Provocative Devotion: Psalm 18

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;[a]
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:1-6

What joy this Psalm brings me. What confidence in life. There is no one or no thing that provides the strength, protection, comfort, and salvation that is provided by our God. Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, Shield, Horn of Salvation, Stronghold, that is our God. No matter what enemy entangles me, even the cords of death, the Lord is at my right hand and will see me through to the end. It does not me I will never face these enemies. They are part of life in a fallen world and for the follower of Christ who is engaging the forces of darkness in the world.

There will be times of distress when I must cry out to the Lord, times when I am empty of strength to win the battle. A cry to the Lord, no matter how weak and desperate, will reach His ears and He will not turn away. When the Lord hears our cry He acknowledges it and acts on behalf of those who are His own. To know that such a God loves me as His own and promises to never let me experience ultimate destruction gives me strength.

How do I know He will answer and never leave or forsake me? Because the Lord who went to the cross on my behalf has promised it. The Lord who went to the extreme of having the sins of the world thrust upon Him in order to secure my salvation would not fail to be my shield in far less severe circumstances. If Jesus is willing to embrace the rejection of the Father as He turns His back on the sin-bearer, then surely He would not fail to be my Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, Shield, Horn of Salvation, Stronghold.

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