A Psalm for Your Calm: Psalm 18

A Psalm for Your Calm: Psalm 18

We will never feel secure in God until we are captured by the majesty of God. Safety and assurance are only produced when we are confident that the one who promised to protect us is able to ensure it. Sadly, when we face insurmountable odds, God is the last one we turn to. Why? Is it possible that we believe the Lord’s hand is ineffective in certain areas of our life? More likely, it is the fact that we have failed to see the majesty of God and, therefore, fail to place our trust in him.

In Psalm 18, David declares his absolute confidence in the security of the Lord:

“I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.” (1-3)

Yet, why is David so sure in this deliverance? Because he knows how mighty the Lord really is:

“In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.” (6-15)

This description of God leaving the temple of heaven to descend and save his elect should strike awe and wonder into the heart of the believer. The thick darkness surrounds the presence of God, and yet is unable to contain the effulgence of His glory. This truly is a picture that brings us to our knees. Thundering, lightning, and fiery coals bring to mind the Sinai event in which God’s presence burned in thick darkness on the mountaintop (Ex. 19:18). In that moment, there was little doubt in the mind of the Israelites that God was capable of saving them.

Too often, when we are faced with difficult times, we discover confidence in our own abilities. Presently we are suffering under a terrible pandemic, economic downturn, and a controversial political season. No doubt, when/if these issues are resolved, we will praise the one who discovered the vaccine, the one who turned the economy around, or the won who wins the election. Yet, let us never forget, that behind all of this, is a majestic and holy God who is the true source of our salvation. Let us guard ourselves against becoming so enamored with the efforts of man’s hands that we forget to stand in awe of our mighty God who is our rock, and refuge, and more than mighty enough to save.