The Believer's Hope: The Solid Rock
In two previous articles it was noted that the believer has an undergirding source of confidence: an assured trust in the person, power, and presence of the Lord.1 God’s collective people Israel held the same confidence, for the prophets pointed to a glorious prospect for Israel, despite any seemingly hopeless present situation (e.g., Isa. 41:15-16,18; Ezek 37:1-14). Not only was this true for a future Israel, but David testified that even in the midst of his present circumstances he could wait in patient, confident hope for the Lord’s deliverance (e.g., Ps. 42:5,11; 43:5), regardless of what lay ahead (Ps. 23:4,6). His confidence and assurance were such that he could pour out his heart to God, for he knew that the Lord was his unwavering foundation, his “high ridge” (Ps. 42:9, NET).2 The word translated “high ridge” is commonly translated “rock” or “stone” and in this case serves as a name for God, “symbolizing his unshakeable faithfulness, permanence, protective care, and provision.”3
As we shall note in the following study, the twin themes are often found in the book of Psalms, especially in reference to God. We shall begin our study by noting several passages where one or both of the terms occur before turning to a particular psalm in which (like Psalm 42- 43) God is portrayed as both the believer’s hope and rock.
God as Hope and Rock
In a number of texts God is simply referred to in a general way as the believer’s hope or rock. The author of Psalm 147 reminds believers that, “The LORD takes delight in his faithful followers, and those who wait for his loyal love” Ps. 147:11). Thus those who love the Lord are to follow him and his standards faithfully in their daily lives. If they do, they may be assured that their Lord remains faithful to them and the conditions of his covenant with them. Therefore, they should realize that the Lord is not only their redeemer, but in him they have a rock-solid foundation (cf. HCSB; NET, “their protector”), which provides stability for living (Ps. 78:35). In this regard, the psalmist points out that, having learned some of life’s lessons (Ps. 131:1-2), he can encourage his fellow Israelites to “hope in the LORD now and forevermore!” (Ps. 131:3).
Such features of the believer’s relation to God are felt in many distinctive ways. As noted above, God, the rock, is Israel’s sure redeemer (Ps. 95:1). Individual believing Israelites could also claim this reality as their own. Thus David earnestly prays to God, “May my words and my thoughts be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my sheltering rock and redeemer” (Ps. 19:14). David understood that if God would watch over him and guide him in his personal choices (v.13), he would have a sure foundation for living on a high and holy path before his redeeming Lord. It is little wonder, then, that a later psalmist would commemorate David’s dedication to the Lord by portraying God as saying, “He will call out to me, ‘You are my father, my God, and the protector who delivers me’” (Ps. 89:26).4 Here again the themes of God as redeemer and rock are so firmly intertwined that God can affirm the inviolability of the Davidic Covenant : “I will always extend my loyal love to him, and my covenant with him is secure” (v. 28). It is a covenant that finds its culmination in the New Covenant ( Ezek 37; 24-28) as fulfilled in Jesus Christ, David’s greater son (cf. Matt. 1:1; Acts 2:22-36; Rev. 11:15).
Not only in the normal situations of life but God, the rock, is the believer’s sure hope of deliverance in the midst of life’s trials both from without and within. In that regard the psalmist prayed:
Be my protector and refuge,
a stronghold where I can be safe!
For you are my high ridge and my stronghold.
For you give me confidence, O LORD;
O LORD, I have trusted in you since I was young (Ps. 71:3, 5).5
Thus David expressed his full hope of deliverance from difficulty by declaring,
Yet I wait for you, O LORD!
You will respond, O LORD, my God!
I have prayed for deliverance,
because otherwise they will gloat over me;
when my foot slips they will arrogantly taunt me (Ps.38:15-16; cf. Pss. 9:18; 71:14).
David also recognized his need of God’s deliverance from personal sinful attitudes:
But now, O LORD, upon what am I relying?
You are my only hope!
Deliver me from all my sins of rebellion!”(Ps. 39:7-8a).
The Lord is the believer’s redeemer, refuge, and fortress-like defense against all evil. So it is that David prays to God as his rock (ṣῡr) of refuge and his rock (sela‛) and fortress:
Listen to me!
Quickly deliver me!
Be my protector in refuge,
a stronghold where I can be safe!
For you are my high ridge and my stronghold (Ps. 31:2-3a; cf. Pss. 92:15; 94:22).
