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Psalm 18

Oops. Thought I had already written about this Psalm. Guess I started and got distracted.

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.
 
Psalm 18:1-2

The header this Psalm says that David wrote this on the day that God delivered him from Saul's hand. That had to be a good day for David. Saul was hunting David mercilessly and he had kept David on the run, hiding in caves, and continually exposed to danger.

Worse, David was helpless to save himself. Once Saul climbed up into a cave to take a dump, and it just happened to be where David was hiding that day. Saul had no idea David was there in the darkness. Saul was completely exposed and David couldn't do anything because Saul was Israel's rightful king. As wicked as Saul was - as unjustly as he had treated David - it wasn't David's place to bring him to justice. He had to wait on God to do that. So he just cut off a corner of his robe to let him know he could have done much more. I'm guessing Saul scouted out his johnny-on-the-spots a little better after that.

So this Psalm was written the day David was delivered from Saul's relentless pursuit. You can tell David is a little excited - he just heaps words and ideas of praise and delight together. It makes me smile, imagining his excitement.

[all in a single breath] You are my rock and my fortress and my deliverer and my God and ... my rock ... did I say that already? I don't know... I don't care! I take refuge in you - you are my shield and the horn of my salvation and my stronghold! [whew, take a breath]

There are three ideas that cycle through that crazy outflow of praise.  God is my foundation (my rock), my protection (my fortress, my shield, my stronghold), and the one who works for my good (my deliverer, the horn of my salvation).

On this day, David experienced the joy of all three of these realities. He felt the firm foundation of God's promises under him. He had been anointed king long ago, and now God was fulfilling his promise to make the way open for his rightful place in the kingdom. He felt the security of God's power and protection all around him. He had been vulnerable and felt exposed, but now he could see that he was protected all along. He felt the rush of simply following in the wake of the power of God, who went before him delivering him and sounding the horn of his own glory.

David felt all this on this day, but these things were true when they didn't feel true.

David was at risk before this day and he would be at risk again after this day. The story unfolds and there are unexpected twists and turns. But God is the great storyteller and the celebration of the good days can be the beacon of light on the hard days. God is our rock, our shield, and our deliverer - and we will see it clearly when our stories have run their course.

Prayer:

Lord, you are my rock. There is no other foundation that can support the weight of my life. Thank you for redirecting me when when I seek to build on the false foundations of pride, success, the praise of people, or the luxuries of life. You are my fortress. I am so thankful that I can and hide myself in you - that the door is open to me at all hours of the night - because of the blood-bought grace extended to me in Jesus.  Thank you for calling me back to the security of who I am in you even though I wander far. You are my deliverer. You are relentless in your pursuit of my soul, my love, my delight, my worship - and I am so thankful you are. If you didn't deliver me, I would wreck myself. Thank you.

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