PSALM 18  


Psalm 18


subject: This obviously deals with David's persecution from Saul and others and the fact that God delivered him from the situation. The subject then, is really God's judgment on the enemies which resulted in David's deliverance.

Verses 1-3 - His devotion and trust in the Lord

Verses 4-5 - David encounters a death crisis

Verse 6 - But he trusts in God for deliverance

Verses 16-19 - David records the Lord's deliverance from his enemies and from the death crisis.

But in Verses 7-15, we have a record of God's judgment in a different situation.

Here, the language changes totally. Here there is no mention of people.
Here we must look beyond David's life to find the reference.

Even if we were to symbolize the passage as a whole (and I see no basis for doing so), it can find no correlation to David's deliverance.
Let me add that there most certainly are pieces of symbolism scattered throughout the section, but it must be viewed in the context of a "literal" event at sometime in history.

It seems to be an "illustration" of God's judgment upon a group of His enemies at some time either in the past or the future. I can find nothing in the future that would fit the language.

It must be a past event and the only one "on the surface" that it might go back to is the flood. But as I look at the language, although there is mention of water (and the flood was certainly in a "wrath" context), the description does not really correlate with what happened at the flood. But this must await the verse by verse discussion.

Now first of all, for the Holy Spirit to use such a format is not a problem for it has been done many times in the scriptures as God used his prophets to teach truth. And David did indeed function as a prophet of God even though he did not have the office of prophet.

So through the Spirit's inspiration, David reviews a past judgment of God upon his enemies. The occasion, David may very well not understand. I don't think we can with dogmatism say one way or the other. But he did recognize it as an illustration of God's deliverance in his own crisis situation.

Psalm 18:7-15

Verse 7

1. Then the earth shook and quaked: Actually this begins with the connective, we (and), and should be rendered as AND. It introduces a new focus in this case rather than a continuation of the previous subject. This is based on the content of the section which is clearly of a different nature than what has gone before.

A. The earth: this is the subject of the section. It focuses in on a judgment which is upon the physical planet and not on any inhabitants.

B. Shook and quaked: these two words are not intended to give us two different ideas, but rather to place emphasis on the physical phenomenon that is taking place. There is nothing significant about these two words (gAash and rAash); both occur as a qal imperfect and both mean to shake and quake, although rAash is much more common. The "consecutive" format is continued, using the imperfect tense with the "waw consecutive" to indicate PAST action in a narrative format.

2. And the foundations of the mountains: This is clarification of the extent of this earthquake and disruption of the planet. That is, it extends to the very foundations of the planet's stability.

3. were trembling: this is a qal imperfect of rAgaz, which means to tremble, be agitated, quiver.

4. and were shaken: This is a repeat of gAash, but this time as a hithpael imperfect/consecutive. Thus, they WERE CAUSED to shake.

5. Because He was angry: The word, kiy, is the standard word for explanation. "He" refers to Yahweh as identified not only previously in verse one, but also within this section, at verses 13 and 15. The word angry, is the verb, chArAh, and speaks of a very intense BURNING type of anger. Thus, we certainly have an expression of God's justice in judgment, and that judgment is clearly upon the earth.

There is no mention of any such earthquake activity in association with the flood.

I don't think too much of the following needs detailed exegesis. I will let the NASB speak for itself unless clarification is needed.

Verse 8 Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.

We have FIRE involved with this judgment - or what can be seed as a very great HEAT. Such heat is of course NEEDED to accomplish such an intense physical destruction.

There is no mention of such fire and heat at the time of the flood, although in that we have a very big rain storm, it might be reasonable to think there would be some attending lightning and thunder.

Verse 9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet.

This symbolism tells us that great DARKNESS was involved.

Such darkness would only be an assumption for the flood, although with all that water coming down, it is again, reasonable to see that there would be great darkness.

Verse 10 And He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.

This seems to suggest that His judgment was executed with the help of ANGELS.

Verse 11 He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

Here we see the idea that He used water also. Perhaps we see the fact that when the HEAT was done, He covered the surface of the planet with WATER.

Again, a possible reference to the flood, but the rest of the language does not fit. Furthermore, I suggest that were the flood in view, then we would certainly also see reference to the destruction of people.

Verses 12-15 seem to BACK UP and go through the process again.

1. Fire and heat
2. water

Verse 12 From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire.

Verse 13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.

There is no mention of hailstones at the flood, and this time, it is NOT a reasonable assumption to think that hail was involved.

However, at the Genesis 1:2 judgment, we have severe darkness and water.

Water coming down and coming up, which would cause it to be very cold and eventually freeze totally.

Verse 14 And He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.

The symbol of the arrows is for emphasis in using lightning.

The phrase, "scattered them," refers to scattering the arrows - not any inhabitants. Again, any association with lightning to the flood is simply an assumption.

Verse 15 Then the channels of water appeared, And the foundations of the world were laid bare At Thy rebuke, O LORD, At the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils.

Here we have the fact that the surface of the earth was covered in a blanket of water as the "channels of water" apparently EMPTIED from below (foundations laid bare) in order to cover the surface.

Again, language that SEEMS to go back to the flood, but language that does not really FIT that well with the flood.

The water -
The total darkness -
looks to Genesis 1:2, "and the earth became a waste and empty, and DARKNESS was upon the face of the WATERS.

This equals ICE and would perfectly correspond with the so-called ICE AGE.

That is why in the next line, we see the Spirit of Elohim HOVERING over the surface of the waters. This seems to communicate a HEAT-producing action that is the beginning of bringing the planet back into a habitable condition.

Verse 16 and following now returns to David's personal experience and applies God's VICTORY over this past enemy, to his own precarious situation.

"He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters."




İRon Wallace, Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.


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