Psalms 18:16-20 NASB He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. (17) He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. (18) They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my stay. (19) He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me. (20) The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
When I first read this, the author, King David, seemed to be bragging about his righteousness and clean hands. I thought, “Doesn’t this guy have a high opinion of himself.” Then I reread verses sixteen through nineteen, and it set my thinking on a different course.
The man after God’s own heart wrote from his own experiences and relationship with his Shepherd, but he also wrote for me, and everyone else who longs for the Holy Spirit’s refreshing water and green pastures.
Verse sixteen speaks of Jesus, sent from on high, who drew me out of sinful humanity for His own purposes.
Verse seventeen tells of my sin, and its author Satan, whom I couldn’t have resisted if I’d wanted to.
Verse eighteen mentions one of my particularly weak days. Maybe I hadn’t read and meditated on my Bible passage, or I skipped my time in prayer, so a temptation that usually wouldn’t have bothered me really got to me. But I glanced to my computer monitor’s bottom edge, saw my stick-on label with Ephesians 4:30, and decided I really didn’t want to sadden my Best Forever Friend.
Verse nineteen assures me that my Shepherd will deliver me to a “broad place,” where the deceiver will not corner me because my Shepherd will protect me, and I will have a way out. Why would my Shepherd favor me so? Because for some reason I can’t imagine, He delights in me.
That brings me to the troublesome, verse twenty. What at first seemed like bragging is in fact a testimony of God’s righteousness, imputed to King David through faith in Messiah’s perfectly righteous blood. Of course, the long-dead king didn’t know the details of Jesus’ passion and death, but as a prophet, he wrote what God told him. King David wasn’t stupid, or short of memory. He well knew of his own sin, that in his own power he had nothing to offer the perfectly righteous and holy God. Yet, by faith, he accepted Messiah’s deposit of righteousness to his own eternal account.
What a precious promise this gives to me, personally. I can trust my Messiah, because He delights in me.