Even in the midst of the severest trial the Lord is the One in whom the believer may find his sure defense:
The LORD, my protector, deserves praise—
the one who trains my hands for battle,
and my fingers for war,
who loves me and is my stronghold,
my refuge and my deliverer,
my shield and the one in whom I take shelter (Ps. 144:1-2).
Based on the authority of God’s word (Ps. 119:81, 114, 147), the believer has such full assurance in the Lord and in his faithfulness (cf. Ps. 33:22) that he may pray:
Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
This is what comforts me in my trouble,
for your promise revives me (Ps. 119:49-50.
The believer’s committed hope is experienced inj a life-long trust and confidence in the Lord. He alone is the believer’s sure hope for anything that may happen. Therefore, David encourages all believers to “be strong and confident, all you who wait on the LORD” (Ps. 31:24; see also Pss. 130:5, 7; cf. Ps. 146:5). All of this and more are echoed in a psalm in which David recalls God’s decisive intervention on his behalf.
Psalm 18: A Psalm of Hope in God the Rock
Although the word hope does not appear in Psalm 18, the psalm itself is a powerful testimony of David’s gratitude and commitment to the One who alone has been and continues to be his only sure hope. The psalm revolves around David’s expression of thanks to God for delivering him from a desperate situation and granting him victory over his enemies.6 Although David’s praise of God and confidence in him are clearly expressed throughout the psalm, “The original situation is not entirely clear.”7 Yet, judged by David’s description and testimony to God’s deliverance, it must have been an exceptionally dangerous one. His praise and thanks to the Lord are so expressive that the psalm is permeated with many figures of speech that bear witness to David’s love and adoration, and the overwhelming emotions that he felt.8
The structure of the psalm is built around the twin themes of desperation and deliverance. The full psalm is bracketed by the psalmist’s opening praise for God as David’s sure foundation, protection, and source of strength (vv. 1-2) and his closing praise of God for delivering him and giving him a total victory over his enemies (vv. 46-50). The psalm falls into two distinct portions. In the first section, the psalmist expresses his desperate plight and fear before God intervened and rescued him (vv. 1-29). In the second, David expresses his high praise of God his defender and deliverer (vv. 30-50). The whole psalm may be outlined briefly as follows.
I. David’s Plight and God’s Rescue (1-29)
II. David’s Praise of God his Rescuer (30-50)
A. Opening Praise of God (1-2)
A. Opening Praise of God (30-36)
N.B. David’s rock (2,), shield (2),
N.B. David’s rock (31), shield (30, 35),
B. David’s Plea and God’s Rescue (3-19)
B. David’s Praise to his Rescuer (37-45)
C. Reasons for David’s Rescue (20-29)
C. Closing Praise to God the Rock (46-50)
As we shall see, in addition to the basic twin themes of David’s desperate circumstances and deliverance and the metaphoric descriptions of God as David’s rock, shield and strength, the psalm contains many oft-repeated terms and themes.
As the psalm begins, David points to the above mentioned three characteristics of God, which become prominent themes throughout the psalm: God is David’s rock (vv. 2, 31, 46), shield (vv. 2, 30, 35), and source of strength (vv. 1, 32, 34, 39). All three become magnified in the manner in which God acts as David’s rescue and deliverer (vv. 2, 3, 16, 17, 19, 27, 46, 48), and his source of victory over his enemies (vv. 35, 43, 50).9 As we noted in the opening details of our study, the image of God as a rock becomes a familiar theme in the Scriptures .Here it serves to alert and assure the reader that throughout the recorded description of what David had endured and experienced it was the Lord who gave David a sense of stability and the strength to carry on. It was he also who delivered David. God was indeed his refuge in the time of his distress and his redeemer from the oppression of others.
In keeping with the imagery associated with the rock David proclaims that the Lord is the “horn that saves me.” Although the precise force of the word horn has been variously understood, ultimately it refers to God in his role as the believer’s divine warrior. “When God appears as the divine warrior in the OT, he most often comes to save his people from their enemies… . The divine warrior theme is closely connected to the idea of covenant in the OT. God reveals himself through covenant treaty and then promises to protect his subject people from danger threatened by their enemies.”10 Not only was Israel’s covenant Lord David’s divine warrior (cf. Deut. 28:7), but he is available to all believers in times of crisis (see NET footnote). David had clearly experienced such aid as a young man when he faced and defeated the giant Goliath (1 Sam. 17:45-51). Later David would be granted a foundational covenant with God his divine warrior (2 Sam. 7:8-16).
