Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Digging Deeper

on June 19, 2014

The last 3 or 4 times I have opened my Bible, I have opened to Psalm 18.  Apparently God has something for me in this Psalm, as I have found this to be a way He speaks to me – through repetition.  I am in the process of digging into this Psalm, and each time I read, I dig a little deeper.

The first day I read it, verses 16-19 stuck out to me:

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

As I read those words, I felt myself getting choked up at the idea that the GOD of the UNIVERSE delights in ME.  I kept repeating “He rescued me BECAUSE He delights in me!!” over and over in my mind.  At first, it was more of a question… “He rescued me because He delights in me??” … almost a statement of disbelief.  I was sitting on the shore of a lake as I read those words.  I was looking out onto the water and up into the heavens, and taking in everything else around me.  I was suddenly consumed with the concept that the same God who made all of that, made me… and not only did He make me, but He DELIGHTS in me.  So much, in fact, that He rescued me.  By the end of that time with the LORD, He had given me confidence to know that He, in fact, DELIGHTS in me and cares about every single detail of my life.  What an amazing Truth that IS!

 

The second time I read through Psalm 18, I was struck by verses 7-15, where God’s Power is so beautifully described:

The earth trembled and quaked,
    and the foundations of the mountains shook;
    they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
    consuming fire came from his mouth,
    burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down;
    dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
    he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
    the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
    with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.[a]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
    with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
    and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
    at the blast of breath from your nostrils

After reading through those verses, I found myself wanting to just stop and pause – to consider the greatness of God, in all His Glory, and Might.  I found myself wanting to fall in worship and praise of His Majesty.  I also found myself in awe that this same God, this God that is so immensely powerful, is the same God that delights in me, and in YOU – I might add.

 

Yesterday when I read it, I was drawn to verses 1 and 2, where the psalmist just enters into a time of praise and worship for WHO GOD IS:

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.

God is Lord.  God is my strength.  God is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my refuge, my shield, my salvation, my stronghold.  Those words paint such a fantastic picture of who God truly is.  He is the One I can turn to in all my circumstances.  He is the One I run to for protection, for assurance, for acceptance, for peace, for joy, for love, for EVERYTHING.  God is.  He just IS.  And He is MINE – and yours too.

Verses 28-40 talk about how God is the One that keeps me moving forward.  He is the One that changes my darkness into light.  He is the One that helps me advance against my struggles, trials, and hardships.  He is the One who enables me to scale the walls I have built up around my heart, so that I can let the real me out and others in.  He is the One who does it.  He arms me with strength, enables me to stand on heights – and see all that He has brought me through.  He prepares me for battle, He DOES it, not me.  He takes care of my enemies (all things negative in my life  – circumstantially, relationally, etc.)  for me, brings them low and allows me to be victorious in the battle.  It’s all for His glory – my part is to work in unison with Him.  When I do that, I AM victorious!

28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
    my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop[a];
    with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
    and your right hand sustains me;
    your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
    I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
    they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
    you humbled my adversaries before me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
    and I destroyed my foes.

And this morning as I read through the Psalm yet again, I was drawn particularly to 4 words in verse 50, as this speaks volumes to me today:

50 He gives his king great victories;
    he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
    to David and to his descendants forever.

Yes, indeed.  The Lord does GIVE GREAT VICTORIES.  I am going to continue digging into this Psalm for as long as the Lord keeps me here.  And I’m certain, that MORE will be revealed.

Reflection:

What speaks to you today in Psalm 18?

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