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; 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
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 and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I called. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry came to His ears. 2 Samuel 22:2-7
In the life of any Christ-follower, there are hard days and challenging seasons. In Psalm 18 and 2 Samuel 22 above, David is sharing such a time in his life. Before he was crowned King of all Israel, he had to continually deal with Saul, who was constantly seeking to end his life. Then after Saul's death, he continued to battle the surrounding nations until the Lord gave him victory over them.
David faced a lot of battles in his life. And not just in the physical sense of battle, but in the emotional and spiritual realm as well. If you read the Psalms David penned, you will hear the honest cry of a man full of the real emotions we all experience in our life of following the Lord.
Can you relate to David's feeling with the “cords of death” and the “torrents of destruction” all around you? Are you in what feels like a “low valley” in this season of your life?
My friend, Steve, is in that low valley now. He and his wife, Vanessa, are going through the most challenging season of their young lives and marriage. I am consistently sending Steve messages of encouragement to help him as he walks through this season. He has expressed great faith on some days, and great hopelessness on others.
Help from the Psalmist Well for Steve – and for me – and for you reading this, David the Psalmist has help for us. In the first part of Psalm 18, David is sharing a two-part encouragement to anyone who is in that low valley:
He Affirmed the Truth: First, David took time to affirm the truth about his situation. And that truth was that the Lord was with him in that low valley. He uses many metaphors to describe the Lord: strength, rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn, and stronghold. The metaphors rock, shield, fortress, and stronghold remind me that God Himself is my safe and secure place. And strength, deliverer, and horn remind me of God's power which is greater than my enemies and over all my circumstances.
He Called Out in Faith: The second thing I see David doing here is calling out to the Lord in faith. He uses the words “called out” and “cried out”. These are not mundane cries, but heartfelt cries from the lowest valley – from a place of distress and helplessness. And these cries are in faith – not faith in any ability we have, but faith in God and His working in this situation. This faith – the conviction and assurance of things not visible to our physical eyes – is the essential component that David expressed. And need I remind you and me, that without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Three Small Words But beyond those two important things, there is one more thing I want you to hear the Lord saying to you and me in the lowest valley. It is found in verse 19 or Psalm 18: He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me (emphasis mine). Please read those three bold words again. The Lord brought you out or will bring you out of the lowest valley because He truly delights in you. He made you in His Image. He loves you unconditionally. He calls you His beloved. And He delights in you. Those are truths from the Word of God that you and I need to allow the Spirit of God to cement down deep into our heart and soul!
So in my lowest valley times, I need to affirm the truth as well as cry out to the Lord in faith. And in the midst of both of those things, I need to remind myself that the Lord truly delights in me, even when I am in this place I would rather not be.
And Then There's This But as much as I wanted the words of Psalm 18 to be a help to my friend, Steve, the Lord gave me one more thing to share with him. Something that I hope will further encourage him. And it's the lyrics to one of my favorite songs:
Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley. Yes I will, bless Your Name. Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy. All my days, oh yes I will! (1)
I truly admire gifted Christian artists and songwriters who take the Word of God and put it to song. And while I know there is not a direct connection between Psalm 18 and the lyrics of this song, I can hear David singing those words when he was in distress. I can imagine him shouting praises to the Lord in the midst of the lowest valley.
My friend, will you follow David's lead? Will you cry out to the Lord in the place of distress you find yourself in today? If you will follow his lead, your prayer might sound something like this: Lord, thank You for the words of Psalm 18 that You penned through Your servant, David. Help me Lord to affirm the truth that You truly are my Rock and Fortress, who is powerfully at work as my strong Deliverer. Lead me by Your Spirit to cry out to You in faith, especially in times when I cannot see or understand what You are doing. Help me to lift You high in word and song, despite being in the lowest valley, using songs that affirm who You are and what You say. Finally, remind me that You truly delight in me as Your beloved and Your friend. Thank You Lord! In the Name of Jesus! (1) Source: Vertical Worship Band - “Yes, I Will” song. Watch by going to bit.ly/Yes-I-Will (link is case sensitive)
AUTHOR: Glen Solberg is a man who is passionate about marriage - his own and the marriages of those around him! He and his wife, Shawn, have been married since 1992 and have been investing in the marriages of others full-time since 2003. You can find out more by going to the About Page.
Written by Glen Solberg, Marriage Revolution, 2020. All Rights Reserved. If you have questions or suggestions, you can connect with us via our Contact Us page.