“I love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18)
O Most Holy and Loving Father God,
I just love this Psalm, the story of how You save me from my enemies. How You set the captives free. Lord, You love me with such an unfailing love, nothing can compare… and yet I try to fill the hole that was made for Your love, with anything and everything but You. Lord, You are my strength, and yet I try to be strong on my own and fail every time, and then wonder why it didn’t work out for me. You are my rock solid foundation and yet so often I don’t build things on Your kingdom or according to Your plans, and I end up watching them crumble at my feet. Lord, You are my fortress and my deliverer and yet so often when I am in trouble I fail to run to the safety of Your arms and run away from You instead. I hide and try to fix things on my own, usually making them worse. Oh, but Lord, when I DO call to You in my time of need, when I do take refuge in the safety of Your arms, when I do praise You in my times of trial and difficulty… I am saved!
The cords of death can entangle me, the torrents of destruction can be overwhelming me, the cords of the grave can be coiled around me, the snares of death confronting me. But when I’m in distress I can call to my Yaweh. And when I cry to YOU MY God FOR help, OH! From your temple on high You hear MY voice; MY cry comes before You, into Your ears. And what do You do?
Woo! The earth TREMBLES and QUAKES, the foundations of the mountains SHAKE, they all TREMBLE because You are angry! Smoke comes from Your nostrils; consuming fire from Your mouth, burning coals blaze out of it. You’re not just angry, Your hopping mad, all for MY sake! And You’re going to do something about it! All on my behalf! I PRAISE YOU MY GOD! Thank You!
You PART THE HEAVENS and come down; dark clouds are under Your feet. You mount the cherubim and FLY; You SOAR on the wings of the wind. You make darkness Your covering, a canopy around You to protect us from Your glory. Out of the brightness of Your presence clouds advance, with HAILSTONES and BOLTS OF LIGHTNING. You, Yaweh THUNDER FROM HEAVEN, the voice of MY God the Most High resounding. You shoot arrows and SCATTER MY ENEMIES, great bolts of lightning scare them away! The valleys of the sea are exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare, all at Your rebuke, O Yaweh, all at a blast of breath from Your nostrils.
You reach down from on high and take hold of ME, drawing me out of the deep waters that I am in. YOU RESCUE ME from my powerful Enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but You, Yaweh, are my support. You brought me out into a spacious place; You rescued me because YOU DELIGHT IN ME.
You’ve dealt with me not according to my own righteousness, but according to Christ’s, according to the cleanness of His hands and it is a reward to me. Although my fathers and I have tried to keep Your ways, we have done evil by turning from You over and over again. Although all of Your laws are before me, I have still turned away from Your decrees. I have not been blameless before You and have not kept myself from sin. And yet You still reward me! All according to His righteousness and the cleanness of His hands in Your sight.
To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure, but oh, to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. YOU, O YAWEH, KEEP MY FIRE FOR YOU BRIGHT. My God turns my darkness into LIGHT! With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for You, Your way is PERFECT; You Word is FLAWLESS. You are a shield for all who take refuge in You. For who is god besides Yaweh? And who is the Rock except our God? It is YOU who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. You make my feet like the feet of a deer; YOU enable me to stand on the heights. YOU train my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. YOU give me Your shield of VICTORY! And Your right hand sustains me; You stoop down to make ME great. In treacherous times, YOU intervene in the situation, so that my faith doesn’t turn away from You, my great and loving God. Because of You I am able to PURSUE my Enemies and OVERTAKE THEM! I will not turn back until they are destroyed. Because of You, I am able to crush them so that they can not rise up against me again. They instead fall beneath my feet. Because YOU armed me with strength for the battle; YOU made my adversaries bow low at my feet. YOU made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I was able to destroy my foes because of YOU. They cried for help, but there was no one to save them but YOU… and You do not answer them. Because of YOU, I am able to beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; and pour them out like mud in the street.
YOU have delivered me from the attacks of the people and demons, YOU have made me the head of nations; people I do not know are subject to me. As soon as they hear me, they obey me; foreigners cringe before me. They all lose heart; they come trembling from their own strongholds, afraid of YOU and Your might. YAWEH LIVES! Praise be to MY ROCK! EXALTED BE GOD MY SAVIOR! YOU are the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, who saves me from my enemies. You exalt me above my foes; from violent men YOU RESCUE ME. Therefore I will praise YOU among the nations, O LORD! I will sing praises to YOUR name. You give Your people great victories; You show UNFAILING KINDNESS to Your anointed, to me and my descendants forever.