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(Psalm 18) A Life God Strengthened.

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Psalm 18 is a wonderful summary of praise and thanksgiving for God’s protection over the course of David’s life. The Psalm is repeated nearly identical in 2 Samuel 22. Psalm 18 recounts God’s protection and the reason for God’s protection with beautiful imagery – calling God his strength, rock, and fortress.

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INTRODUCTION:
If we were to spend a lifetime depending upon God’s strength and following God’s Word,
and then write about it -
What would we write about?
What would we write about?
I mean after a lifetime of watching providentially - God provide and protect us - what would we say at the end of that lifetime?
does that.
is a Psalm of Praise, thankfulness, and confession by David.
It recounts how God gave him military victory over his lifetime.
We know this from the subscript -

TO THE CHOIRMASTER. A PSALM OF DAVID, THE SERVANT OF THE LORD, WHO ADDRESSED THE WORDS OF THIS SONG TO THE LORD ON THE DAY WHEN THE LORD DELIVERED HIM FROM THE HAND OF ALL HIS ENEMIES, AND FROM THE HAND OF SAUL. HE SAID:

This also explains why a nearly identical copy of this Psalm is found in .
There are three major areas God gave David military deliverance -
1) David and Saul.
1) David and Saul.
2) Victory over foreign enemies (Philistines, Moabites, Arameans of Damascus, and the Edomites). ()
3) Absalom.
David at this point in his life is a battle hardened Soldier,
who has experienced multiple close calls with death.
who has experienced the fear and gut ache of being on the run in a losing fight.
who has felt the depression of having your friends turn against you.
Yet, he lives,
and recounts with joy how God has been his strength.
READ PSALM 18.

PROPOSITION: God ought to be our Strength

Transition: And this Psalm shows us 3 ways how God strengthen David.

CLARIFICATION:
For time sake,
We are going to look at in a larger picture - which means we are going to look at this in larger chunks.
First,
The first way is that:
God strengthen

1. God Protected David.

a. The threat of death. (v. 4-5)

Psalm 18:4–5 ESV
4 The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; 5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.

b. David’s Plea to God. (v. 6)

Psalm 18:6 ESV
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
But particularly notice how God protects David.

c. God’s Answer. (v. 7-15)

Psalm 18:7–15 ESV
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry. 8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. 9 He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet. 10 He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water. 12 Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds. 13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire. 14 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings and routed them. 15 Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

d. God’s Deliverance. (v. 16-19)

Psalm 18:16–19 ESV
16 He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. 17 He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. 19 He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Ps 18:16-19
In this section,
David is summarizing God’s deliverance.
But in his mind I am sure he is remembering, like flash backs,
all the time he was scared and in peril, but God delivered
The story of David demonstrates that God is our strength,
even when we are faced with death.
The 2nd way,

2. God Equipped David.

ILLUSTRATION:
Many times we are faced with situations that are beyond our abilities.
David is faced with Battles against far superior enemies.
I mean, Goliath outmatched David.
- Imagine fighting a giant -
- And he is just one of his enemies.
And he is just one of his enemies.
We often start out life without all the equipment we need for life - but God is faithful to equip us.
Notice the

a. Basis for God’s Deliverance. (v. 20-30)

Psalm 18:20–30 ESV
20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all his rules were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me. 23 I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from my guilt. 24 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. 25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; 26 with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. 27 For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down. 28 For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. 29 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. 30 This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
But did David have either the warrior skill or the Spiritual character to be delivered by God.
We might want to say yes,
but v. 31- 36 tell us other wise.

b. The equipping of David. (v. 31-36)

Psalm 18:31–36 ESV
31 For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?— 32 the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. 33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. 36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.
David’s blamelessness and David’s military might - came from God.
The Great Warrior Poet King was such,
because God made him such.
ILLUSTRATION:
Isn’t that a comfort?
That means one of our hero’s of the faith,
was all he could be - because God made him so.
In my mind,
this says as much about God’s protection as if he had been the one who struck God’s enemies himself.
this says a much about our righteousness as being of God, as though God stands in our place.
wait - isn’t that exactly what happens through Jesus Christ.
And look at what God’s equipping allowed.

c. God’s Enabled Action. (v. 37-42)

Psalm 18:37–42 ESV
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. 38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet. 39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me. 40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed. 41 They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
Ps 18:
God’s enablement equipped David to see him through the hard times, the scary ties, the death-defying times.
Finally, we see God’s strengthening as:

3. God Blessed David. (v. 43-50)

Psalm 18:43–50 ESV
43 You delivered me from strife with the people; you made me the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me. 44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me. 45 Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses. 46 The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— 47 the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me, 48 who rescued me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from the man of violence. 49 For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing to your name. 50 Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.
God gave the nations who David faced,
Philistines, Moabites, Edomites into his hand.
And made him ruler over their people.
May I say, this is more than just surviving.
God has both exalted him - making head over other nations.
And giving him peace -
A rare commodity for an Ancient Near East King.
This is God manifold blessing on David’s life.
We see God strengthening David through a manifold blessing.
CONCLUSION:
We often wonder - Why does God allow suffering?
And I think part of that answer
- so we can see how God strengths us.
- so we can learn to declare he is our love, our strength, our rock, our fortress.
so we can learn to declare he is our love, our strength, our rock, our fortress.
And that doesn’t happen in one moment.
It happens after lifetime of seeing God protect you, equip you, and bless you.
As a conclusion,
Let’s read David’s testimony of God’s faithfulness.
Psalm 18:1–3 ESV
1 I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
As we take time to prayer,
- May we be encouraged that God strengthens us.
- May we be challenged in our self-reliance and self-dependence - our independence from God.
And instead may we consider and rely on the God who strengthens us.
May we tonight call him our rock, our fortress, our deliver, our strength.
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