by: Wesley Thomas
Psalm 18:34-35 CSB "He trains my hands for war; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  You have given me the shield of your salvation; your right hand upholds me, and your humility exalts me."
King David was built for battle. David’s life consisted of constant opposition. Now, wars are won, King Saul is gone, David is on the throne. David reviews his life and praises God for deliverance, from all his enemies and the hand of King Saul. David constructs a battle plan for the rest of His life.
Psalm 18 duplicates 2 Samuel 22; Psalm 18:30 is quoted in Proverbs 30:5; Ps. 18:31 echoes Moses’ song in Deuteronomy 32:4, 31; Habakkuk 3:19 quotes Ps. 18:33); the Apostle Paul quotes Ps. 18:49 and other OT verses in Romans 15:9–12. What is true for David has always been true for God’s people, is true for us this morning, and will be true, when we awake tomorrow. All David’s victories, like ours, result from his/our relationship with God, God’s faithful love, and our trust in God’s leadership.
God trained David for the battles of life. God, in His covenant love, gave David his Word, David returned God’s love, by following God’s instruction (belief and trust/obedience; Ps18:1, 18, 20). David acknowledged that God rewarded his righteousness. This does not mean we can work for God’s favor, but that God’s grace has already placed reward in the paths, which God instructs us to walk. God recompenses us according to the cleanness of our hands (18:20). We all will face battles this week. God has a battle plan for us.
Our first line of defense is prayer (18:3). Call upon the Lord for help. First make peace with God, so He can hear and answer our prayers. Ask God to forgive us for the areas we have departed from His ways, and depend on Him to lead us victoriously back onto his paths of right living (18:20–24).
Second Line of defense is to acknowledge that our past successes have been the work of the Lord, not our own self-sufficiency (18:1–3). Thank God by giving Him credit for past wins. David lists natural structures that have protected him from defeat. Manmade defenses may wins some battles, but not the war. David was a great warrior king, with a mighty army, but he knew that God was his ultimate protector, who would save him (18:32–34, Life Application Bible).
There is no one like the Lord (18:31). Forty-nine verses are too many to discuss this morning, so we will close with our third Line of Defense. Our morning vision of God and our expectations of His love determine how we head out into battle everyday.
Lord Jesus, You have defeated my worst enemy, you conquered death, and gave me new live. I know You will not fail me nor let me fail You. Lord I do not know what will happen this week and I know some of last weeks troubles have nearly defeated me, but in my distress I will pray and my cry for help will reach Your ear (18:6), and I will see you come to my rescue.
As I bend my knees and bow my head to pray, I will see You answer me, today.
No Battle is too big, no trouble is too terrible, and no destress will be my defeat. When You hear my cry for help and answer me, the earth will shake and quake; and the foundations of the mountains will tremble and be shook, because You are angry at my enemy.
Smoke will go up out of our nostrils, and fire from Your mouth set my adversaries ablaze.
You will bend the heavens toward earth, coming down with thick darkness under Your feet.
I see You riding upon a cherub and flying; speeding upon the wings of the wind to rescue me.
As I face battles today, I will hear the Lord my God thunder in the heavens, and the Most High will utter His voice, with hailstones and coals of fire.
You will send out Your arrows and scatter my troubles. Lord I see lightning flashes in abundance, and You guiding them to my defense. When the currents of troubled waters surround me, the foundations of the world are laid bare at Your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
Gracious God, before I prayed, You already sent Jesus from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters, and delivered me from my strong enemy. Lord Jesus, thank You for letting me see a Vision of You, coming to my rescue, in my calamity You alone are my comfort (Psalm 18:7–18). In You victorious name, I pray. I love You, Lord, You are my strength (Teach the Text, 126). Amen (Let it be true).