We can love many things on earth, but for the Psalmist, his chief love was the Lord (Ps. 18:1). Love in this context means a natural and soothing bond, mercy and compassion. God is our strength, might and help. For me, it's easy to watch television or do anything instead of coming to Christ who is the only one that fills the empty place in my soul.
All of us need healing from emptiness, pain, heartache, shame, anger, control, bitterness, fear, anxiety and of
course, sin. The Psalmist discovered that God was his rock, fortress and deliverer in whom He took refuge to receive deliverance in every area of his life (Ps. 18:2).
How do we get delivered? The short answer is calling and praising the Lord to be delivered from all these enemies listed above (Ps. 18:3).
The Psalmist next describes what it feels like before we are delivered (Ps. 18:4-5). The cords of death ensnared us because we are slaves of sin. The destruction we see everywhere, including our own lives, causes fear and utter terror. Because the source of all evil is Satan, human efforts for deliverance become worthless. On a human level, it seems hopeless.
Why aren't we delivered? The main problem is being content in our present situation. In other words, we coexist with evil. We don't sense the urgency for change. We become self-satisfied with the status quo and living with evil. We aren't distressed enough! The distress the Psalmist experienced motivated him to call upon the Lord for help (Ps. 18:6). The good news is that God heard his cry.
I get that! We should call upon the Lord. Will God answer my prayers for deliverance? The Psalmist answered with an resounding yes! God is not silent, but described His activity with images of earthquakes, smoke, fire, darkness, brightness, hailstones, etc. (Ps. 18:7-15). He draws us out of many waters and delivers us in the "day of calamity" from our strong enemy who's too powerful for us to overcome in our own strength (Ps. 18:16-18).
All of us know people who cried to God, but didn't experience deliverance described as a "broad place" (Ps. 18:19). You may be one. What prevents or short circuits deliverance after we ask for it? The short answer is our sin (Ps. 18:20-27). The Psalmist uses terms like righteousness, walking with God, following His ordinances, integrity, kindness, purity and humility as qualities as qualifications for deliverance.
If I go to the trouble of purifying myself, what's in it for me? What are the benefits in deliverance? Light and prosperity in the totality of life. God guides our steps in the midst of darkness and provides supernatural power in the battles of life. God's way is perfect and tested. He puts us in protective custody to train us for the battles we face in life. We experience true greatness, enlarged steps, strength for the battle and total victory over our enemies (Ps. 18:28-42). As an added bonus, we experience deliverance from petty quarrels and favor in our sphere of influence where people actually serve our agendas (Ps. 18:43-45).
In summary, the Psalmist reiterates that the Lord is alive and active in delivering us from any internal or external enemy (Ps. 18:46-48). Our appropriate response is thanksgiving and praise to God because of His great deliverance and lovingkindness to us and all our descendants (Ps. 18:49-50).
Praise God for His deliverance in your life. Take time meditating on each verse in Psalm 18 by rolling it around in your mind and listening for the voice of God. Write down what He says to you and do it!