We are back in the saddle, and that means we resume our year-long (or longer) look through the Psalms. As a reminder, we are specially scouting the divine (to use the words of Margaret Feinberg’s excellent book). Here we scout the divine using John Goldingay’s Psalms 1.
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.”