Read Psalm 18 today.
What does the psalmist repeat about God’s character?
What stands out about God’s actions?
Focusing on verses 16-24, read this portion through the eyes of someone who is innocently imprisoned.
As you reflect on this, pray in these ways and any other way the Holy Spirit leads.
For those who are innocently imprisoned.
For hope and strength for those suffering injustices.
For a sense of God’s presence for those who are trapped within systems of unjust power.
For our systems of justice to be just for all people.
I Love You, Lord
A song to the Pure and Shining One by King David, his servant, composed when the Lord rescued David from all his many enemies, including from the brutality of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, Yahweh, and I’m bonded to you, my strength!
2 Yahweh, you’re the bedrock beneath my feet,
my faith-fortress, my wonderful deliverer,
my God, my rock of rescue where none can reach me.
You’re the shield around me,
the mighty power that saves me,
and my high place.
3 All I need to do is to call on you,
Yahweh, the praiseworthy God.
When I do, I’m safe and sound in you--
delivered from my foes!
4-5For when the cords of death wrapped around me
and torrents of destruction overwhelmed me,
taking me to death’s door,
6 in my distress I cried out to you, the delivering God,
and from your temple-throne you heard my troubled cry,
and my sobs went right into your heart.
7 The earth itself shivered and shook.
It reeled and rocked before him.
As the mountains trembled, they melted away,
for his anger was kindled on my behalf!
8 Fierce flames leapt from his mouth,
erupting with blazing, burning coals as smoke
and fire encircled him.
9-10He stretched heaven’s curtain open and came to my defense.
Swiftly he rode to earth as the stormy sky was lowered.
He rode a chariot of thunderclouds amidst thick darkness;
his steed was a cherub,
soaring on outstretched wings of Spirit-Wind.
11Wrapped in the thick-cloud darkness,
his thunder-tabernacle surrounded him.
He hid himself in mystery-darkness;
the dense rain clouds were his garments.
12Suddenly the brilliance of his presence broke through
with lightning bolts and hail--
a tempest dropping coals of fire.
13The Lord thundered; the great God above every god
spoke with his thunder-voice from the sky.
The Most High uttered his voice!
14He released his lightning-arrows, and routed my foes.
See how they ran and scattered in fear!
15Then with his mighty roar he laid bare the foundations of the earth,
uncovering the secret source of the sea.
The hidden depths of land and sea were exposed
by the blast of his hot breath.
16He rescued me from the mighty waters
and drew me to himself!
17Even though I was helpless in the hands
of my hateful, strong enemy,
you were good to deliver me.
18When I was at my weakest, my enemies attacked--
but the Lord held on to me.
19His love broke open the way,
and he brought me into a beautiful, broad place.
He rescued me—because his delight is in me!
20He rewarded me for doing what’s right and staying pure.
21I will follow his commands and
I’ll not sin by ceasing to follow him, no matter what.
22For I’ve kept my eyes focused on his righteous words,
and I’ve obeyed everything that he’s told me to do.
23I’ve been blameless before him and followed all his ways,
keeping my heart pure.
24And so Yahweh has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
because I kept my heart clean before his eyes.
25Good people will taste your goodness.
And to those who are loyal to you,
you love to prove that you are loyal and true.
26And for those who are purified, they find you always pure.
But you’ll outwit the crooked and cunning with your craftiness.
27To the humble you bring heaven’s deliverance,
but the proud and haughty you disregard.
28God, all at once you turned on a floodlight for me!
You are the revelation-light in my darkness,
and in your brightness I can see the path ahead.
29With you as my strength I can crush an enemy horde,
advancing through every stronghold that stands in front of me.
30Yahweh, what a perfect God you are!
All Yahweh’s promises have proven true.
What a secure shelter for all those
who turn to hide themselves in you,
the wraparound God.
31Could there be any other god like Yahweh?
For there is not a more secure foundation than you.
32God, you have wrapped me in power
and made my way perfect.
33Through you I ascend to the highest peaks
to stand strong and secure in you.
34You’ve trained me with the weapons of warfare-worship;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35You empower me for victory with your wraparound presence.
Your power within makes me strong to subdue.
By stooping down in gentleness,
you made me great!
36You’ve set me free, and now I’m standing complete,
ready to fight some more!
37I caught up with my enemies and conquered them
and didn’t turn back until the war was won!
38I smashed them to pieces and
I finished them once and for all; they’re as good as dead.
39You’ve placed your armor upon me
and made my enemies bow low at my feet.
40You’ve made them all turn tail and run,
for through you I’ve destroyed them all!
41They shouted for help, but no one dared to rescue them.
They cried out to Yahweh, but he refused to answer them.
42So I pulverized them to powder and cast them to the wind.
I swept them away like dirt on the floor.
43You gave me victory on every side,
for you make me a leader of nations.
Even those I’ve never heard of come and bow at my feet.
44As soon as they heard of me they submitted to me.
Even the rebel foreigners obey my every word.
45Their rebellion fades away as they come near;
trembling in their strongholds,
they come crawling out of their hideouts,
cringing in fear before me.
Praise is lifted high to the unshakable God!
Towering over all, my Savior-God is worthy to be praised!
47Look how he pays back harm to all who harm me,
subduing all who come against me.
48He rescues me from my enemies;
he lifts me up high and keeps me out of reach,
far from the grasp of my violent foe.
49So I thank you, Yahweh, with my praises!
I will sing my song to the highest God,
so all among the nations will hear me.
50You have given me, your king, great victories.
You’ve always been tender and kind to me, your anointed one,
your loving servant, David, and to all my descendants!