This extensive, rich Psalm is David’s response to God sparing him from Saul’s wrath. In 2 Samuel 22, we see the real-time response - a song almost identical to Psalm 18. I love this Psalm because it lifts my heart and sets new heights of hope around every corner. This is my redemption song, my salvation song, my hope in the darkness and my reminder in the light.
David mentions his near-death experience several times through the Psalm, beginning in verse 4 with, “The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me, the cords of Sheol entangled me, the snares of death confronted me.”
When I read this visceral language, I remember times when I felt this hopeless - when anxiety had won for months, when sin seemed to rule my soul, when loneliness nibbled away at my self-worth. We have all had our sit-ins with the cords of death. And so, we do what David did - pray in desperation.
“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.” (verse 6)
Now comes the fun part. The following 12 verses depict God’s wrath against anyone or anything who would dare mess with His children.
“... the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked because He was angry…” (verse 7)
David paints a picture of God coming down in a billowing cloud of darkness to overtake the enemy and rescue His child.
“He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me." (verses 16-17)
These words always make my heart soar with love and thankfulness. And where does He bring the one He rescues?
“He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me because He delighted in me." (verse 19)
This - the broad place - resonates with me so much. After a trying season or dark time, I feel like God brings me to a spacious place - either physically or spiritually - a field of restoration and new breath. Here he seals the lessons and love that came from the wilderness. He sews up the loose threads and patches the piercing holes that left me floundering. Most importantly - He reminds me that it is He who saves. It is He who redeems my life from the pit.
This is a Psalm for every season. Read it over yourself as a beacon of hope in dark times. Cling to this image of God radically saving His child, filled with anger at the enemy. Rejoice with David in your spacious seasons. Skip and dance with God in the tall grass that soothes your wounds. For your story screams redemption no matter what. Your song is restoration in the end. Praise God for His mighty hand never ceases to rescue those He has made righteous.
Lord, thank you for redeeming my life, my choices, my circumstances time and time again. Help me to praise you in the trials and the spacious places. I pray that your promise of redemption would rule and reign in my heart as I go through this day, this year, this life. I love you and everything I am is yours. Amen.
Author | Claire Jordan