The overarching structure is chiastic. That is, David begins this psalm the same way he ends it: Praise to his God (cf. Psalm 18:1-3; 46-50). The middle section of Psalm 18 is all about the “why” (vv. 20-30). Why God delivered David (see My Righteousness; Psalm 18, Part 2). Last, the passages between David’s praise to God and why God chose David pertains directly to his deliverance. In his first description of deliverance (vv. 4-19), Illus1_Psalm_18David paints an illustration of truth concerning God’s righteous judgment.  We read about a consuming fire and dark clouds, a scary picture–to say the least–about who God is in relation to the unjust (see My Rock; Psalm 18, Part 1). Here, we have David retelling his deliverance on a more personal level.

For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
and those who hated me I destroyed.
They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.

(Psalm 18:31-45)

Notice how David praises God for the direct intervention throughout his life. God equipped him with strength and made his way blameless, He made David’s feet like those of a deer, trained his hands for war, gave him the shield of His salvation, and supported him with His right hand. A number of these verbs are in the imperfect tense. This means that David not only praised God for what He has done, but also for what He will continue to do. One such instance may be found in verse 35, “you have given me the shield of your salvation.” David knows that God will continue to provide for him, and that this is something that will never cease for him or for those who follow God. It further speaks to the fact that David’s righteousness and greatness only come from the graciousness of his Lord.

Additionally, the God of the Hebrews is the God of history. The “theology” found in the pages of Scripture is a series of actual historical events which prove their God is the true God. This history, furthermore, is ingrained into their very being. To be Israeli, is to be part of this rich God directed history. Everything that David recounts here is that history. “For who is God but the Lord” (v. 31) starts this personal yet historical overview of accomplishments. Each and every thing that has been accomplished is credited to God who directed the history of His people and their king. This is why David can end this personal presentation of deliverance with “Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses” (v. 45). The fact that God directed and saved His people was known and feared by Israel’s surrounding neighbors, even they knew their defeat was due to God’s intervened and provided for his chosen. Therefore, David concludes with a doxology praising his Savior:

The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.
For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.

(Psalm 18:46-50)

Clearly, David viewed God as his one and only Savior.

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