In the second movement of the first half of the psalm David recounts the desperate circumstances in which he faced the necessity to call for the divine warrior’s aid (vv. 3-6). David had found himself so overwhelmed by his enemies that death seemed inevitable. He likened himself to a swimmer who was engulfed by powerful waves: “Death is likened to a river or ocean (cf. Pss 69:1-2, 14-15; 88:6-7; Jon 2:2-3, 5).”11 David’s only hope was the Lord. Accordingly, he called to him and “was delivered” from his enemies (v. 3). David’s declaration of praise is amplified in verse six where he adds, “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried out to my God. From his heavenly temple he heard my voice; he listened to my cry for help.” The figure of David’s calling/crying and God’s hearing/listening is in keeping with the well-known call/answer motif, which is found throughout the pages of the Bible. For example, the psalmist beseeches God
O LORD, hear my prayer!
Pay attention to my cry for help!
Do not ignore me in my time of trouble!
Listen to me!
When I call out to you, quickly answer me! (Ps. 102:1-2).12
By way of describing God’s response to his desperate cry for help, David again uses graphic imagery characteristic of God, the divine warrior (vv. 7-15). Indeed, as dramatically as David has described the desperate nature of his situation in face of his mortal enemies, even more so is his portrait of the divine warrior. Schaefer summarizes it well: “He swoops down amidst a ravaging storm, accompanied by high winds, dark clouds, thunder and lightning, hail, earthquake, and tidal waves… . The furious warrior’s descent is dramatized like an aerial attack. Cloaked by darkness and clouds, he gallops on a ‘cherub’ with wings of a hurricane, tosses lightning javelins right and left, scatters fiery coals, bellows and snorts like thunder, terrorizes and convulses the natural world.”13
So fierce was God’s help for David that David would achieve an unprecedented victory that was so stupendous that the whole natural world is described as being in great upheaval. The earth shakes to the great depths of the roots of the mountains (v. 7); fiery hailstones flow down from the heavens amid a raging thunderstorm, which painted the sky such a deep blackness (vv. 8-11) that the flashing lightning with its rolling thunder were made all the more intensely effective (vv. 12-14). Even the “depths of the sea were exposed” (v. 15) as a result of the convulsing earth. How fitting a description! David portrayed his seemingly hopeless state as being like one trapped in the watery depths (v. 4), yet this condition was not beyond God’s reach (v. 15).
David was fully aware that his only hope of rescue from his enemies could only be accomplished by the one who is his (and Israel’s) redeeming Lord. David’s dramatic portrayal of his deliverance is highly reminiscent of Israel’s redemption out of Egypt long ago. It is interesting to note that these verses (vv. 7-15) have been understood as originally being associated with an exodus epic depicting God’s deliverance of his people from mighty Egypt, his protection and guiding of them through the days of their wilderness journey, and their eventual entry into the Promised Land. Certainly the language and imagery of the psalm point to an earlier source. Thus Cross identified and listed data favoring an earlier date for this section of the psalm. Having pointed out the orthographic evidence and linguistic archaisms, he adds, “The language and style of the theophany derive from ancient Canaanite sources, having many contacts with the Ugaritic epics. The literary associations with Exod. 15, Hab. 3, Deut. 32 and 33, Micah 7, and Ps. 144, point to a relatively early date for the composition of the psalm.”14
Particularly relevant for our study is the fact that verses 7-15 (HB 8-16; cf. 2 Sam. 22:8-16) have very close parallels with Exodus 15 and Habakkuk 3:3-15, which serve as basic sources detailing God’s deliverance and care for his people in the days of their exodus experience. Not to be overlooked also are other texts that reflect the language and details of the exodus experience, several of which contain early linguistic features (e.g., Judg. 5:4-5; Pss. 77:16-20; 144:5-6). Especially noteworthy are those passages that depict the chaotic features of the natural world as being the Lord’s battle weapons on behalf of his own (e.g., Exod. 15:8-10; Judg. 5:4-5; Ps. 77:16-18; Hab. 3:4, 7-12, 15). Using imagery reflective of the exodus, David testifies to the fact that Israel’s redeemer is no less powerful and concerned for his own in David’s day than in the past.15 The contrast between the imagery that David employs in verses 3-6 with the epic-like language in verses 7-15 is vivid and striking. Thus Travers remarks, “The figures in Psalm 18:1-16 portray the sharpest of contrasts between the helpless and hopeless psalmist on the one hand, who saw himself under attack by a merciless enemy, and on the other hand the omnipotent Lord, a warrior who rushes to the psalmist’s rescue with an invincible arsenal.”16
Following the dramatic description of his intense reaction to God’s deliverance of him, David sums it all up quite picturesquely by demonstrating that the Lord answered his call (cf. vv. 3 ,6) and delivered him from his desperate circumstances. He had likened his situation to being overwhelmed by “the currents of chaos” (v.4). Now he praise God by saying, “He reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me from the surging water” (v. 16). Then he plainly reports, “He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me” (v. 17). He goes on to portray God’s coming to his aid as loosening him from a trap (v. 18; cf. v. 5) and bringing him out into a “wide open place” (v. 19a). It was simply God’s pleasure to do so because the Lord “was pleased” with David (v. 19b).
