Psalms 18–20: Praise & Prayers

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 7: Wednesday

Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stood upright.
Save, O LORD;
May the King answer us in the day we call.

Psalm 20:7–9

Today’s Bible reading of Psalms 18–20 contains three psalms that are among my favorites. There is such exuberant praise, trust and wonder of God and His power, glory and lovingkindness.

Before I comment anymore on today’s psalms, I want to let you know how a Holman edition of the New American Standard Bible summarizes the Book of Psalms:

“The Book of Psalms was the hymn book of the Hebrews. About 70 of the Psalms are ascribed to King David, the remainder to others. A large number of hymns and anthems we use toady are taken from the Psalms. The book is composed of 150 lyrics, some of wonderful beauty of thought, imagery and expression. Not a few out forth the deepest devotion and the most lofty sentiments of the human heart, and there is nothing finer in the world’s literature. Of these Psalms 1, 19, 22, 23, 90, 100, 103, are perhaps the most noteworthy.1

I’m glad to see Psalm 19, in their list (I would have also included Psalm 119!) because I’ve written extensively about Psalm 19—just how extensively I hadn’t realized until I did a search to find the posts! I surprised myself by the number I found—and I’ll probably write about it again because it teaches so much about God’s Word. Sweeter Than Honey is my most personal post about Psalm 19, while Treasure For The Heart has personal questions for you about Psalm 19.

Sweeter Than Honey
Bible Basics
Treasure For The Heart
A New Year’s New Mind

Psalm 18 is an exuberant psalm of David. The Bible includes this introductory title:

“For the choir director. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who spoke to 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. And he said,”

Leslie S. M’Caw and J. T. Motyer call it, “David’s Victory Song.” and write:

“This appears to be a version of 2 Sa. 22, slightly revised to make it suitable for general use. The title indicates the circumstances of this jubilant thanksgiving. His deliverance from all his enemies (see title) would suggest the period after 2 Sa. 8, when his life was crowned by almost unbroken successes.”2

After David’s years of affliction and fears as he fled from Saul, this psalm lifts you up as you read his overflowing gratitude of God. Of its many memorable words, I especially love these:

“As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God,
The God who girds me with strength
And makes my way blameless?
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet,
And sets me upon my high places.
He trains my hands for battle,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
Psalm 18:30–34

I have found Psalm 20 especially encouraging because of its ending:

“Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stood upright.
Save, O LORD;
May the King answer us in the day we call.”
Psalm 20:7–9

There are many times when we feel knocked down flat on our face by life. Call upon God, David reminds us as he celebrates God with his praise and his trust.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Wenceslas HollarThe Psalms, 1668: Public Domain.
1Biblical Backgrounds: A Survey of Each Book, “Psalms,” from Holy Bible New American Standard,
Red Letter Edition, Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee,
©The Lockman Foundation, 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972, 1973,1975,1977.
2Leslie S. M’Caw and J. T. Motyer, “Psalms,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised,
D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 463.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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