For who is God besides the Lord – Psalm 18

            Rescue. Relief. Refuge. Salvation. All these are words that David uses to describe God: God, who saved him from his pursuer, his best friend’s father, Saul; God, who protected him; his Rock; his Fortress. David had a special relationship with God (one we too can have); he’s called a man after God’s own heart.

            I love some of the words David uses to describe God: my Strength, my Rock, my Fortress, my Shield. David was a warrior. He was a captain of armies. The people shouted of him, “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (I Samuel 18:7 NLT) He knew what it meant to come to a place of refuge, where he could feel protected and could rest after battle. God was that refuge, that protection for him. David knew no matter what men did to him, God would be there to give him strength, be his shield of protection, and strike the enemies.

            And David depended on God. “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.” (Psalm 18:6 NIV) And God responded. “The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.” (vs 13 NIV) “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.” (vs 17 NIV) David’s faith was well placed. God protects His anointed.

            And God hasn’t changed; He is “the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8 KJV) “To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless, to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd. You same the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.” (vs 25-27 NIV) This brings to mind the lyrics of the old Thanksgiving hymn “We Gather Together” “We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing; He chastens and hastens His will to make known. The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing. Sing praises to His name; He forgets not His own.” (Adrianus Valerius 1597)

            And because David knew that God had his back, he also knew that God deserved his thanks and his praise. “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!” (vs 46 NIV) “Therefore I will praise You among the nations, O Lord; I will sing praises to Your name.” (vs 49 NIV) David gave credit where credit was due.

            How about you? What enemies are you facing today? Could you use a shield to protect your mind from anxiety? Could you use a refuge from bullying or abuse? Could you use a rock to cling to in a time of crisis because you feel like you’re being pulled under by the rising flood waters? Call out to God! Then give Him the credit and the praise.

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