Psalm Chapter 18: Verses 35-50

Psalm Chapter 18: Verses 35-50  Verses 17-34 #Deliverance #RetributionTheology #Favor #Grace #Peace #Trust (Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

 35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

David stated, “and thy gentleness hath made me great.” The Hebrew word used in this part of the verse is gnanvah. It is the same word that is translated in (Num. 12:3; Psalm 45:4; Zech. 2:3). Why does David state that God has given himthe shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great?” David believed and had total faith in God. He believed everything that he read in the Torah and knew that God would keep His promises to him. Today Christians are told in Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  The book of Hebrews tells us that faith is believing things that we do not see. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

David is telling God that if he/God did not “enlarge” his steps, his way, his military abilities nor his spiritual understanding his feet would have slipped. Where have we read about the enlargement of anything in the Bible before?  The Bible Encyclopedia gives us a better understanding of what enlarge means in this Scripture:

ENLARGE; ENLARGEMENT ; en-larj’, en-larj’-ment: “To enlarge” is very frequently used figuratively:

  1. “God enlarge Japheth” (Genesis 9:27), i.e. “make him a great nation”;
  2. or “Thou hast enlarged my steps under me” (2 Samuel 22:37), i.e. “Thou hast given me success.”
  3. A very peculiar use of “enlarge” is found in the King James Version Psalms 4:1: “Thou hast enlarged me” (the Revised Version (British and American) “set me at large”), i.e.
  4. “Thou hast given me freedom, deliverance from distress.” “Our heart is enlarged” (platuno2 Corinthians 6:11), and
  5. “Be ye also enlarged” (2 Corinthians 6:13), express great love of one party to another.
  6. See also 1 Samuel 2:1, “My mouth is enlarged,” i.e. “full of praise.” 
  7. Ezekiel 41:7, “were broader” (the King James Version “an enlarging”).

Enlargement, the King James Version, 

Esther 4:14 from rawach, “to enlarge,” “to respite,” is rendered “relief” by the Revised Version (British and American) in better harmony with “deliverance” with which the word is paired. By A. L. Breslich

Note: It is crucial that we make a notation here that Verses 37-50 should not be read as “David is just bragging about his military abilities.” It is the opposite. He recognizes that he and his people are blessed, loved, delivered, and rescued by The Almighty.

37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. 

We know from Scripture that David did indeed defeat his enemies. See some instances here. (2 Samuel 5:1-10, 1 Chronicles 11-12, Psalms 133, 106-107.) We have this same support from God. He tells us in the Book of James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. 39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

David never engaged in warfare without consulting God first.

  1. 1 Samuel 23:2 “Therefore David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.”

  2. 2 Samuel 2:2And it came to pass after this, that David enquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron.”

  3. 1 Samuel 23:4-5 “Then David enquired of the Lord yet again. And the Lord answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand. So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.”
  4. David told his Abishai not to destroy his enemy/Saul.  Previously we read how Saul was determined to murder David. David even fled to the Philistine camp to escape Saul. Now here he has a perfect opportunity to destroy his enemy and in 1 Samuel 26:9 David said to Abishai, who was ready to wield the sword, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord‘s anointed, and be guiltless?David acknowledged that his enemy was still God’s anointed!
  5. See These Others Inquiries to God to Determine if David Should Go into Battle.
  6. Can we make the same requests of God today? YES! “In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).

40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. 

Once again David acknowledges why he has victory. This is not through his own strength. It is through the hand of the Lord.

41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. 42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

David is not the first king to inquire of The Almighty what he should do. Saul followed the same premise, but what did God do? 1 Samuel 28:6And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” Why didn’t God answer Saul? Saul was disobedient. I Samuel 16:3Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” Pretty clear right? Kill everything! It is God’s prerogative to make that decision! It is ours to obey. In this climate of political correctness, there would be a huge hue and cry if God determined that a wicked and perverse nation needed to be wiped out! This is why war still persists in certain areas of the world. We want to wage war, but we don’t want to kill people! Really? That is the nature of war. Back to Saul! Read the rest of the chapter! Saul kept some of the “bling” and the goodies, and saved the King!

43Thou 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. 44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. 45 The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

Again, remember that David is not bragging. He never went to war, except when he sent Uriah to his death, without God’s permission. David is bragging on God’s ability to deliver His obedient children. Longman made it crystal clear when he proposed that “God is the One who gave him [David] victory and status against his enemies;” (Longman 2014, 116). In addition to declaring who has given him the victory David concludes this same with the same methodology that he has used in the past.

46The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. 

David praises the Lord for who He is to him! Just listen to the song below and imagine David singing these words!


 47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

When you are wronged, DO NOTHING! Why? Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto [God’s] wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” We have an avenger. His name is Jesus! Don’t try to get even with people. David had an avenger. The Warrior King!

48He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.   49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. 50 Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

Lawson penned a perfect conclusion to this Psalm. He posits the following;

David’s Refrain (18:46– 50) 18:46– 50. With a concluding outburst of praise, David raised his voice to declare, The LORD lives! He had witnessed God’s intervention in his life. This compelled him to shout, Praise be to my Rock! God vindicated David and subdued his foes who were violent men. David concluded, “I will sing praises to your name because God had given great victories.” So total were these triumphs that they extended not only to David but to his descendants forever (Lawson 2004, 109). 

Lawson concluded this Psalm with a statement. I want to use this statement to complete this Psalm. 

David’s example in this psalm calls out to every believer to make God his refuge in every trial, trusting him for deliverance. The Lord is an immovable rock who will save those who attach themselves to him. No threatening enemy can overcome God; he is a fortress to everyone who takes refuge in him. With unwavering hope, the righteous should rest in the Lord, assured of his ultimate victory. They should place all their faith in God, the rock who cannot fall or falter. With no confidence in the flesh, the people of God should entrust themselves to the Lord, steadfast in their dependence on him. Even after God rescues from the day of attack, the believer should persevere, knowing that other enemies lurk in the shadows whom God alone can defeat. God alone is our hope and shield (Ibid).


Lawson, Steven. 2004. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group. Accessed August 28, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed August 28, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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