43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations.
People I did not know now serve me,
44 foreigners cower before me;
as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
45 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.
46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
48 who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name.
50 He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing love to his anointed,
to David and to his descendants forever.
One thing I love about English football (soccer) is the way the crowd roars in support of their team. And when the team wins, the fans sing! With a shower of praises, they sing of the great victory that has been won. This is a Psalm just like that. There is a time of distress, a breath-taking deliverance, and an almighty roar of victory.
This Psalm is written from the standpoint of King David’s great victories, very early in his career, and at a time when his rule and power was at its height. And with these victories comes a promise of greater things. To our ears, it sounds like the beginning of the fulfilment of what God promised King David back in Ps. 2:8, “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”
The startling thing about this Psalm is the way David’s victory over the nations results in God’s name being praised among the nations, “Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name” (18:49). In the New Testament, Paul quotes this verse to show that Jesus came to save the Gentiles, and how the Old Testament looked forward to the day when God will be praised among the nations.
Because of Jesus’ victory, won at the cross when he died and rose again, God’s name is praised among the nations. And we are part of those nations! That’s how we came to know our saviour, and the great victory that Jesus won for us. There was a time in your life when you heard the good news of the gospel – that Jesus died for the forgiveness of your sins. And you came to know this great victory because of the extraordinary lengths Jesus went so that God’s name would be praised among the nations. Here is the hope of our salvation, bound up in God’s words to us in Psalm 18.
HEAD: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 18? What have you learnt about yourself?
HEART: How does it make you feel when you consider what great lengths Jesus went to so that you would come to know the victory Jesus won at the cross?
HANDS: As you follow in the footsteps of Jesus, how can you “go the extra mile” so that the gospel will be spread, and God’s Name will be praised?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I thank you that your wonderful Name has become the praise of many nations, and that I have joined in that chorus of praise because of Jesus’ death for my sins. Thank you that the victory belongs to you, and the benefits have come to me. By your Spirit, work in my heart so that I would long to see your Name spread among the nations, and I pray that I might speak about the victory of Jesus to the people in my life. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.