Psalm 18 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Psalm 18)
18:2 a The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower.

(a) He uses this diversity of names to show that as the wicked have many means to hurt, so God has many ways to help.

18:3 I will call upon the LORD, [who is worthy] to be b praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

(b) For no one can obtain their request from God if they do not join his glory with their petition.

18:4 c The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

(c) He speaks of the dangers and malice of his enemies from which God had delivered him.

18:7 d Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

(d) A description of the wrath of God against his enemies, after he had heard his prayer.

18:8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and e fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

(e) He shows how horrible God's judgments will be to the wicked.

18:9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and f darkness [was] under his feet.

(f) Darkness signifies the wrath of God as the clear light signifies God's favour.

18:10 And he rode upon a g cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

(g) This is described at large in (Psalms 104:1-35).

18:11 He made darkness his h secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies.

(h) As a king angry with the people, will not show himself to them.

18:13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave i his voice; hail [stones] and coals of fire.

(i) Thunders, lightnings and hail.

18:14 Yea, he sent out k his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

(k) His lightening.

18:15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the l foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

(l) That is, the deep bottoms were seen when the Red sea was divided.

18:16 He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many m waters.

(m) Out of many great dangers.

18:17 He delivered me from my n strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were o too strong for me.

(n) That is, Saul.
(o) Therefore God sent me help.

18:19 He brought me forth also into a large place; p he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

(p) The cause of God's deliverance is his favour and love for us.

18:20 The LORD rewarded me according to my q righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

(q) David was sure of his righteous cause and good behaviour toward Saul and his enemies and therefore was assured of God's favour and deliverance.

18:22 For all his judgments [were] before me, and I did not put away his r statutes from me.

(r) For all his dangers he exercised himself in the law of God.

18:23 I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine f iniquity.

(f) I neither gave place to their wicked temptations nor to my own desires.

18:25 With the t merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

(t) Here he speaks of God according to our capacity, who shows mercy to his and punishes the wicked, as is also said in (Leviticus 26:21,24).

18:27 For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt u bring down high looks.

(u) When their sin is come to the full measure.

18:29 For by thee I have x run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

(x) He attributes it to God that he both got the victory in the field and also destroyed the cities of his enemies.

18:30 [As for] God, his way [is] perfect: the y word of the LORD is tried: he [is] a buckler to all those that trust in him.

(y) No matter how great or many the dangers may be, yet God's promise must take effect.

18:32 [It is] God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my z way perfect.

(z) He gives good success to all my enterprises.

18:33 He maketh my feet like hinds' [feet], and setteth me upon my a high places.

(a) As towers and forts, which he took out of the hands of God's enemies.

18:35 Thou hast also given me the b shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy c gentleness hath made me great.

(b) To defend me from dangers.
(c) He attributed the beginning, continuance and increase in well doing only to God's favour.

18:37 d I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

(d) David declares that he did nothing besides his calling, but was stirred up by God's Spirit to execute his judgments.

18:40 Thou hast also e given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

(e) You have given them to my hands to be slain.

18:41 They f cried, but [there was] none to save [them: even] unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

(f) They who reject the cry of the afflicted, God will also reject them when they cry for help, for either pain or fear causes those hypocrites to cry.

18:43 Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; [and] thou hast made me the head of the g heathen: a people [whom] I have not h known shall serve me.

(g) Who dwell round about me.
(h) The kingdom of Christ is prefigured in David's kingdom, who by the preaching of his word brings all to his subjection.

18:44 As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall i submit themselves unto me.

(i) Or lie: signifying a subjection constrained and not voluntary.

18:45 The strangers shall k fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

(k) Fear will cause them to be afraid and come forth from their secret holes and holds to seek pardon.

18:48 He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the l violent man.

(l) That is, Saul who out of malice persecuted him.

18:49 Therefore will m I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

(m) This prophecy belongs to the kingdom of Christ and calling of the Gentiles, as in (Romans 15:9).

18:50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his n seed for evermore.

(n) This did not properly belong to Solomon, but to Jesus Christ.