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In Psalm 18, which you can read in its entirety after the jump, David testifies to the goodness of God for delivering him from the threshold of death and chaos (18:1-6). But vv. 7-15 contain a mosaic of metaphors for what God did. The psalmist explores in poetry the deliverance of God.

John Goldingay calls the description of God’s delivering ways a “distinctive extravagance” in his Psalms 1.
God’s ways, in effect, are like a thunderstorm. We see the land shuddering, YHWH’s anger, lightning, YHWH’s descent, a cloud shield, and thunder. Here’s the point for David: the only way to describe what God did is in cosmic, almost apocalyptic, terms. And Goldingay, in this theological conclusion to this psalm, sees a connection — even a redescription — of 2 Samuel 5 (and after Psalm 18 after the jump I have included 2 Sam 5 for your reading).
I want to include all the words because there’s no better way to see it than read it aloud:

18:7 The earth heaved and shook;

the roots of the mountains trembled;

they heaved because he was angry.

18:8 Smoke ascended from his nose;

fire devoured as it came from his mouth;

he hurled down fiery coals.

18:9 He made the sky sink as he descended;

a thick cloud was under his feet.

18:10 He mounted a winged angel and flew;

he glided on the wings of the wind.

18:11 He shrouded himself in darkness,

in thick rain clouds.

18:12 From the brightness in front of him came

hail and fiery coals.

18:13 The Lord thundered in the sky;

the sovereign One shouted.

18:14 He shot his arrows and scattered them,

many lightning bolts and routed them.

18:15 The depths of the sea were exposed;

the inner regions of the world were uncovered

by your battle cry, Lord,

by the powerful breath from your nose.

Psalms 18

Psalm 18

For the music director; by the Lord‘s servant David, who sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord rescued him from the power of all his enemies, including Saul.

18:1 He said:

“I love you, Lord, my source of strength!

18:2 The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer.

My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter,

my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge.

18:3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I was delivered from my enemies.

18:4 The waves of death engulfed me,

the currents of chaos overwhelmed me.

18:5 The ropes of Sheol tightened around me,

the snares of death trapped me.

18:6 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.

18:7 The earth heaved and shook;

the roots of the mountains trembled;

they heaved because he was angry.

18:8 Smoke ascended from his nose;

fire devoured as it came from his mouth;

he hurled down fiery coals.

18:9 He made the sky sink as he descended;

a thick cloud was under his feet.

18:10 He mounted a winged angel and flew;

he glided on the wings of the wind.

18:11 He shrouded himself in darkness,

in thick rain clouds.

18:12 From the brightness in front of him came

hail and fiery coals.

18:13 The Lord thundered in the sky;

the sovereign One shouted.

18:14 He shot his arrows and scattered them,

many lightning bolts and routed them.

18:15 The depths of the sea were exposed;

the inner regions of the world were uncovered

by your battle cry, Lord,

by the powerful breath from your nose.

18:16 He reached down from above and took hold of me;

he pulled me from the surging water.

18:17 He rescued me from my strong enemy,

from those who hate me,

for they were too strong for me.

18:18 They confronted me in my day of calamity,

but the Lord helped me.

18:19 He brought me out into a wide open place;

he delivered me because he was pleased with me.

18:20 The Lord repaid me for my godly deeds;

he rewarded my blameless behavior.

18:21 For I have obeyed the Lord‘s commands;

I have not rebelled against my God.

18:22 For I am aware of all his regulations,

and I do not reject his rules.

18:23 I was innocent before him,

and kept myself from sinning.

18:24 The Lord rewarded me for my godly deeds;

he took notice of my blameless behavior.

18:25 You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful;

you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.

18:26 You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless,

but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse.

18:27 For you deliver oppressed people,

but you bring down those who have a proud look.

18:28 Indeed, you are my lamp, Lord.

My God illuminates the darkness around me.

18:29 Indeed, with your help I can charge against an army;

by my God’s power I can jump over a wall.

