THE BELIEVER’S SONG OF VICTORY
Psalm 18:1-3 (NKJV)
God the Sovereign Savior
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:
1 I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
I read the inscription which precedes this Psalm because it gives us some insight into the background for these verses. As the inscription states, this Psalm was originally a song that was written to glorify the Lord and to honor Him for delivering David from King Saul.
You see, during the time David was running from Saul, he was in constant danger of death. Now, he has been delivered from his enemies and he lifts his voice in praise to the Lord God Who has given him the victory. This is David’s song, but you and I have a song of victory to sing as well.
When we were saved by the Lord, He gave us the victory over our enemies also. Now, we who were hounded and in danger of dying without Jesus Christ, have been saved, through His grace. Since we have been saved and delivered from the snare of the enemy, we also have a reason to praise the Lord. There isn’t enough time to consider this entire Psalm this evening. After all, it is the fourth largest in the Book of Psalms. However, I would like to spend a few minutes in these first three verses and preach for a while on The Believer’s Song Of Victory.
As we spend our time in these verses, let’s allow the Lord’s Word to remind us of Who He is and what He has done, and can do, for us. There are three great stanzas which comprise this song and I would like to share them with you right now.
I. V. 1 THE PLAN OF THE PSALMIST
A. At the very beginning, the Psalmist makes 2 great and profound declarations. First, he declares his love for the Lord. Second, he declares his absolute dependence upon the Lord. He seems to be indicating that he will live his life with these 2 great themes ever before him.
B. Let’s examine these 2 themes a little more closely and see what they mean for us tonight.
1. Love – The word translated “love” here is a word that means “to fondle.” It carries the idea of hugging. If it doesn’t sound too irreverent, the Psalmist is saying that he is so filled with love for the Lord that he just wants to slide up real close to the Lord and hug him.
(Ill. We’ve all felt this way about someone we love. How many have just felt their heart fill up with love for a child or a mate and just for no reason we want to reach out and hug them. This is the emotion felt by Mary Magdalene when she encountered the risen Christ, John 20:17, and by the Disciples when they saw Him also, Matt. 28:9. Considering all that the Lord has done for us and how He loves us and has made a way for us to be saved, our hearts should also be filled with that same kind of love for Him, 1 John 4:19.)
2. Strength – 9 times in the first 2 verses, David uses the personal possessive pronoun “my”. Did you realize that “my” is the first pronoun learned by most children? They say things like “my toys”, “my house”, “my room”, etc. This is just their childish way of stating that they know what is theirs. What David is doing is expressing simple, childlike faith in his relationship with the Lord. He is telling us that he is totally dependent upon the Lord for everything. Every ounce of strength came from the Lord.
C. David’s plan is to live for the Lord, to love the Lord and to depend upon the Lord for everything he needs, does and is in life. I think that we all need to have that same desire this evening.
I. The Plan Of The Psalmist
II. V. 2 THE PRAISE OF THE PSALMIST
A. There Is Praise For A Personal God – Ill. The usage of “my” again. Folks, the most important thing in life is knowing that you are right with God. Be sure, above everything else, that you are saved by grace. It isn’t enough to be good or religious, to go to church or to stop doing some things that are wrong, to join the church or to be baptized. To be saved, there must be a time when you turn to Jesus Christ in absolute faith for salvation. Nothing else will work for anyone ever, Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9, 13.
B. There is Praise For A Powerful God – In God and in his relationship with Him, David finds all the strength that he needs to make it through life. Notice these 8 metaphors that David uses to describe God and His power in our lives.
1. God Is Our Stability – David describes God as a Rock. When everything else in the world is being tossed and twisted, God forever remains the same. He is always stable, Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8.
2. God Is Our Safety – David says that God is like a fortress. This surely has reference to the lofty mountain citadels to which he fled when he was running from Saul. David reminds us that the Lord is a place of safety to which the saint can flee in times of adversity and trial, Psa. 57:1. (Ill. Satan is like a roaring lion, 1 Pet. 5:8. However, the saint has a place of safe refuge in the day of attack. God is our fortress, our place of perfect peace and safety.
3. God Is Our Savior – David refers to the Lord as his deliverer. This word refers to one who saves, one who rescues, one who delivers another from danger. This is a word that is filled with glory! You see, not only has the Lord saved us when we received Him by faith, but He goes on saving us day by day, 1 John 1:7, and when this life is over, we will be ultimately saved when we arrive home in Heaven. (Ill. If we can never find another anthem to raise to the glory of the Savior, surely the redeemed can find within them to praise the Lord for His saving grace.)
4. God Is Our Sovereign – David refers to Him as God. This is the word “El.” It refers to God as the Almighty God. This word pictures God as One Who is over all things and as One Who is in control of all things. The saints of God should surely rejoice in the knowledge that everything that happens is in God’s plan and that He is in control of all things, even when we cannot make sense of it, God is still on His throne, Isa. 45:7; Rom. 8:28; Job 23:10.
