The Psalm of Resurrection
David puts his trust in the Lord (16:1-8). This is a Messianic psalm that reveals the mystery of the resurrection that relates to Christ. David found confidence and joy in the Lord in his sufferings (16:1-4). He is confident that the Lord will preserve him because he sought the Lord. David says “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing”. He found his refuge in God. David knew the Lord from whom every blessings flow. When David was discouraged, he focused on God’s goodness and faithfulness. David knew that God delights in the godly and they are precious to him (16:3). Do you find delight in God and in his people? Those who forsake God and worship other gods, their sorrows will be multiplied. How good to know God!
David also rejoices in God’s providence (16:5-9). David says “Lord, you alone are my inheritance and my blessing. You maintain my lot. The land you have given me a pleasant land”. When Israel went to the promise land, each tribe got their lot except Levites. Their inheritance was God himself (Deut 18:20). God wanted that the Levite should find their delight and fulfillment in God and in his service. Do we delight in the Lord and find joy in serving Christ? David praises God for his guidance and his steadfast presence with him. No wonder his heart was rejoicing in the safety God provides. David knew that he would not be shaken.
Also David was confident that the Lord will preserve him. God will not allow his soul to see corruption (16:10). This verse refers to David as well as Christ. He considers himself as God’s holy one. Peter and Paul refer this verse to Christ’s resurrection in their sermons (Acts 2:25-28; 13:35-37). David was delivered from death. But Christ was not. Though Christ died and he rose from the dead on the third day. He became the firstfruits of all who die in Christ (1 Cor 15:20). God promised David to show him the path of life and joy. David could anticipate the fullness of joy only in God’s presence. Those who meditate on God’s Word can experience this joy now. They have the blessed hope of resurrection when Christ returns. Only in God’s presence there is fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore (16:11). Do you have this blessed hope! Otherwise trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today and be reconciled to God.
A Prayer of David
David asks God to hear his plea for justice and listen to his cry for help. (17:1-7). He was a man of prayer. There is urgency in his cry for help. David knew that God will hear his prayers. He did not pray from a deceitful heart. He knew that God will not hear his prayer if he regards sin in his heart (Ps 66:18). When we pray honestly, fervently and submissively, God will hear our prayers. David was not following the ways of evil men. He patterned his life after righteousness. He knew that God allows difficulties in life to develop his character and to prove his faithfulness. It is a timeless principle (Rom 5:3-4). David prayed that God would show his unfailing love to him. He is confident that God would save those who take refuge in him.
David prayed that he would be kept in the center of God’s watchful eyes (17:8-12). He is confident that God is able to hide him in the shadow of his wings and protect him from wicked people. He prays that “Keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me under the shadow your wings”. This speaks of God’s direct care of his people. He is surrounded by vicious enemies and they pursue him like a lion after its prey. David was confident that God will deliver him from them. God uses trials in life to accomplish his purposes in life. Do you have this blessed confidence that God does all things for our good. He is a present help in times of need?
David rejoices over his glorious future (17:13-15). He is confident that he would see God’s face in righteousness and shall be satisfied (17:15). He prayed for quick deliverance from his enemies and punishes those who look to the world for reward and protection. David anticipates a far greater blessing because he is God’s treasured servant. He is confident that the righteous will be satisfied and their children will be blessed spiritually and materially. The purpose of prayer is to accomplish the will of God to be done in his life. Those who trust in Christ are precious to God. They are chosen to be conformed to the image of Christ. Do you know Christ as your Savior? The Bible says “For what is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”
David’s Song of Praise for Deliverance
David describes the character of God in this psalm (18:1-3). This is also a psalm of gratitude David wrote when he was delivered from all his enemies. It is a reflection of God’s mercy and faithfulness toward him (2 Samuel 22). David never considered king Soul as an enemy. We cannot prevent others from being our enemies but we can prevent ourselves from considering us being enemy toward others. Jesus taught his disciples to pray for their enemies. David found stability in his life because God was his rock, fortress and salvation. He found God worthy of praise because he delivered him from all his enemies. David learned how to trust God for deliverance. He had a deep and personal knowledge of God. God is faithful to deliver us from all our difficulties when we call upon him. He is our salvation.
In verses 4-29, David explains how God delivered him. The ropes of death entangled David and destruction swept over him. He was afraid of death. In his distress he cried to the Lord for help. God answered him from his sanctuary and helped him supernaturally. He reached down from heaven and rescued David because God was pleased with him (18:16, 19). In the Old Testament we see similar intervention of God when Israel was in distress. He can use everything in the nature to deliver his people (Jonah 1:17). God can use the storms of life to fulfill his purpose. What a merciful God we serve! After describing the supernatural deliverance, David explains the faithfulness of God. “The Lord rewarded me for doing right, He has seen my innocence”. God’s ways perfect and all his promises prove true. What a faithful God we serve!
