David's Thanksgiving for His Deliverance
Psalm 18:1-3
I will love you, O LORD, my strength.…

Many songs of thanksgiving were composed by David. Perhaps it would be too bold for us to say that this Psalm excels them all; but we may say without hesitation, that none of them excels this.

I. OF DAVID'S DELIVERANCE FROM THE HANDS OF HIS ENEMIES. In the early part of David's life he obtained signal instances of God's preserving mercy. A lion and a bear came to destroy a lamb of his fold; David had the courage to attack both these fierce animals in defence of the young of his flock, and the Lord delivered him. A great deliverance was granted to himself, and through him to his people, when the Lord delivered into his hand the terrible giant of Gath. Many and wonderful were the deliverances which he obtained from Saul. David sometimes thought it necessary for himself to leave the Lord's land and to seek refuge among strangers, who were not such heathens as many of his own people. Among them, too, he found protection and obtained great deliverances. The king of Moab behaved to him with kindness, so far as we know. Among the Philistines he was more than once in extreme danger. But the Lord was still his stay and his helper. When the Philistines were brought low by many terrible engagements, David was still exposed to great perils, but the Lord preserved him whithersoever he went. Neither Moabites, nor Ammonites, nor Syrians of different kingdoms could stand before him, either singly or in conjunction, for the Lord taught his hands to war and his fingers to fight. But when the Lord had given him rest from his enemies round about, evil rose up against him out of his own kingdom and out of his own house. Sheba rose up after Absalom to seek his life, but he soon lost his own, as his predecessor in wickedness had done. These were some of David's deliverances from his many visible enemies; and they were attended and sweetened by other deliverances, not less, but still more important. He was sometimes almost overwhelmed by fear and dejection of spirit. He was often in great bodily distress; but he cried unto the Lord and was healed (Psalm 30). But the most dangerous of his troubles were those which he suffered from the law in his members warring against the law in his mind, and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin which was in his members.

II. OF GOD AS THE DELIVERER OF DAVID. "Salvation is of the Lord" (Psalm 3:8). Everywhere we find him giving to the Lord the glory of the salvation wrought for him. "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer. The God of my rock, in Him will I trust: He is my shield and. the horn of my salvation; my high tower and my refuge, my Saviour, Thou savest me from violence" (2 Samuel 22:2, 3). "For who is God save the Lord? Who is a rock save our God?" (2 Samuel 22:32). We know that there were many heroes who obtained a just and glorious name for the valiant exploits which they performed in the defence of their king and country. One of them had the honour of preserving the life of David when the hand of a terrible giant was lifted up against him. And there were many besides his mighty men to whom he was greatly indebted for signal service. His life was at one time saved by the kindness and wit of his wife Michal, at another time by the good offices of Jonathan, and even the Philistines were at one time made the instruments of preserving the life of that champion of Israel who was to be the destroyer of their power. But we never find David employing his fine genius in celebrating the exploits of these heroes to whom he was so greatly indebted. God is pleased for the most part to employ means and instruments in His works of mercy or of vengeance. But they do neither less nor more than God has intended to accomplish by them. It was God who made use of the Philistines for the salvation of David at Selah-hammah-lekoth. They were far from meaning so, neither did their heart think so. God employed not only men on earth, but the angels of heaven, for the deliverance of David from his enemies, and therefore, in his commendations of the goodness of God to himself, he assures us that the angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear the Lord, and delivers them. "Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord persecute them" (Psalm 35). Whatever were the means employed for the deliverances of David, no doubt was left in the mind of any reasonable man concerning the great Author of his salvation. The Lord gave us sensible proofs of His presence with David and of His indignation against his enemies, as if He had in the literal sense bowed the heavens and come down. Had we hearts like David we would often be rejoicing in God, and singing His praises, when our corrupt dispositions prompt us to utter complaints as if God had forgotten to be gracious, because He will not resign the management of all our affairs into our own hands.


1. The ardour of his love to that God who had blessed him with so many and such wonderful deliverances. Dearly he loved the God of his salvation, before he needed any of the deliverances which gave occasion to this Psalm. But every new deliverance increased the ardour of his love.

2. We find him expressing his firm reliance on God as the God of his salvation. His faith was powerfully invigorated by every new deliverance. And would we not greatly dishonour Him if we withheld from Him our confidence after a thousand proofs of His special favour? (Psalm 18:2, 3).

3. He expatiates on the greatness, on the grace, on the glory of these salvations which had been wrought for him. He illustrates the greatness of the salvations by representing the dreadful danger from which he was delivered. The terrors of death had fallen upon him. He was like a brand plucked out of the burning, or like a man raised out of the grave. His deliverance was the answer of fervent cries addressed to God from the depths into which he was cast. We are too much disposed to look with a careless eye on the great works of God.

4. He celebrates the excellency of those Divine perfections which were manifested in his deliverance. He shews forth the glory of that righteousness which appeared in the gracious rewards bestowed on himself, and the vengeance inflicted on his wicked enemies. He shows forth the glory of the Lord as the God of salvation, who bad given striking and incontestable proofs of His saving power and grace in the salvations wrought for him. None of the gods of the nations had ever given any proofs of their power to save their worshippers that trusted in them. Great things God had done for David. David had himself performed wonderful things, and achieved victories that were to make him famous through all generations. But not to himself, but to his God was the praise due.

5. He praises God, and expresses his unshaken confidence in Him for the great things that were yet to be done for him, and for his seed after him. On the whole, we are taught by this Psalm what improvement we ought to make of the great works of God, recorded in His Word. If David saw and admired and celebrated in such strains of rapture his deliverance from the hand of his enemies, can we sufficiently admire the glory that shines forth in the whole train of providential administration recorded in the volume of inspiration? Manifold were the salvations wrought by God for Abraham and Jacob, for Moses and the people of Israel. Nor ought we to forget any of God's deliverances wrought for ourselves. Nor ought we to forget the obligations that lie upon us to praise God for our friends and brethren.

(G. Lawson.)

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.

A Text that Looks Two Ways
Top of Page
Top of Page