5. God Is Our Strength – David tells us that God is all we need. Folks, we can ever rejoice in the fact that the Lord God of Heaven will be the strength of our lives. None of knows what we will face as we go through the years of our lives, but we can know that God in Heaven will give us the strength we need to face life’s trials and battle and that He will help us all along the way, 2 Cor. 12:9-10; Isa. 43:2; Heb. 4:14-16. Remember that He is an “Ever Present God” – Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20; Psa. 46:1.
6. God Is Our Shield – David calls the Lord a “buckler”. This simply means a shield. When trouble comes into your life and mine, sometimes the Lord will allow those things to come and He will give grace. However, there are times when the Lord steps between His children and their trials and acts as a shield to stand between His child and the storm that is coming. I like it when the Lord is my shield! Only in Heaven will we fully comprehend the times when God in His providence has stepped between us and something awful that was coming our way!
(Ill. Testimony – The little church in Kansas, that exploded on a Tuesday evening at 7:36 PM. The choir always met for practice at 7:30 PM on Tuesdays for practice. However, on one particular Tuesday evening, no one made it to the church on time. One became ill, another has car trouble, another got a last minute phone call. Each of the 40+ choir members, including their leader, was somehow hindered from being at the church at 7:30 on that Tuesday evening. At 7:36 PM, gas that had been leaking from a ruptured gas line under the church exploded, totally demolishing the church. Had there been any one there, they would have been killed, but thanks to the providence of God, they were all spared!)
7. God Is Our Security – Here, the Lord is called a “horn of salvation.” The horn is the symbol of strength and conquest. When David calls God the horn of salvation, he is saying that the Lord is the strength of salvation and that in His salvation, we have absolute security. I believe that we can all rejoice in the knowledge that if we are in the Lord, then we are totally secure in Him, 1 Pet. 1:5! (Ill. He has never lost as yet, and He isn’t going to start with you! He didn’t save you to lose you along the way, but He saved you to take you to Heaven, John 6:38-41.)
(Ill. When I read about the “horn of salvation”, I think of the “cornucopia” or the “horn of plenty.” This was a curved goat’s horn filled to overflowing with fruit and ears of grain. It is a symbol of overflowing abundance. This is what the sinner finds when he comes to the Lord. Many just come to be saved from Hell, but in Jesus they receive so much more than they could ever have imagined. He is our security, but He is also our source!)
8. God Is Our Supply – In this last metaphor, David says that the Lord is our High Tower. This refers to the great towers that were built around the ancient cities. From these towers, soldiers could look down on their attackers and send volleys of arrows down on their heads. These towers were usually stocked with ammunition and supplies. When the soldiers ran to the high tower, they were above the battle, they were in a place of rest, refreshment and ready supply. God is the same for the child of God. When the battle rages about us, we can run to Him and be lifted above our battles and find the rest and refreshment we need to be able to fight the battles and win! Surely we can rejoice in the knowledge that the Lord is ever there for us to run to in the day of battle. Surely we can remember that the “battle is the LORD’s”, 1 Sam. 17:47.
C. It’s no wonder that David praised the Lord! However, we have the very same reasons that he did. Therefore, let’s praise Him and honor Him and resolve in our hearts that we will worship and serve Him in “spirit and in truth.”
I. The Plan Of The Psalmist
II. The Praise Of The Psalmist
III. V. 3 THE PLEDGE OF THE PSALMIST
A. In this verse, David makes a pledge to call on God and to trust Him and Him alone for the victories of life. The idea communicated here is that the Psalmist is aware of the power of this praise worthy God and that he is pledging his life to walk in the awareness of the greatness and power of God. He pledges to walk by faith and not by sight!
(Ill. Surely there had been times when David was on the run that he thought he would be captured and killed by Saul, but God had proven greater than his enemy at every turn. David knew that if God could do it yesterday, then He could be counted on to do it tomorrow!)
B. What a lesson for us! As children of God, we must learn that God is all these things that David said He was. He will protect you, He will provide for you, He will help you, He will refresh you, He will ever be there for you. Our duty, then, is to walk by faith and not by sight. Let us remember who the Lord our God is, and what He has done and let us worship Him, honor Him and praise Him. He is the God of the universe. The Creator God of the universe. Let us pledge to walk by faith in HIM, Hab. 2:4.
There is a statement that is being used by the young folks in our day, and a recent movie used this expression in the title. The expression I am referring to is “All that!” I think it means that someone has arrived. That they are somehow about above others. When you are “all that” you are it man! Well, if I may say this without being irreverent, God is “all that”! Is all that the Bible says He is and even more.
My question this evening is this, are you loving Him like you should? Or, do others compete for the Lord’s attention? Are you living for Him like you should? Or, do other things cut into His time? Are you leaning on Him like you should? Or do you live your life in doubt, fear and worry? Maybe you need to be saved this evening, why not come to Him and bow before Him and commit yourself afresh and anew to His marvelous watch and care.
Will you come as the Lord has spoken to your heart? This altar is open and the Almighty God that David exalted is still as mighty tonight. If you need Him (JESUS), He is here!