Psalm 18:25-50

David’s life is in God’s hands.  It is clear he sees no other help for him.  From being surrounded by his enemies on all sides, God has set him in an open place, what now?

As David witnesses the work of God he recognizes how God relates to people.  The picture is beautiful until it became a challenge, to the faithful God is faithful (25) to the blameless-blameless (25), to the pure-pure (26).  Then there came a phrase that generated discussion, to the devious you show yourself shrewd (ESV, v.26b).  Well that’s a nice translation and although the Hebrew words are different there because meaning is the same; to the twisted you show yourself twisted.  We went back on forth on this.  Are we projecting ourselves on God making God in our image.  Is this perception or the truth of God, if so certainly God is not evil because that is not His nature?  It was clear that God doesn’t change to evil for the evil but when we deal with God in His mercy God gives the gifts of the first three instances but in the last instance God deals with the crooked in His justice.  If God comes across as twisted it is because we have messed up this relationship, receiving justice as the result of working against God.

This is so important because this psalm just gets tougher for many ears that aren’t used to hearing of the justice of God.  After David is set in that open space without the threat of death what does he do?  He turns on God’s enemies and pursues them.

David describes that intervention of God in superhuman terms.  “Sounds like superman” when David says, “I run at a troop” (29), “I can leap over a wall” (29), “God is my shield” (30), “I run like a deer” (33), “I bend a bronze bow” (34), “I beat my enemies to dust” (42).

The justice of God made many squirm in their chairs but the reality is that they chose to set themselves against God.  When God told Samuel to anoint David king there was a choice to be made.  Is David king?  David, who so highly respected Saul as anointed by God, no responds to this justice as none other than God’s actions that are a direct results of their choices.

What a challenging discussion!  We are not used to seeing God in His justice.  It is an alien truth about God for we who have enjoyed the relative peace and quiet of our country and times.  Although there are those around the world dying for what they believe and there are many times in history where someone has invoked God’s name for their justice, we are challenged by this psalm to look into that painful reality of this side of God.

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Published in: on March 7, 2014 at 10:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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