1 – Psalm 18:6 (ESV) 6 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.
RAF: It is significant that God heard the Psalmist’s voice “from His temple.” David lived with the clear sense of God’s presence with His people. He dwelt between or above the cherubim. This is in contrast to all the pagan temples which are mere monuments to their gods, but which do not claim the nearness or presence of these gods. And now, under the New Covenant this is advanced exponentially – for our God dwells WITHIN us. We are His temple. How much more does He hear us now? Oh what a God of grace!
2 – Psalm 18:7 (ESV) 7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
RAF: Passages such as this one contain what are referred to as anthropopathisms: Displays in God which are analogous to human emotion. While we do not imagine that God is driven by or captive to His emotions, we can also err in robbing Him of them altogether. Some theological statements seem to imply that very thing. But the Holy Spirit wants us to see that God is not dispassionate altogether. In a very great mystery, He truly interacts with us on this level of response. It is a mind boggling thing to imagine God being angry and responding so forcefully to our cries for help. Whatever else it means in its full reality in Him – we are to think of Him as being emotionally engaged in our cares, concerns and needs.
3 – Psalm 18:20-24 (ESV)
20 The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his rules were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
24 So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
RAF: Do not imagine that David thinks of himself as having achieved some elevated state of sinless perfection. He himself will document some of his own sins in other Psalms. His paradigm is one of: “Yes, I may have fallen, but when it is all said and done, there has been repentence and forgiveness, in that I have never foresaken God and turned to false gods or idols.” While the Christian is being changed into the full likeness of Christ which one day we will bear in full – God deals with us as sons in our present failures. He treats us as righteous for Christ’s sake. And when we sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ the righteous one. He does not expect our perfect obedience – but the striving after it, and the right means of confession, repentence and faith in Christ when we fail. He deals with us according to our righteousness as well. Praise God! Christ’s IMPUTED righteousness.
4 – Psalm 19:3-4 (ESV) 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,
RAF: There is a universal obvioty in the creation – that without a sound and in terms which can be understood apart from the need for any spoken language – God MUST be – in all of His genius and power.
5 – Psalm 22:1-2 (ESV) 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
RAF: Note that whatever the force of “forsaken me” carries with it, the Psalmist never loses sight that God is still “MY” God. Oh how we need to capture this for our own souls in dark and troubling places.
6 – Psalm 29:9 (ESV) 9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare,and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
RAF: No other word will do at the sight of God. Glory! is the divine expression. Rolled into it are simultaneous exclamations of:
LIMITLESS, BOUNDLESS, MATCHLESS LOVE!
INCALCULABLE GRACE! MIND-NUMBING, UNSPEAKBLE WONDER!
In a word – GLORY!
7 – Psalm 32:1-2 (ESV) 1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
RAF: Contrary to all the models the World would foist on us, here is what true blessedness – true happiness consists in:
a. Knowing our sins are forgiven.
b. Knowing that God deals with us as though they are not the stains they really are – as though He does not see them.
c. Knowing we have been acquitted, pronouced righteous in the court of Heaven.
d. Knowing this is all grace – not personally derserved. That we are the recipients of the marvelous grace of God poured out in measure commensurate with the righteousness which is accounted ours – Christ’s own.
This, is happiness. For it unites us to Him who is happiness itself – forever.