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[a] I Love You, Lord

A song[b] to the Pure and Shining One by King David, his servant, composed when the Lord rescued David from all his many enemies, including from the brutality of Saul.[c] He said:

18 I love you, Yahweh, and I’m bonded to you,[d]
    my strength!
Yahweh, you’re the bedrock beneath my feet,
    my faith-fortress, my wonderful deliverer,
    my God, my rock of rescue where none can reach me.
    You’re the shield around me,
    the mighty power[e] that saves me,
    and my high place.
All I need to do is to call on you,
    Yahweh, the praiseworthy God.
    When I do, I’m safe and sound in you—
    delivered from my foes!
4–5 For when the cords of death wrapped around me
    and torrents of destruction overwhelmed me,[f]
    taking me to death’s door,
in my distress I cried out to you, the delivering God,
    and from your temple-throne you heard my troubled cry,
    and my sobs went right into your heart.[g]
The earth itself shivered and shook.
    It reeled and rocked before him.
    As the mountains trembled, they melted away,
    for his anger was kindled on my behalf!
Fierce flames leapt from his mouth,[h]
    erupting with blazing, burning coals as smoke
    and fire encircled him.
9–10 He stretched heaven’s curtain open and came to my defense.
    Swiftly he rode to earth as the stormy sky was lowered.
    He rode a chariot of thunderclouds amidst thick darkness;
    his steed was a cherub,
    soaring on outstretched wings of Spirit-Wind.
11 Wrapped in the thick-cloud darkness,
    his thunder-tabernacle surrounded him.
    He hid himself in mystery-darkness;
    the dense rain clouds were his garments.
12 Suddenly the brilliance of his presence broke through
    with lightning bolts and hail—
    a tempest dropping coals of fire.
13 The Lord thundered; the great God above every god
    spoke with his thunder-voice from the sky.
    The Most High uttered his voice!
14 He released his lightning-arrows, and routed my foes.
    See how they ran and scattered in fear!
15 Then with his mighty roar he laid bare the foundations of the earth,
    uncovering the secret source of the sea.
    The hidden depths of land and sea were exposed
    by the blast of his hot breath.
16 He rescued me from the mighty waters
    and drew me to himself!
17 Even though I was helpless in the hands
    of my hateful, strong enemy,[i]
    you were good to deliver me.
18 When I was at my weakest,[j] my enemies attacked—
    but the Lord held on to me.
19 His love broke open the way,
    and he brought me into a beautiful, broad place.[k]
    He rescued me—because his delight is in me![l]
20 He rewarded me for doing what’s right and staying pure.
21 I will follow his commands and
    I’ll not sin by ceasing to follow him, no matter what.
22 For I’ve kept my eyes focused on his righteous words,
    and I’ve obeyed everything that he’s told me to do.
23 I’ve been blameless before him and followed all his ways,
    keeping my heart pure.
24 And so Yahweh has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
    because I kept my heart clean before his eyes.
25 Good people will taste your goodness.
    And to those who are loyal to you,
    you love to prove that you are loyal and true.
26 And for those who are purified, they find you always pure.
    But you’ll outwit the crooked and cunning with your craftiness.
27 To the humble you bring heaven’s deliverance,
    but the proud and haughty you disregard.
28 God, all at once you turned on a floodlight for me!
    You are the revelation-light in my darkness,
    and in your brightness I can see the path ahead.
29 With you as my strength I can crush an enemy horde,
    advancing through every stronghold that stands in front of me.[m]
30 Yahweh, what a perfect God you are!
    All Yahweh’s promises have proven true.
    What a secure shelter for all those
    who turn to hide themselves in you,
    the wraparound God.[n]
31 Could there be any other god like Yahweh?
    For there is not a more secure foundation[o] than you.
32 God, you have wrapped me in power
    and made my way perfect.
33 Through you I ascend to the highest peaks
    to stand strong and secure in you.[p]
34 You’ve trained me with the weapons of warfare-worship;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You empower me for victory with your wraparound presence.
    Your power within makes me strong to subdue.
    By stooping down in gentleness,
    you made me great!
36 You’ve set me free, and now I’m standing complete,
    ready to fight some more!
37 I caught up with my enemies and conquered them
    and didn’t turn back until the war was won!
38 I smashed them to pieces and
    I finished them once and for all; they’re as good as dead.
39 You’ve placed your armor upon me
    and made my enemies bow low at my feet.
40 You’ve made them all turn tail and run,
    for through you I’ve destroyed them all!
41 They shouted for help, but no one dared to rescue them.
    They cried out to Yahweh, but he refused to answer them.
42 So I pulverized them to powder and cast them to the wind.
    I swept them away like dirt on the floor.
43 You gave me victory on every side,
    for you make me a leader of nations.
    Even those I’ve never heard of come and bow at my feet.
44 As soon as they heard of me they submitted to me.
    Even the rebel foreigners obey my every word.
45 Their rebellion fades away as they come near;
    trembling in their strongholds,
    they come crawling out of their hideouts,
    cringing in fear before me.
46 Yahweh lives!
    Praise is lifted high to the unshakable God!
    Towering over all, my Savior-God is worthy to be praised!
47 Look how he pays back harm to all who harm me,
    subduing all who come against me.
48 He rescues me from my enemies;
    he lifts me up high and keeps me out of reach,
    far from the grasp of my violent foe.
49 So I thank you, Yahweh, with my praises!
    I will sing my song to the highest God,
    so all among the nations will hear me.[q]
50 You have given me, your king, great victories.
    You’ve always been tender and kind to me, your anointed one,
    your loving servant, David, and to all my descendants!


