You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.” –Psalm 18:35, NIV
“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.” –Psalm 18:35, ESV
This is our fourth week of five, memorizing Psalm 18:32-36. I hope you’ve been following along, adding one verse each week. If you’re new here, though, don’t worry! Psalm 18:35 is quite powerful all by itself. I encourage you to jump right in, focusing on this one verse this week. To see the whole passage at BibleGateway.com, however, you can click here. To see the previous three posts on this passage, click here, here, and here.
Before we go on, I do ask that you indulge me in something I don’t usually do. My OCD tendencies rebel against it. My editorial training does, too. But some things just can’t be helped! So far we’ve been looking at this passage in the NIV. It was my intention to continue in that version through the whole thing. But I stumbled across verse 35 in the ESV and loved it! In this instance, it makes everything so clear. So–I will memorize the passage in the NIV, but I will share my thoughts on the verse from the perspective of the ESV. In my mind, one brings out the meaning of the other. As we remember the NIV, we’ll also remember what we learned about each phrase from the ESV. Please consider this a parallel version study.
Verse 35 of our passage goes right along with my post from last Thursday. In that post, I talked about how all people alive on Planet Earth right now are somewhere in the process of making right choices in order to grow in Christ. Some have yet to choose to follow Him at all. Others are learning to choose to do the things that will help them mature spiritually. They are choosing to grow toward God–or not. In Psalm 18:35, David explains what has happened since he chose to accept God’s call on his life and to serve faithfully as king.
- God saved him from all his enemies. Through Christ, God has saved us from bondage to sin (if we have turned away from our sin and asked Jesus to be Lord of our life*). Remembering we have the shield of salvation can give us courage to face anything. With the promise of eternal life, we have nothing to lose when we live our lives for Christ.
- God’s right hand supported him. References to God’s right hand are symbolic of His power. God is all-powerful. He was powerful enough to protect David and establish him as king. He is powerful enough to help us achieve anything He calls us to do.
- God’s gentleness made David great. I picture moms with preschoolers here. These moms must be firm, yet gentle as they love, discipline, teach, nurture, and train. An overly harsh approach will cause children to live in fear, unable to mature and function independently. Firm, but gentle correction enables children to grow in confidence, able to make right choices and develop strong skills. David didn’t have an easy life, but God dealt with him gently even as He used some tough realities to prepare David to be a great king. God never gave David more than he could bear. God does the same for us.
Father, thank You for the shield of Your salvation, the power we need to do anything You ask, and Your gentle guidance intended to make us great. David chose to cooperate. Help us to do so, too! For the glory of Your Kingdom. We love You, Lord. Amen.
*If you haven’t yet asked Jesus to be Lord of your life, please click here to learn how. It’s easy! He’s waiting to hear from you today. He loves you. He died for you. He lives for you today. (The link will take you to a post I wrote on an older blog of mine. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, my request still stands!)