In a third unit within this section, David builds upon the thought of God’s taking delight in him. God’s delight in David (v. 19b) thus becomes a literary and thematic hinge to what follows, in which David suggests some reasons why God had rescued him (vv. 20-29). The reasons are twofold. First, David indicates that he had conducted himself in a godly manner (v. 20), faithfully and consciously obeying the Lord’s commands (vv. 21-22), so as to keep himself from sinning against the Lord’s revealed standards (v. 23). By way of enclosing this first reason why God had rewarded David, he once again suggests that it was his consistent spiritual conduct that served as the basic reason why God rescued him out of his helpless and seemingly hopeless state (cf. vv. 20, 24). Simply put, David had been loyal to God and his word. Therefore, God had rewarded his correct behavior.
As a second reason for God’s intervention, David amplifies this thought by pointing out that on his part God is loyal to those who faithfully follow him (vv. 25-26). Unlike the case for those who are not trustworthy or are haughty, God can be counted on to help those who are humble (vv. 26-27; cf. Ps. 31:23). David had earlier described God’s coming against his people’s enemies as shrouding himself “in darkness, in thick clouds” (v 10) as well as operating with flashing “lightning bolts” (v. 14). By way of emphatic contrast, David declares that it was he himself whose situation was like being shrouded in an engulfing darkness—a darkness that could only be illuminated by the Lord’s presence (v. 28). In that dark hour God was indeed his ever present “lamp” to see him through any difficulty, including that of defeating David’s earthly enemies, however strong or overwhelming they may seem to be (v. 29).
Much of David’s experience is mirrored in a later psalm attributed to David. In Psalm 62:5-7 we see many of the same themes that occur in Psalm 18. Here David confesses that his only hope lay in God alone. David’s protection, deliverance, and strength could be attributed to God who was his rock. David joyfully proclaims, “My salvation and glory depend on God; my strong rock, my refuge, is in God” (Ps. 62:7, HCSB). It was because of all of this that David would remind himself, “Patiently wait for God alone, my soul! For he is the one who gives me confidence” (Ps. 62:5; HB, [assured] hope). He therefore could also advise others to “trust in him at all times, you people! Pour out your hearts before him! God is our shelter!” (Ps. 62:8).
