18 This song of David was written at a time when the Lord had delivered him from his many enemies, including Saul.
Lord, how I love you! For you have done such tremendous things for me.
2 The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; he is my Savior, a rock where none can reach me, and a tower of safety. He is my shield. He is like the strong horn of a mighty fighting bull. 3 All I need to do is cry to him—oh, praise the Lord—and I am saved from all my enemies!
4 Death bound me with chains, and the floods of ungodliness mounted a massive attack against me. 5 Trapped and helpless, I struggled against the ropes that drew me on to death.
6 In my distress I screamed to the Lord for his help. And he heard me from heaven;[a] my cry reached his ears. 7 Then the earth rocked and reeled, and mountains shook and trembled. How they quaked! For he was angry. 8 Fierce flames leaped from his mouth, setting fire to the earth;[b] smoke blew from his nostrils. 9 He bent the heavens down and came to my defense;[c] thick darkness was beneath his feet. 10 Mounted on a mighty angel,[d] he sped swiftly to my aid with wings of wind. 11 He enshrouded himself with darkness, veiling his approach with dense clouds dark as murky waters. 12 Suddenly the brilliance of his presence broke through the clouds with lightning[e] and a mighty storm of hail.
13 The Lord thundered in the heavens; the God above all gods has spoken—oh, the hailstones; oh, the fire! 14 He flashed his fearful arrows of lightning and routed all my enemies. See how they run! 15 Then at your command, O Lord, the sea receded from the shore. At the blast of your breath the depths were laid bare.
16 He reached down from heaven and took me and drew me out of my great trials. He rescued me from deep waters. 17 He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me—I who was helpless in their hands.
18 On the day when I was weakest, they attacked. But the Lord held me steady. 19 He led me to a place of safety, for he delights in me.
20 The Lord rewarded me for doing right and being pure. 21 For I have followed his commands and have not sinned by turning back from following him. 22 I kept close watch on all his laws; I did not refuse a single one. 23 I did my best to keep them all, holding myself back from doing wrong. 24 And so the Lord has paid me with his blessings, for I have done what is right, and I am pure of heart. This he knows, for he watches my every step.
25 Lord, how merciful you are to those who are merciful. And you do not punish those who run from evil.[f] 26 You give blessings to the pure but pain to those who leave your paths. 27 You deliver the humble but condemn the proud and haughty ones. 28 You have turned on my light! The Lord my God has made my darkness turn to light. 29 Now in your strength I can scale any wall, attack any troop.
30 What a God he is! How perfect in every way! All his promises prove true. He is a shield for everyone who hides behind him. 31 For who is God except our Lord? Who but he is as a rock?
32 He fills me with strength and protects me wherever I go. 33 He gives me the surefootedness of a mountain goat upon the crags. He leads me safely along the top of the cliffs. 34 He prepares me for battle and gives me strength to draw an iron bow![g]
35 You have given me your salvation as my shield. Your right hand, O Lord, supports me; your gentleness has made me great. 36 You have made wide steps beneath my feet so that I need never slip. 37 I chased my enemies; I caught up with them and did not turn back until all were conquered. 38 I pinned them to the ground; all were helpless before me. I placed my feet upon their necks. 39 For you have armed me with strong armor for the battle. My enemies quail before me and fall defeated at my feet. 40 You made them turn and run; I destroyed all who hated me. 41 They shouted for help, but no one dared to rescue them; they cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer them. 42 So I crushed them fine as dust and cast them to the wind. I threw them away like sweepings from the floor. 43-45 You gave me victory in every battle. The nations came and served me. Even those I didn’t know before come now and bow before me. Foreigners who have never seen me submit instantly. They come trembling from their strongholds.
46 God is alive! Praise him who is the great rock of protection. 47 He is the God who pays back those who harm me and subdues the nations before me.
48 He rescues me from my enemies; he holds me safely out of their reach and saves me from these powerful opponents. 49 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations. 50 Many times you have miraculously rescued me, the king you appointed. You have been loving and kind to me and will be to my descendants.
- Psalm 18:6 from heaven, literally, “out of his temple.”
- Psalm 18:8 setting fire to the earth, literally, “coals were kindled by it.”
- Psalm 18:9 He bent the heavens down and came to my defense, implied.
- Psalm 18:10 a mighty angel, literally, “a cherub.”
- Psalm 18:12 lightning, literally, “coals of fire.”
- Psalm 18:25 And you do not punish those who run from evil, literally, “With the upright you show yourself upright.”
- Psalm 18:34 an iron bow, literally, “a bow of bronze.”