  1. 18 This magnificent poem is so important to the Holy Spirit that it appears twice in the Bible. You will also find it in 2 Sam. 22.
  2. 18 There are fifty psalms that are described as “a song” in the inscription, and each one is a power song of victory and breakthrough.
  3. 18 Or “the paw of Saul.” Saul was like a beast that chased David until his death.
  4. 18:1 David didn’t employ the common Hebrew word for “love,” ‘ahav, but instead used the Hebrew word for “pity” or “mercy.” How could David have mercy for God? The word he used, racham, is the word for a mother who loves and pities her child so much it manifests with a deep love and emotional bond. This concept, although difficult to convey in English, carries the thought of embrace and touch. It could actually be translated “Lord, I want to hug you.” Haven’t you ever felt like that?
  5. 18:2 Or “horn” (i.e., horn of my salvation), which comes from a root word meaning “ray of brightness.”
  6. 18:4–5 Or “waves of Sheol [death] engulfed me.” See 2 Sam. 22:5.
  7. 18:6 This scene is not only a poetic portrayal of how God answered David’s prayer, but also a picture of the sufferings of a greater Son of David, Jesus, who hung on the cross with cries of agony. God heard him and shook the planet as thick clouds covered the sun.
  8. 18:8 Or “nostrils.”
  9. 18:17 Death is our strong enemy. Only through Christ are we delivered from its grip.
  10. 18:18 Or “In the day of my calamity.”
  11. 18:19 This could be the throne room of heaven.
  12. 18:19 Here in verses 16–19 you can see the glorious resurrection of Christ as the Father reached down and kissed the Son with life and love. Read it again and think of Christ in the tomb being raised by the Father.
  13. 18:29 Or “by my God I can jump over a wall.”
  14. 18:30 The Hebrew word used here (often translated “shield”) means “to wrap around in protection.” God himself is our shield of grace.
  15. 18:31 Or “rocky cliff.”
  16. 18:33 Or “You make my legs like a deer to stand firm on the heights.”
  17. 18:49 Paul quoted this verse as one of four prophecies to show that Christ came for all people, not just the Jews. See Rom. 15:9.