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The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

1I love you, O Lord, my strength.
2The 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.
3I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

4The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;11Or terrified me
5the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.

6In 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.

7Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8Smoke went up from his nostrils,22Or in his wrath
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

13The Lord 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;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15Then 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.

16He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
17He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
18They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
19He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

20The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22For all his rules33Or just decrees were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
24So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

25With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
29For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30This God—his way is perfect;44Or blameless
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

31For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
33He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
34He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
36You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
37I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
39For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40You made my enemies turn their backs to me,55Or You gave me my enemies' necks
and those who hated me I destroyed.
41They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
42I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

43You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
44As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
45Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.

46The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.

49For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.


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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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