A devotional for the week: Psalm 18:13–18

Search and rescue


The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. (Psalm 18:13–18, TNIV)


For the last few Mondays we’ve been looking at Psalm 18. We continue by focusing today on God’s power and might, which continue to dominate David’s song of thanksgiving. Commentators believe that David here is alluding to previous acts of God. How God moved the waters from the sea probably refers to the parting of the Red Sea when the Israelites fled from Egypt (see Exodus 14) and when they crossed the Jordan River as they entered the Promised Land (see Joshua 3).

In referring to these acts of deliverance, David is saying that the God of his fathers – Abraham, Moses and Joshua – is his God too, and that he has saved him on an equally mighty scale. David makes the song personal when he tells how Yahweh reached down and rescued him from the deep waters that threatened to overwhelm him. His foes were too strong, but the saving God intervened.

As we pray through this Psalm this week, take a moment to wonder in the power of the Lord who loves us. Put yourself in David’s beaten, leathery shoes as you imagine him thinking back to God’s liberating rescue. Allow yourself to marvel at God’s mighty acts, like the moving and halting of waters in a sea or a flooded river to allow his chosen people a pathway to escape.

God is no less powerful today. As we cry out to him, he will lovingly send down a search-and-rescue team to scoop us out of the waters that threaten to overcome us.


Prayer: Lord Jesus, we sometimes forget your power, as did the disciples who cowered in the boat as the waters raged around them. But you calmed the storm in an instant. Help us to look to you to bring peace in the storms of our lives.


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