In verses 30-50 David rejoices over victory God has granted. He praised God for his character. God’s way is perfect. All his promises are true”. David explains how he was trained for the battle and helped to defeat his enemies. He gives glory to God who gave him victory over his enemies (18:43). He knew that God is the source of his safety and security. David praises God for his unfailing love toward him and his descendants. God can use difficulties in life to fulfill his purpose. Are you facing trials in your life now? Bring them to Christ so that he can turn them to be a blessing. Is Christ you Lord and Savior?
Witnesses of God’s Glory
We serve a glorious Lord (19:1-6). This psalm reveals the glory of God. He reveals his glory in the nature and in his Word. God created all things for his glory (Rev 4:11). Verse 1-6 explains how God reveals his glory by his creation. Verses 7-11 explain God’s glory in his Word. Verses 12-14 reveal the cleansing power of the Word of God. David says that the heavens declare the glory of God. The glory of God is the sum total of God’s perfections (Ps 24:7-9; Rom 1:20). The creation of this universe is the evidence of the existence of God and his glory. Even though nature does not speak audibly, its message goes out everywhere and to all nations. Seeing the nature is likened to a radiant bridegroom coming after wedding to meet his bride with joy. Also it is likened to an athlete eager to run the race (19:5). Are you thankful for the sun rise and sun set? We often take these things for granted. Imagine a day without sun? As we admire God’s creation and his power, let us remember that they cannot save sinners. Worshiping sun and moon will not save anybody. God sent his Son to save the world in Christ. He was the promised Savior who had come to suffer for the sin of the world. Have you received him as your Savior?
The psalmist now explains the flawless nature of the Bible (19:7-11). The bible is the inspired Word of God. It is the time tested truth revealed by God. It is trustworthy. The Word of God revives and restores the soul. It has the power to transform life. It makes simple people wise unto salvation. This is the precepts of God that is true and the source of joy. Also this is the commandment of the Lord that is unpolluted and it gives insight for living. We should study the Bible reverentially because it is true and last forever. The law of the Lord is true and to be obeyed to live a righteous life (2 Tim 3:16-17). David exhorts that we should treasure God’s Word in our heart because it is more desirable than fine gold, and sweeter than honey. There is greater reward in obeying the Word of God. It satisfies the soul, warns us of danger and enlightens our understanding. God’s Word brings lasting blessings in life. Do you love the Bible?
The meditation of the Word of God is profitable (19:12-14). David is praying for cleansing from hidden sins. He desired to be kept him from willful sin (19:12-14). There is none who can discern sin apart from the Bible. For sins committed in ignorance there is no sacrifice provided in the Law. But forgiveness is still available, if a person repents and confesses his sin (Ps 51). The believer can never be sinless in this life but he must strive to be blameless. David wanted to be free from guilt of sin. Only believing in Christ proves set us free from the guilt of sin (Rom 8:1). David recognizes the glory of God in his creation and in his perfect Word. He admitted his sin before God and desired to be blameless. David prays that “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and redeemer” (19:14). He is confident that God is able to cleanse him from all his sins. The blood of Lord Jesus Christ cleanses us from all our sins (1 John 1:7). Have you received the cleansing of your sin by trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross for you? (Acts: 16:31).
A Prayer for Deliverance
This is a royal psalm and intercession for help (20:1-5). David expresses his confidence in the Lord who gives victory (20:1-5). Collective prayer was common among Israel. David was about to go to war and people prayed for his victory. They were confident that God would give their king victory. The prayer of righteous person has great power (James 5:16). Christians are engaged in a spiritual battle. They are exhorted to pray at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication (Eph 6:18). Victory over evil is not accomplished by our own strength but only with the spiritual resources provided by Christ (Eph 6:10-18). The Word of God and prayer will go together in Christian life. Do you pray to God?
David was confident that God would give victory because he trusted in God (20:6-8). David offered the burnt offerings to God. This is a picture of his total surrender to God. He was confident that God will grant the desires of his heart if he prays according to the will of God. David wanted the people to pray for him and raise the victory banner in the name of God. God’s people must be united in their prayer against Satan. David wanted to do everything for God’s glory. He was confident that he will be victorious (20:6). God wants his people to live a victorious life. He promised to give us victory over sin, Satan and the world (1 John 5:4)? David trusted in the Lord. People trust in their strength to be successful. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God”. But only those who trust in God and obey him will be victorious. By faith, David foresaw the victory of God’s people and the defeat of the enemies. Christians are facing many challenges and prone to fail in their battle against Satan. Christ promised to give us victory. We are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us (Rom 8:37). Are we prepared to do battle against sin and Satan? If we trust, surrender and have Faith in God, we will triumph. This psalm begins and ends with prayer. We must start each day with prayer and end the day with thanksgiving. Prayer is our lifeline to God.