A Retrospect of Life
Psalm 18:1-50
I will love you, O LORD, my strength.…

The sailor tells of the perils of the sea; the traveller recounts the varied incidents of his career; and the soldier who has passed through battles and sieges can speak of hairbreadth escapes and moving accidents by flood and field. So it is with human life. We have the power of looking back; we can in imagination revive the past, and as scene after scene rises before us, our heart is thrilled with various emotions. And what we have experienced and recalled, we can set forth to others. The opening of this psalm is very touching and beautiful. It is as if the fire which had been burning within could no longer be restrained. The psalmist's pent-up feelings must find an outlet. Before and beyond all, he must let his full heart speak. "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength." This may be regarded as the key-note, and it is touching how the psalmist dwells upon it, with variations, as if he could not let it go (ver. 2). Love to God was not an impulse, or the result of purposes, but the very habit and delight of his soul. Name after name, and epithet after epithet, is pronounced, each having its own peculiar associations, and each; not only expressing, but exciting his love the more. In this retrospect of life we have -

I. THE PERILS ESCAPED. Various images are employed. We see how enemies increased and dangers thickened. In the midst of one terrible scene of tumult and storm, where all perils are gathered into one, the psalmist seems about to be engulfed. But in his helplessness, the hand of God from out of the cloud lays hold of him, and draws him forth from the great waters. His cry for help was not in vain. So let us remember with gratitude God's goodness. There are some that dishonour the great memories of life, because they forget God. Let us acknowledge the hand of God, not only in the crises of our life, but also in the countless instances in which God has shielded us from dangers that we knew not, and saved us from evils and mischances of our daily life which else might have been our ruin.

II. THE PRINCIPLES EVOLVED. Trials are a test. There are certain principles which we should do well to hold fast, whatever comes.

1. God's Fatherly care. Relation stands. God does not change his love, though he may change his ways. Through all afflictions he cleaves to his people, and his people should cleave to him.

2. The efficacy of prayer. There are infinite resources with God, but they are only available to us by prayer. We may not be able to see how help can come, or relief may reach us in ways different from what we expected; but let us have faith in God's Word. "Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee." To this David and all the saints bear witness.

3. That all things are working to a perfect end. God is just, and will do justly. God is good, and he cannot will us aught but good. Let us trust him utterly. "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord" (Lamentations 3:26; Romans 8:28).

III. THE BLESSINGS ENJOYED. Light shines in the darkness. Strength is evolved out of weakness. Progress is made in spite of opposition. Peace is enjoyed in the midst of trouble. Hope is cherished in the face of difficulties and sorrows. Victory is assured over every foe. And why? Because God is with his people (vers. 31-45).

IV. THE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS DEMANDED. (Vers. 46, 50.) The psalm concludes with a joyous burst of praise, in which, with brief touches, scenes previously described are recalled, and the rich fulness of the Divine goodness is set forth. There is personal thanksgiving for God's love and mighty works. But there is more. There is the acknowledgment of God as the God of all flesh - not only of David and of Israel, but of all nations. And there is the grand hope expressed that, as God had brought the nations around within the dominion of Israel, so he would draw all the nations of the earth within the benign and blessed rule of Messiah (Romans 15:9). "In Christ, the Son of David, David's fallen throne has lasting continuance; and in him everything that was promised to David's seed has eternal truth and reality. According to its final prospect, the praise of Jahve, the God of David, his Anointed, is praise of the Father of Jesus Christ' (Delitzsch). - W.F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,} I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

WEB: I love you, Yahweh, my strength.

The Horn of My Salvation
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