Returning to Psalm 18, we note that the first major section of the psalm (vv. 1-29) has been an account of God’s rescue of David. David now builds upon the thought of his own invincibility when God is on his side (v. 29) by going on to celebrate the victory he has enjoyed by God’s help. The second major section (vv. 30-50) opens with a paean of praise to God, his rescuer and source of victory. In a first sub-unit (vv. 30-36) David praises God once again (cf. vv. 1-2) as being his shield (v. 30), rock (v. 31), and strength (v. 32),17 The Lord was the one who shielded David from the weapons of the enemy, was his sure foundation for stability of life, and was the one who provided him with the strength of character and personal power to live victoriously. David’s hope for success (which he will describe in vv. 37-45) lay in reliance on God and his provision. Indeed, David’s military prowess and strength with the resultant victory did come from God who gave him the physical strength and dexterity and proper skill to bring him through the battlefield clashes successfully (vv. 33-34). Through it all God was his protector and provider in order to prevail over his enemies (vv. 35-36). As Leupold remarks, “ In a beautiful figure David ascribes to Yahweh the lending of His shield to His servant so as to keep him utterly safe; and whenever he stumbled, it was the hand of God that sustained him. … One more figure is employed (v. 36) to covey the same impression; God always gave him sufficient room to walk and move and never suffered his ankles to turn on rough ground.”18
To the familiar image of God as David’s shield V. 35a) David adds the well-known motif of the right hand (v. 35b). Imagery associated with the right hand motif can embrace such ideas as “particular emphasis, distinct identification, or full and energetic participation of a biblical protagonist.”19 Here it has to do with God’s identification with his faithful servant David and energetic and full support of him and his cause. 20 David also probably is underscoring his sense of God’s presence as the contest with his enemies progressed. Indeed, God has promised to be with the believer in all things, including times of trial and difficulty (Ps. 14-16; cf. Matt. 28:20). David’s victory was ultimately the Lord’s. Therefore, he concludes this movement in the psalm by acknowledging that it was God who kept him from failure (v.36; cf. v.19).
In a second movement David goes on to describe his victory over his enemies. He had seemed to be so helpless before them (vv. 37-42). Yet by God’s help they were completely routed and defeated, so much so that it was now his enemies turn to be helpless before David (vv. 37-41). In a vivid simile David reports that so thoroughly were they beaten and devastated that they lay at his feet like “fine windblown dust” and “clay in the streets” (v. 42; cf. v. 38). He adds that whatever surviving enemies there were knelt at his feet in full submission (v. 39). In a dramatic twist, David describes his enemies’ useless cry for help (v. 41). Unlike David, whose plaintiff plea for help was heard and answered by the Lord (vv. 6-19), for them no answer or assistance came from the Lord.21 In contrast with David, whose cause was righteous and conduct without reproach, their unrighteous desires and schemes merited no divine favor. God’s “reply” was manifested in giving David the strength and ability to achieve a total victory. So it is that it is God’s enablement that David praises in verses 43-45. It was He who rescued David and established his leadership both at home and among the surrounding peoples. Rather than David being fearful of his enemies, it is his foes who now fear him, and it was all due to God’s intervention for and strengthening of his servant David.
Accordingly, David finishes his psalm on a high note of praise (vv. 46-50). Once again we encounter in these verses the themes of rescue (V. 48; cf. vv. 16, 17, 19, 27) deliverance (vv. 46, 48 cf. vv. 2, 3), and victory over the enemies (v. 50; cf. vv. 35, 43). The living Lord, Yahweh, is the One to be praised as the true king to be extolled. As Lord of all he is the controller of the nations, and all people and matters. In the final analysis, it is he who has vindicated David and established his kingship as well as his leadership among the surrounding peoples. All praise and thanks belong to the Lord who has not only rescued David but in so doing has established him as his anointed (v. 50). Many find in this statement a messianic note. In accordance with Psalm 2:6-12 the nations are submitting to God’s chosen one. So committed is God to David that he covenanted with him (1 Chron. 17:10b-14) to establish David’s lineage as the genealogical source from which the divine Messiah would come. To that covenant God ever remains faithful (cf. Psalm 89:30-37).22
In God’s good time the Anointed One, Jesus the Messiah, did come and will yet come again. Not only for Israel but for all people Christ is mankind’s only hope. Believers realize that at one time they were alienated from God and spiritually dead in sins and without any other source of hope (Eph. 2:1-3, 12. Now, however, by God’s grace they have been saved (Eph. 2:4-10). In Christ Jesus they have such an assured hope of eternal life (Col 1:27; 1 Tim 1:1) that they look forward with eager anticipation to Jesus’ second coming (2 Tim 2:13; 3:4-7). As they wait for that day, believers also understand that Jesus Christ is their solid rock of salvation and stability for living (cf. Rom. 9:33 with Isa. 28:16). Believers should therefore be careful to build on their sure foundation in Christ in solid, consistent spiritual growth.
