Sunday Sermon: ‘David’s Thanksgiving Song’

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As many of you know, David was not only a warrior and a king, he was also a musician. Along with his ability to play the harp, he also wrote many songs which we normally call ‘psalms.’ The Hebrew word for ‘psalm’ means to sing or make melody.

We’re not sure how many songs David wrote. Not all the psalms were written by him. But today we have what many believe was his last song. If you had to write a song that told the story of your life, what kind of song would you sing? Would it be a happy song or a sad song? What part of your life would you immortalize and leave for the generations after you? Would be the chorus to your song? David’s last song was a song of gratitude for how good the Lord had been to him and I believe the chorus of his song would be –  ‘God is My Rock!’ Don’t tell anyone I said this, but David’s last song was a rock song.

Today we’re going to study just the first stanza.

Psalm 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

I. The LORD is My Rock  

In most of your Bibles there is an introduction to this psalm.

{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul…}

David wrote this song to thank God for delivering him from his enemies.

 A. David’s Enemies

Though David was the greatest king the nation of Israel has ever known, he had his fair share of enemies. David had a lot of trouble in his life. His song could very easily have been, ‘Woe is me.’ Who were some of David’s enemies?

1. His Older Brothers

Maybe we shouldn’t call them his enemies, but scripture seems to indicate that David had some conflict with his older brothers. That sounds normal, doesn’t it? But then there was another great enemy.

2. The Philistines

Then there were the Philistines. It seems that David was always fighting a battle with the Philistines. But ‘the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies…’ the Bible says.

3. King Saul

By now, most of us know that King Saul was David’s #1 enemy. The Bible tells us that King Saul became jealous of David because of the praise David received for killing Goliath. The ladies of the land sang, ‘Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.’ Saul was insecure and couldn’t handle such rivalry and so he tried to kill David.

The Bible says – “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4) In other words, it’s bad when people get mad at you, but even worse when they become jealous of you.

4. Absalom

Perhaps David’s darkest moment was when his own son, Absalom, became his enemy. The Bible says that Absalom tried to lead a revolt in order to throw his father off the throne. During the revolt, Absalom was killed and David never got over his death. Parts of David’s last song were very sad.

B. God’s Deliverance

Much of David’s life was filled with sadness and violence, but the Lord delivered him. Consider what David sings to God.

{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul…}

 II. I Will Always Trust in Him

David had lots of enemies, but the LORD always delivered him. David had lots of difficulty and sadness in his life, but the LORD always saw him through. As David looks back over his life, he realizes that the LORD was always there for him. David declares, “God is my rock.”

A. God’s Goodness to David

1. God Always Gave Him the Strength He Needed

Psalm 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

In Moses’ last song he said these words to the nation of Israel, “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” (Deuteronomy 33:25) In other words, God will be with you to the very end. Whatever life demands from you, God will give you the strength to handle it. David said, “I will love you LORD, because you are my strength.” We read from the book of Isaiah:

Isaiah 40:28 … The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary… 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

We will run out of strength on our own. We will grow tired and weary along the way. There will be some mountains in our lives that will seem too steep and too high to climb. On our own, we will want to give up.

But they that ‘wait upon the LORD’ shall renew their strength. To wait upon the LORD means not only to be still and know that He is God, it also means to look to Him with hope and expectation. It means to live a life of faith where you believe and trust that God is with you and that He will always help you.

After decades of fighting enemies, David had learned that God was the source of His strength. David learned even as the Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Him that gives me the strength.” (see Philippians 4:13)

2. God Had Always Sheltered Him During the Storms  

2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust…

a.  The LORD is My Rock

Listen to what the Bible says about God being our rock:

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge…” 2 Samuel 22:2

“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go… for you are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3

“He is my mighty rock and my protection. People, trust God all the time. Tell him all your problems, because God is our protection.” Psalm 62:7-8

“Praise be to the LORD my Rock… He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge…” Psalm 144:1-3

Often, when David was on the run, he had to live high upon rock cliffs and in caves. Therefore, the concept of trusting in a rock was very dear to him. He had literally lived in the rocks.

David lived in the rocks for protection. But deep down, David knew who was his real source of his security. It was God. “The LORD (Jehovah) is my rock”, David said. God is my fortress that protects me from the enemy. God is my deliverer. God is the One who rescues me from my enemies.

