Psalm 18 is my life chapter. It describes so much about my life it’s uncanny. My favorite part is in the first few verses:
“I love you, Adonai, my strength!
Adonai is my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer, my God, my Rock, in whom I find shelter, my Shield, the Power that saves me, my Stronghold.
I call on Adonai, Who is worthy of praise; and I am saved from my enemies.” (CBJ)
Then the drama starts. And oh, there is drama. Cords of death surrounding, check. Floods of destruction terrifying, check. Ropes of Sheol (the nether world) encompassing, check. Snares of death confronting, check. Distress, check, check, check.
But then God comes! And oh, He comes! The description of how He comes is astounding; foundations shake, smoke rising out of His nostrils, devouring fire from His mouth. He is one ticked off God! And it is our distress as His child that moves Him so. That astounded me the first time I read it and still does.
He loves us that much.
Much has happened in the last 40 years of those next 20 verses in my life. Years ago I attempted to write a book about it. I don’t believe it produced much good at the time. Maybe it was the audience, maybe it was the timing; definitely it was lack of skill. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. Not that what God did in those years is not important; it is. We all have our testimony. And testimony is extremely important. Revelations 12:11 tells us we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. That’s pretty powerful! For now it seems for the ones who need to know the details, God opens that door for me to share. He has used my testimony in strategic and healing ways and I am grateful He brings life out of that death. For everyone else, however, ugly stories are just really hard to hear. And it’s an ugly story.
Not only that, I recently realized the story isn’t over. What a startling realization! I thought we had exhausted all that could be done. But no, God had a surprise twist in the plot. He is the originator of cliffhangers, isn’t He? Since a conclusion must clear before a story is complete, I am now positioned around verses 30-36; strengthening, straightening, training, stretching. Now that I know the culmination of this chapter in my life is in process, I need all the strength and mad skills He will give me!
It is God who girds me with strength;
He makes my way go straight.
He makes me swift, sure-footed as a deer,
And enables me to stand on my high places.
He trains my hands for war
Until my arms can bend a bow of bronze;
“You give me your shield, which is salvation,
Your right hand holds me up,
Your humility makes me great.
You lengthen the steps I can take,
Yet my ankles do not turn.” (CBJ)
Regardless of the details and the timing of His justice and vindication in our lives, the glorious conclusion is exalting Him! Praise His Holy Name!! He desires the praise and glory of His people! So I continue even now what we started at the very beginning; gratitude for all He has done and anticipation of the fulfillment of His Word:
Adonai is alive! Blessed is my Rock!
Exalted be the God of my salvation,
the God who avenges me
and subdues people under me.
He delivers me from all my enemies.
You lift me high above my enemies,
You rescue me from violent men.
So I will give thanks to you, Adonai, among the nations;
I sing praises to Your Name.
Psalm 18 (CBJ)