm and fight against avowed enemies, who from without rise up against him, but also to repress the tumults and strifes which may take place within the Church. This was clearly shown in the person of Christ from the beginning. In the first place, he met with much opposition from the infatuated obstinacy of those of his own nation. In the next place, the experience of all ages shows that the dissensions and strifes with which hypocrites rend and mangle the Church, are not less hurtful in undermining the kingdom of Christ, (if God do not interpose his hand to prevent their injurious effects,) than the violent efforts of his enemies. Accordingly God, to advance and maintain the kingdom of his own Son, not only overthrows before him external enemies, but also delivers him from domestic contentions; that is to say, from those within his kingdom, which is the Church. 436436     “C’est a dire au dedans de son royaume qui est l’Eglise.” — Fr. In the song in 2nd Samuel, instead of these words, Thou hast made me the head of the nations, the word employed is תשמרני, tishmereni, which signifies to keep or guard, and is therefore to be understood in this sense, that David will be securely, and for a long time, maintained in possession of the kingdom. He knew how difficult it is to keep under discipline and subjection those who have not been accustomed to the yoke; and, accordingly, nothing is of more frequent occurrence than for kingdoms which have been lately acquired by conquest to be shaken with fresh commotions. But David, in the song in Samuel, declares that God, having elevated him to such a high degree of power as to make him the head of the nations, will also maintain him in the possession of the sovereignty he had been pleased to confer upon him.

A people whom I have not known shall serve me. The whole of this passage strongly confirms what I have just now touched upon, that the statements here made are not to be restricted to the person of David, but contain a prophecy respecting the kingdom of Christ which was to come. David, it is true, might have boasted that nations, with whose manners and dispositions he was only very imperfectly acquainted, were subject to him; but it is nevertheless certain, that none of the nations which he conquered were altogether unknown to him, nor removed at so great a distance as to render it difficult for him to acquire some knowledge of them. The conquests of David, therefore, and the submission of the people to him, were only an obscure figure in which God has exhibited to us some faint representation of the boundless dominion of his own Son, whose kingdom extends

“from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the same,”
(Malachi 1:11,)

and comprehends the whole world.




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