Mindful that Jesus has commissioned believers to proclaim the Gospel message (Matt 28: 19-20) and recalling their great joy when they were delivered from their sinful condition, they should have a genuine concern to reach a lost and needy mankind, many of whom stumble over that same rock, Christ Jesus (I! Pet. 2: 6-10). And as we believers go, it would be well for us to keep in mind two other themes that are prominent in Psalm 18, by following Paul’s admonition to “take up the full armor of God” and “the shield of faith” (Eph. 6: 13, 18), and above all to be, “strengthened in the Lord and the strength of his power” (Eph. 6: 10). May we as believers also remain faithful (Rev 2:10) to the One who is ever faithful to his people (Ps 18:50; cf. 2 Tim 2:13).
The hymn writer expresses the believer’s rock solid hope in Christ quite well:
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.23
2 Unless otherwise noted, all biblical citations in this study are taken from the NET.
3 Andrew E. Hill, “Sela᷾,” in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis,” ed. Willem A. VanGemeren , 5 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997) :267. Another Hebrew word for rock (ṣῡr) usually indicates a more massive rock or boulder. Nevertheless, both terms could be used at times for rocks in general, whether large or small. When applied to God both can carry the significance of permanence, protection, and power.
4 NET text note: “The rocky summit of my deliverance.”
5 See the NET text notes for these two verses.
6 Konrad Schaefer (Psalms, Berit Olam [Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2001], 41) suggests that Psalm 18 “may have been used in the Jerusalem liturgy, perhaps as an annual thanksgiving for deliverance.”
7 Willem A. VanGemeren, “Psalms,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III & David E. Garland , rev. ed., 13 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), 5:201.
8 For details, see Schaefer, Ibid, 41-44; M. Travers, “The Use of Figures of Speech in the Bible,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 164 (2007), 287-90.
9 All these qualities are particularly emphasized in the NLT Bible.
10 “Divine Warrior,” in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, eds. Leland Ryken, James C. Wilhoit, and Tremper Longman III (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998), 211. See further, Tremper Longman III & Daniel G. Reid, God Is a Warrior (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995).
11 Schaefer, Psalms, 41.
12 See further, Richard D. Patterson, “The Call/Answer Motif,” in Biblical Studies Press, 2008.
13 Schaefer, Psalms, 42. See also VanGemeren, “Psalms,” 5:205.
14 Frank Moore Cross, Jr., Studies in Ancient Yahwistic Poetry (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 1950), 254. This study concerning the relevant portions of Psalm 18 and 2 Sam. 22 are part of Cross’ dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree.
15 For the transmission of the exodus motif, see Richard D. Patterson and Michael E. Travers, “Contours of the Exodus Motif in Jesus’ Earthly Ministry,” The Westminster Theological Journal 66 (2004): 35-42. For the possibility that Israel once possessed a literary epic cycle commemorating the exodus, see the “Excurses on Exodus 3,” in Richard D. Patterson, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (Richardson, TX: Biblical Studies Press, 2003), 241-45.
16 Travers, “The Use of Figures of Speech in the Bible,” 290.
17 The Hebrew text of v. 30 contains a well-known Hebrew formula for indicating a section break. Here is may be translated, “As for God, his way is perfect” (cf. NIV).
18 H. C. Leupold, The Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), 172.
19 “Right. Right Hand in “ Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, 727. For additional information on the use of the right hand to signify completeness, see the accompanying discussion on pp. 727-28. The right hand can also be employed where an additional emphasis is on fellowship and/or support is intended (e.g., Rev. 1:17-18).
20 For the anthropological description of God as having hands, See Richard D. Patterson and Michael E. Travers, Face to Face with God (Richardson, TX: Biblical Studies Press, 2008), 43-49.
21 The fact that some of David’s enemies cried out to Yahweh (v. 42) may indicate that David faced strong opposition from some quarters of his fellow Israelites as well as foreigners. If so, the setting for Psalm 18 may well be early in David’s career as indicated in the superscription (e.g., 2 Sam 2-3). If, however, David’s praise includes such subsequent campaigning as that described in 2 Sam 10: 9-19, the Davidic Covenan t (2 Sam. 7; 8-17) may have already been enacted ( although the author’s style in employing narrative formulae makes this inconclusive).
22 VanGemeren (Psalms, 212) observes, “Every Christian knows that the King is none other than Jesus the Messiah. The Davidic kings in the OT established God’s kingdom to a lesser and greater extent. But Jesus is the gospel (i.e., the Good News) of the kingdom (Mk 1:1).
23 Edward Mote, “The Solid Rock.”