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.
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