I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock,
and my fortress,
and my deliverer;
in whom I will trust;
and the horn of my salvation,
and my high tower.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised:
so shall I be saved from my enemies.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.
The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God:
He heard my voice out of His temple,
and my cry came before Him, even into His ears.
Then the earth shook and trembled;
the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken,
because He was wroth.
There went up a smoke out of His nostrils,
and fire out of His mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down:
and darkness was under His feet.
And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly:
yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His secret place;
His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed,
hail stones and coals of fire.
The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
and the Highest gave His voice;
hail stones and coals of fire.
Yea, He sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
and He shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.
Then the channels of waters were seen,
and the foundations of the world were discovered at Thy rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils.
He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me:
for they were too strong for me.
They prevented me in the day of my calamity:
but the LORD was my stay.
He brought me forth also into a large place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.
The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands hath He recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments were before me, and I did not put away His statutes from me.
I was also upright before Him, and I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in His eyesight.
With the merciful Thou wilt show Thyself merciful;
with an upright man Thou wilt show Thyself upright;
With the pure Thou wilt show Thyself pure;
and with the froward Thou wilt show Thyself froward.
For Thou wilt save the afflicted people;
but wilt bring down high looks.
For Thou wilt light my candle:
the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by Thee I have run through a troop;
and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
As for God, His way is perfect:
the word of the LORD is tried:
He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.
For who is God save the LORD?
or who is a rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms.
Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation:
and Thy right hand hath held me up,
and Thy gentleness hath made me great.
Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
I have pursued my enemies, and overtaken them:
neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
For Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle:
Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
Thou hast also given me the necks of my enemies;
that I might destroy them that hate me.
They cried, but there was none to save them:
even unto the LORD, but He answered them not.
Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind:
I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people;
and Thou hast made me the head of the heathen:
a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me:
the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
The LORD liveth;
and blessed be my rock;
and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
He delivereth me from my enemies:
yea, Thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me:
Thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
Therefore will I give thanks unto Thee, O LORD, among the heathen,
and sing praises unto Thy name.
Great deliverance giveth He to His king;
and showeth mercy to His anointed, to David,
and to his seed forevermore.
One of the first things I noticed about this psalm was its length—50 verses in all, as compared to the average of 10 verses in each of the preceding psalms. When David was in trouble, his prayers were short. He begged the Lord for help and acknowledged his trust in the same. But when the answer came, and God brought the deliverance, David spared no words in giving praise and thanks to the Lord. It is appropriate that his rejoicing would be long, for his gratitude was immeasurable. The time of fleeing was over; now it was time to fight. And fight he did, and he won—but not with his own strength. David acknowledges that his strength and prowess in battle was also of the Lord, as was his deliverance from out of the hand of the enemy.
Verse 10 says, “And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind.” I find it interesting that David acknowledges God’s working on his behalf right from the very start, even though by the human clock it seemed that God delayed. After all, many years passed from the time David was anointed king until he was finally able to assume the throne. Was God working speedily or not? I say YES, HE WAS! God is not bound by our time table. He does not wear a watch or hang a calendar on the wall of His throne room in heaven. He is at work in my life even when I cannot see what He is doing. He is never idle, never early, and most certainly never late, but always right on time. Of that I can rest assured. I am reminded of 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Also, Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.”
Being in Florida, where thunderstorms are quite common, I often think of this second stanza. The description of God moving on the earth is just like one of those Florida thunderstorms: fierce, powerful, mighty, inescapable, at times destructive, but always beneficial. Yes, the strong winds and hard rains take down branches, but they take down the weak branches that would do more harm later. The water sometimes floods the streets, but it also causes the grass, flowers, and trees to flourish. The lightning can be quite damaging and often causes power failures, but it only serves to remind me of the infinite power of my God. He created the lightning, which means He is infinitely more powerful than the lightning. Surely I can trust the almighty, all-powerful God with all my concerns, and with all my needs. I can of my own self do nothing, but with God all things are possible.
As for God, His way is perfect, and He protects all those who trust in Him.
Photo taken at Stone Mountain State Park, North Carolina, 2014