God Smokes – Psalm 18

When I opened up to Psalm 18 this morning I believed I was reading lyrics to a hymn that was once a childhood favorite, “O Worship the King.” That God could be so angry the foundations of mountains would shake and smoke would come from his nostrils, that because of his presence violent weather could happen around him, and because he heard me cry out he’d part the heavens to come to my rescue–these were amazing thoughts to me as a child.

Kathy Sheldon Davis lightning

These images were quite different from the gentle Shepherd Jesus I was drawn to in my youth. Now I wanted to know him better. Much better.

Notice in Psalm 18:16-19 NIV, after the violence he displayed in previous verses, “He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.”

He’s not reactionary, destroying people in his wrath because he’s the big bad Judge. No, he’s coming down to rescue his child. (There’s the gentle Shepherd again.) “… he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

Poetically the psalmist relates I was in trouble, I called to him, he heard me, he came to my rescue, and he lifted me up. The references to fire and mountains and thunder and arrows inspire me to believe he will hear when I call to him. Do you need to call out to him? He hears, and he answers.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

By Kathy Sheldon Davis

Kathy Sheldon Davis, contributing author of the books "Jesus Talked to Me Today" and "Seeking His Presence," and a finalist for the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade award, lives with her husband, Jerry, in Junction City, Oregon. Kathy enjoys mentoring and editing for other writers, making strangers into friends, and celebrating holidays with her extended family. She has also written for Warner Press since 2016 and posts devotions on her blog at kathysheldondavis.com .


  1. Thank you for the update. I hope I didn’t upset you by my asknig about more parts being posted. I was just a bit worried about you.Glad you are back.So sorry you had to go through all this! Yes, the devil is like a roaring lion Seems like he is attacking many of God’s children at the moment. Let’s join our hearts together and pray for one another.Blessings!

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