Daily Reading

A feed containing today's WordLive Session.
  1. Prepare

    The best worship for God is stirred in those who recognise the greatness of God’s love for them. Pray for God to help you see all that he has done for you.

  2. Bible passage: Psalm 18

    Psalm 18

    For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
     1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.

     2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
           my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
           He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

     3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
           and I am saved from my enemies.

     4 The cords of death entangled me;
           the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

     5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
           the snares of death confronted me.

     6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
           I cried to my God for help.
           From his temple he heard my voice;
           my cry came before him, into his ears.

     7 The earth trembled and quaked,
           and the foundations of the mountains shook;
           they trembled because he was angry.

     8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
           consuming fire came from his mouth,
           burning coals blazed out of it.

     9 He parted the heavens and came down;
           dark clouds were under his feet.

     10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
           he soared on the wings of the wind.

     11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
           the dark rain clouds of the sky.

     12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
           with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

     13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
           the voice of the Most High resounded.

     14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
           great bolts of lightning and routed them.

     15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
           and the foundations of the earth laid bare
           at your rebuke, O LORD,
           at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

     16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
           he drew me out of deep waters.

     17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
           from my foes, who were too strong for me.

     18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
           but the LORD was my support.

     19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
           he rescued me because he delighted in me.

     20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
           according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

     21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
           I have not done evil by turning from my God.

     22 All his laws are before me;
           I have not turned away from his decrees.

     23 I have been blameless before him
           and have kept myself from sin.

     24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
           according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.

     25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
           to the blameless you show yourself blameless,

     26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
           but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.

     27 You save the humble
           but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.

     28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
           my God turns my darkness into light.

     29 With your help I can advance against a troop ;
           with my God I can scale a wall.

     30 As for God, his way is perfect;
           the word of the LORD is flawless.
           He is a shield
           for all who take refuge in him.

     31 For who is God besides the LORD ?
           And who is the Rock except our God?

     32 It is God who arms me with strength
           and makes my way perfect.

     33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
           he enables me to stand on the heights.

     34 He trains my hands for battle;
           my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

     35 You give me your shield of victory,
           and your right hand sustains me;
           you stoop down to make me great.

     36 You broaden the path beneath me,
           so that my ankles do not turn.

     37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
           I did not turn back till they were destroyed.

     38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
           they fell beneath my feet.

     39 You armed me with strength for battle;
           you made my adversaries bow at my feet.

     40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
           and I destroyed my foes.

     41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
           to the LORD, but he did not answer.

     42 I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind;
           I poured them out like mud in the streets.

     43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
           you have made me the head of nations;
           people I did not know are subject to me.

     44 As soon as they hear me, they obey me;
           foreigners cringe before me.

     45 They all lose heart;
           they come trembling from their strongholds.

     46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
           Exalted be God my Savior!

     47 He is the God who avenges me,
           who subdues nations under me,

     48 who saves me from my enemies.
           You exalted me above my foes;
           from violent men you rescued me.

     49 Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD;
           I will sing praises to your name.

     50 He gives his king great victories;
           he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
           to David and his descendants forever.

  3. Explore

    Expressing gratitude
    This psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22 with some small differences. God, in his mercy, had delivered David from all his enemies, including Saul. This was his song of praise to express gratitude to God.

    All that God has done
    For fifty verses David celebrates all that God has done for him. God is his rock. God is his saviour. God is his fortress. God is his deliverer. The psalm begins with a declaration of David’s love for God (18:1) and ends with a reference to God’s unfailing love for David (18:50).

    Our own song of praise
    If you or I were to begin and end a song of praise and gratitude with God’s love for us and our love for him, what would we write in between? The truth is that we probably don’t even know all the ways that God has faithfully cared for us and delivered us over the years.

    Peter Mead
  4. Respond

    We may not be able to write a psalm as eloquent and extensive as this one, but we could make a start. When you think about your life, what would you include in your psalm of praise to God for his love toward you?

  5. Deeper Bible study

    ‘I love you, Lord’ (v 1). When we say that, what do we mean? The word ‘love’ here is an uncommon Hebrew word which is impulsive and emotional.1 That definitely has a place in our own experience of profound gratitude to God. Normally in the Bible, to ‘love’ God is a covenant term implying loyalty and commitment to obedience. It is this underlying theme of covenant righteousness (eg in vs 20–24) that explains David’s apparent boastfulness. As in last Sunday’s psalm, he is not claiming perfection but is effectively saying, ‘I want to walk in your ways, Lord’ – a simple prayer that we all need to pray! This psalm is cited in 2 Samuel 22 and belongs to the period described in 2 Samuel 8:13–18, at the zenith of David’s career.

    In poetic language reminiscent of the Exodus and Sinai (see Exod 9,10,15,19), David testifies to what God has done for him at a time of distress and danger and what he trusts he will do in the future. Rescue was part of God’s side of the covenant. Hebrew does not have tenses as English does, whence the differences between various translations of (eg) verses 31–45. This allows us to look ahead as well as behind and see the ever-living, active God at work throughout history, into the New Testament and beyond.2

    David takes up what God has revealed of himself (vs 25,26) and offers it back to him as praise and challenge. ‘He makes his creed his prayer.’3 You are like this, Lord; so do what you’ve promised: deliver me (v 27), keep my lamp burning (v 28), enable me to cope with people and situations (v 29). This is an excellent foundation for prayer: to start with God’s own character. So, the psalm starts and ends in praise! (vs 1–3,46–50).

    1 Kidner, p91

    2 Wilcock, p68 

    3 Wilcock, p66

    Vivien Whitfield
  6. Bible in a year

    Read the Bible in a year.

    Isaiah 45,46

    Psalm 107
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