David uses two different Hebrew words in this song for rock. The first word seems to imply a place of safety. God is the high cliff where I go to stand above my enemies. In another song David wrote,

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” (see Psalm 61:1-3)

The second word seems to imply strength, perhaps that’s why the King James translators used the word ‘strength.’ God is solid like a rock.

Notice what else David says about God being his rock:

2a – the LORD is my rock

2b – the LORD is my foundation

31 – Who but our God is a solid rock?

46 – The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!

Is your life being built upon the rock? Listen to this parable that Jesus once told to the people.

Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” ESV

What is the foundation of your life? In whom or what are you trusting for your strength and your security in life? In whom are you trusting for your salvation? David asked, “Who but our God is a solid rock?” In a world filled with so much chaos and confusion, who else but God can we trust? There is no other rock other than our God.

b. The LORD is My Savior

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer…

The word ‘deliverer’ refers to being rescued or saved. Some translations actually use the word ‘Savior’ here to describe what David means.

What is a Savior? A Savior is someone who saves us from danger. Throughout his life, God saved David from his enemies over and over again. There were probably some moments when David might have wondered, “Is this it? Is this the day I will be killed in battle?” And yet, his Savior was always there to deliver him.

Jesus Christ is often referred to as our Savior. The angel told Joseph, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21) Why did they name Him Jesus? The name ‘Jesus’ means” {God saves.}

c. The LORD is My Shield

Psalm 18:2 …my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower…

David uses some strange phrases that we need to take a moment to understand.

i. God is My Buckler

 ‘Buckler’ is a military term referring to a shield we hold up in order to protect ourselves. God told Abraham, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1) Isn’t that amazing? God didn’t just say that He would shield Abraham. God said that He would be Abraham’s shield. God would stand between Abraham and those who would try to harm him.

ii. God is the Horn of My Salvation

What does this mean? An animal defends itself by its horn. In ancient times, the horn was a symbol of strength and power. Psalm 75:10 says, “And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, But the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” God will destroy the self-sufficient strength of the wicked, but He will lift up and exalt the strength of the righteous.

d. God is My High Tower

Psalm 18:2 …my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower…

God is my place of refuge and retreat. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe.”

The point David was trying to make is that whenever he was in trouble, he ran to God for safety and protection. To put it in Paul’s language of the New Testament, God was his ‘Daddy’ (Abba – Father) that held him close in His loving arms.

B. I Will Always Trust in Him

Now that you know some of the story behind the song, look again at what the song says.

Psalm 18:1 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

David makes four declarations that every believer ought to make at Thanksgiving.

1. I Will Always Love You LORD

 “I will love thee, O LORD…”

David used a very special word here for love. It refers to a love of deep affection. John MacArthur says that it is a word that expresses a tender intimacy and devotion.

God had been good to David and David in return was expressing his love. Maybe that’s what God really wants from us. Maybe that’s why Jesus kept asking Simon Peter, “Do you love Me?” “Do you really, really love Me?”

David said, “I will always love You, LORD.”

2. I Will Always Trust You LORD

 Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust…

 The word ‘trust’ as it is used here means to run to for protection. In another psalm David wrote – “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (see Psalm 20:7)

3. I Will Always Praise You LORD

Psalm 18: 3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised…

We might think that the word ‘call’ means that David will always cry out to God for help. Indeed, that was true and David says it in this psalm. But the particular word used here seems to indicate someone making a proclamation. Perhaps what David is saying here is that he will not just call upon the LORD to help him, but he will call out the name of the LORD who has helped him. Sometimes this particular word refers to shouting out. “I will shout out the name of the LORD who has always helped me.”

If ever you wanted to stand up and say how good the Lord is, this is the moment. Is there anyone here this morning that could stand up and say, “God has been good to me”? Is there anyone who could shout out a word of praise to our great God?

 4. You LORD, Will Always Take Care of Me

David makes one last declaration.

Psalm 18:3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

I don’t think that David is saying that the LORD will take care of me because I will praise Him. David is saying, “I will praise Him because He takes care of me.” God is good to me!

That’s David’s song of Thanksgiving to his God. I pray that it will our song as well. God bless you my brethren and have a great Thanksgiving.

Pastor Terry

 

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