324 – Psalm 18 one through six
Let’s look at the first two verses in the “indirectly Messianic” Psalm 18. If you don’t remember what an “indirectly Messianic” Psalm is read last week’s post.
Psalm 18:1–2 (NKJV): 1 I will love You, O [YHWH], my strength.
2 [YHWH is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
One Hebrew verb erham translates into the three words making up the phrase “I will love”. It is in the imperfect tense. The imperfect tense combines a past tense action and a continuous or repeating sense in the future. So the Psalmist says I have loved You YHWH and will continue to love You in the future.
Next, consider the word “strength” at the end of verse one. I consulted six Hebrew lexicons and all but one of them had a single gloss for the Hebrew word “hezeq”, which is simply “strength”. One of the lexicons had two glosses, “help”, and “strength”. That means we can confidently assert that “strength” means “strength” in verse one. But what kind of strength? Are we talking about resolve, Or maybe strength of character, Or some other strength entirely? We may get some help deciding by considering the context.
Look at the last word in verse two, stronghold (Misgabbi – high point, refuge, secure height). Sounds like a military term. Verse two talks about a rock, fortress, deliverer, a shield – all military terms. So it is reasonable to conclude the Psalmist is calling YHWH his physical strength able to overcome the enemy. As a matter of fact, if you take a closer look at verses one and two you will notice David is declaring things that YHWH is to David. It might be easier to notice in list form. David says YHWH is:
- “My strength”
- “My rock”
- “My fortress”
- “My deliverer”
- “My God”
- “My strength”
- “My shield”
- “The horn of my salvation”
- “My stronghold”
Since YHWH is these nine things to David, the next verse is a natural response in his life.
Psalm 18:3 (NKJV)
3 I will call upon [YHWH], who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
Do you call upon YHWH? Is He the same nine things to you that He was to David? Who better to turn to when we need rescue from an enemy or deliverance (vs 2) from an impossible situation? Why would we rely on our own strength or the strength of another while turning our backs on the one and only God YHWH who is able to rescue us?
Maybe you’re not facing an army like David was, maybe you think your situation is unique, and maybe it is, but look at what David experienced in verse six.
Psalm 18:6 (NKJV)
6 In my distress I called upon [YHWH],
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
How was the petitioner able to call upon YHWH in his moment of distress? Because YHWH had already proven Himself to be the individual’s strength, rock, fortress, deliverer, God, shield, salvation, and stronghold!
Verse seven and following is our indication that this isn’t just David talking about his own life, but very likely a predictive look into the life of Jesus some eight hundred years in the future. Whether or not Psalm eighteen is about David, Christ, or both YHWH is unchanging. He is a wonderfully powerful, life-giving, life-preserving, and loving God who responds to those who are in relationship with Him. Won’t you trust Him today?
- S Prev