“I love you, O Lord my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.” (Ps.18:2)
So wrote King David, nearly 3,000 years ago in one of his best loved psalms. We know this was a popular psalm because the writer of 1 & 2 Samuel – a biography of David’s life – includes it in his work, right before David speaks his last words in 2 Samuel 22. It’s understandable. The psalm is Shakespearean in its writing and epic in its scope as David describes how God has delivered him from trouble time and time again.
So many of God’s names in the Bible refer to his power to deliver. The Hebrews spoke of God as Jehovah-Rapha: the Lord our Healer, who delivers from sickness. And Jehovah-Jireh: the Lord our Provider, who delivers from need. Also Jehovah-Nissi: the Lord our banner, who delivers us in battle, when enemies come against us. Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord our peace, who delivers from despair. Jehovah-Tsidkenu: The Lord our Righteousness, who delivers us from sin.
My friend, when you think of God, do you think of him as your Deliverer? If that’s not on your radar, then learn some lessons from Psalm 18.
The first lesson David wants you to learn is to acknowledge that God has delivered you already.
David finds it easy to think of ways to describe God. It pours from his lips in verse 2. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress…my shield, my stronghold.” All he has to do is call to mind the countless ways he has experienced God delivering him from trouble in the past. You could do the same.
It’s not that you’ve never experienced God’s deliverance before. You’ve just never recognized it and acknowledged it. So give credit where credit is due. I believe when we get to heaven and look back on this life through the infrared lens of eternity, that we’ll be able to see time after time when grace and good fortune was given to us, and come to find out, it was God providing it.
I’d encourage you to take a moment right now to write your own little psalm of praise to your Maker. I’d challenge you to put in your own words how you have experienced God’s deliverance in your own life. Write out, “The Lord is my…” then fill in the blank. Go ahead, I dare you.
You may say, “But what about all the bad things that have happened? And are happening still?” To which I’d respond by saying: Give it a rest! We spend so much time, most of us, fixated on the bad things in life. For once, I encourage you to orient your mind in a new direction. If you remember your “What About Bob?”, Take a vacation from your problems.
For two minutes, let go of life’s problems. (Trust me, they’ll still be waiting for you when you’re done.) For two minutes, think about what’s good about your life. Bono of U2 wrote their classic Beautiful Day after realizing that he spent far too much time consumed with life’s countless injustices. The absence of praise had coarsened his heart.
Gratitude can be a doorway for finding God and experiencing his peace. We enter his gates with thanksgiving, Scripture says.
So say the words with David: The Lord is my _______”. Better yet, let this phrase purse your lips and penetrate your heart: I love you, O Lord my _____ “.
Say that ten times…and call me in the morning.