A segment of Psalm 18 was the “Psalms reading” in the One-Year, today. This Psalm is the song that David raised after he had been delivered from all his enemies, specifically Saul. He begins by praising God for being his strength and providing protection, salvation, and help. He paints an image of a man surrounded on all fronts by real threats — death and pain and the sadness of the place of the dead.
Out of this place, David recalls crying out to the Lord. He remembers one thing: that God heard Him. God doesn’t just passively acknowledge David’s suffering, however. David describes a destructive storm of power, shaking the world. He describes a God full of white-hot, holy, righteous outrage. God rips open the heavens, surrounded in thick darkness, bursting with smoke and lightning. Riding on a cherub, God hurls a storm on the earth that causes the oceans to reveal their foundations.
David is using figurative language — but why was God so vengeful? For two reasons. For one, David felt the anger of God. Not the scary kind that suggests abuse or anything like that. God was angry because the enemy had the audacity to threaten, frighten, and pursue David, so He destroyed the powers working against David. David saw this providential protection throughout the entire time he was fleeing Saul. There were even moments were God showed Saul just how powerless he was and how easily He could deliver him into David’s hand. God was furious with the murderous, evil intention of Saul and others against David, and He was the one to deal with it. Psalm 18 goes on for a while after this, and David celebrates his God-delivered, God-caused victories.
But there’s one singular reason David provides, the “reason” why God saved David, why He was angry and acted so powerfully for David’s sake, mentioned early in the Psalm:
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)
Not all of us face the kind of life-threatening storm David literally faced. But every one of us has the same affection and protection from God. Whatever you are facing, if it causes you pain, fear, discomfort, anxiety, or frustration, it is enough to shake God to righteous, perfect anger and action for your sake.
He delivered (and delivers) us because He delighted (and delights!) in us.
The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let the God of my salvation be exalted. (Psalm 18:46)