Saturday, February 19, 2011

Psalms 18

Today's reading in our daily plan is Psalm 18. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • David (who later became king of Israel) wrote this psalm after God had delivered him from his enemies, which included King Saul (the current king of Israel). Let me give you some backstory to why this is so significant. David had actually killed Goliath, an enemy of Israel, for Saul and Saul had given David his daughter in marriage for being so brave. Afterwards the people of Israel praised David for being such a mighty warrior and eventually Saul became jealous and wanted to kill him. David had opportunities to kill Saul but refused to kill his king even though Saul was trying to unjustly kill him. Saul’s own son who was a friend of David helped David escape because he knew his father was wrong in wanting to hurt David.
  • Can you hear the passion in David’s words? He loves God because of his great provision and protection. David could have taken matters into his own hand but instead chose to trust God and in the end God delivered him and even made him king of Israel.
  • Verses 7-15 would make an awesome scene in a movie wouldn’t it? It’s a different picture of God than what we are used but it’s a great description of the power of God. - Oh yea David mentions “cherubim,” these are angels.
  • Notice how in verse 16 God is so personal that; “he reached down from on high and took hold of [David].” God does not want to be a distant or far off God but he respects our space and only comes near when we invite him. 
  • Verses 20-24 are key here: God dealt with David “according to the cleanness of [his] hands.” 
  • David ends with describing why others should trust in God as well. 
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?) 
  • Did you notice how David tells that God made him a mighty warrior. This is not the picture many have of men in church anymore is it? Instead the cliche image is a perfectly groomed guy in a sweater vest or something. God calls men to be brave and fight against evil; not in a chauvinistic way but as honorable warriors.
  • David knew that he was blameless before God and because of that God was able to work freely on his behalf. David had a relationship with God for many years and God had proven he could be trusted so that even in the hardest time of his life David knew he could never turn away from his God. God is described in warrior like words in this psalm. David is trying to show us how powerful God is and how we can trust him to fight for us. 
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you have a faith like Davids? How have you seen God work in your life? After times like these have you praised God with such passion as David demonstrates here? If not, it’s never too late. Does the image of God as a warrior cause you to want to draw near to God or turn from him? Why? Ask God to help you understand him better.

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