18:30 The one true God acts in a faithful manner;

the Lord‘s promise is reliable;

he is a shield to all who take shelter in him.

18:31 Indeed, who is God besides the Lord?

Who is a protector besides our God?

18:32 The one true God gives me strength;

he removes the obstacles in my way.

18:33 He gives me the agility of a deer;

he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.

18:34 He trains my hands for battle;

my arms can bend even the strongest bow.

18:35 You give me your protective shield;

your right hand supports me;

your willingness to help enables me to prevail.

18:36 You widen my path;

my feet do not slip.

18:37 I chase my enemies and catch them;

I do not turn back until I wipe them out.

18:38 I beat them to death;

they fall at my feet.

18:39 You give me strength for battle;

you make my foes kneel before me.

18:40 You make my enemies retreat;

I destroy those who hate me.

18:41 They cry out, but there is no one to help them;

they cry out to the Lord, but he does not answer them.

18:42 I grind them as fine windblown dust;

I beat them underfoot like clay in the streets.

18:43 You rescue me from a hostile army;

you make me a leader of nations;

people over whom I had no authority are now my subjects.

18:44 When they hear of my exploits, they submit to me.

Foreigners are powerless before me;

18:45 foreigners lose their courage;

they shake with fear as they leave their strongholds.

18:46 The Lord is alive!

My protector is praiseworthy!

The God who delivers me is exalted as king!

18:47 The one true God completely vindicates me;

he makes nations submit to me.

18:48 He delivers me from my enemies;

you snatch me away from those who attack me;

you rescue me from violent men.

18:49 So I will give you thanks before the nations, O Lord!

I will sing praises to you!

18:50 He gives his chosen king magnificent victories;

he is faithful to his chosen ruler,

to David and his descendants forever.”

2 Sam 5: David Is Anointed King Over Israel

5:1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron saying, “Look, we are your very flesh and blood! 5:2 In the past, when Saul was our king, you were the real leader in Israel. The Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel; you will rule over Israel.'”

5:3 When all the leaders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, King David made an agreement with them in Hebron before the Lord. They designated David as king over Israel. 5:4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign and he reigned for forty years. 5:5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah for seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned for thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.

David Occupies Jerusalem

5:6 Then the king and his men advanced to Jerusalem against the Jebusites who lived in the land. The Jebusites said to David, “You cannot invade this place! Even the blind and the lame will turn you back, saying, ‘David cannot invade this place!'”

5:7 But David captured the fortress of Zion (that is, the city of David). 5:8 David said on that day, “Whoever attacks the Jebusites must approach the ‘lame’ and the ‘blind’ who are David’s enemies by going through the water tunnel.” For this reason it is said, “The blind and the lame cannot enter the palace.”

5:9 So David lived in the fortress and called it the City of David. David built all around it, from the terrace inwards. 5:10 David’s power grew steadily, for the LordGod who commands armies was with him.

5:11 King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons. They built a palace for David. 5:12 David realized that theLord had established him as king over Israel and that he had elevated his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. 5:13 David married more concubines and wives from Jerusalem after he arrived from Hebron. Even more sons and daughters were born to David. 5:14 These are the names of children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5:15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 5:16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.

Conflict with the Philistines

5:17 When the Philistines heard that David had been designated king over Israel, they all went up to search for David. When David heard about it, he went down to the fortress. 5:18 Now the Philistines had arrived and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 5:19 So David asked the Lord, “Should I march up against the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord said to David, “March up, for I will indeed hand the Philistines over to you.”

5:20 So David marched against Baal Perazim and defeated them there. Then he said, “The Lord has burst out against my enemies like water bursts out.” So he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. 5:21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men picked them up.

5:22 The Philistines again came up and spread out in the valley of Rephaim. 5:23 So David asked the Lord what he should do. This time the Lord said to him, “Don’t march straight up. Instead, circle around behind them and come against them opposite the trees. 5:24 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the trees, act decisively. For at that moment the Lord is going before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 5:25 David did just as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines from Gibeon all the way to Gezer.

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