The Spirit of the Psalms: Whom Should We Love Like Thee (Psalm 18)

God willing every Monday I will post a hymn, psalm or spiritual song for encouragement. They say we learn our doctrine through singing which aids in memorisation but I know from my own experience that I tend to focus more on the tune than the words, especially if I am more familiar with the song. So I thought why not take some devotional time every week to really look at the lyrics and the poetry of a spiritual song alongside the Scriptural passages that inspired it.

The Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 18

Whom should we love like Thee,
Our God, our Guide, our King,
The tower to which we flee,
The rock to which we cling?
O for a worthy tongue to show
The countless mercies that we owe.

The storm upon us fell,
The floods around us rose;
The depths of death and hell
Seemed on our souls to close;
To God we cried in strong despair,
He heard, and came to help our prayer.

He came, the King of Kings,
He cleaved the darkened sky;
And on the tempest’s wings
Rode glorious down from high;
The earth before her Maker shook,
The mountains quaked at His rebuke.

Above the storm He stood,
And awed it to repose;
He drew us from the flood,
And scattered all our foes;
He set us in a spacious place,
And there upholds us by His grace.

Whom should we love like Thee,
Our God, our Guide, our King,
The tower to which we flee,
The rock to which we cling?
O for a worthy tongue to show
The countless mercies that we owe.
Henry Francis Lyte 1793-1847
From ‘Psalms and Hymns of Reformed Worship’ Hymnbook.

I love you, LORD;
you are my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my saviour;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.
The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave. wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the LORD;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth quaked and trembled.
The foundations of the mountains shook;
they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
He shrouded himself in darkness,
veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.
Thick clouds shielded the brightness around him
and rained down hail and burning coals.c
The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded
amid the hail and burning coals.
He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies;
his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused.
Then at your command, O LORD,
at the blast of your breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the LORD supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.
The LORD rewarded me for doing right;
he restored me because of my innocence.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
I have followed all his regulations;
I have never abandoned his decrees.
I am blameless before God;
I have kept myself from sin.
The LORD rewarded me for doing right.
He has seen my innocence.
To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
to those with integrity you show integrity.
To the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the wicked you show yourself hostile.
You rescue the humble,
but you humiliate the proud.
You light a lamp for me.
The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
In your strength I can crush an army;
with my God I can scale any wall.
God’s way is perfect.
All the LORD’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the LORD?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.
I chased my enemies and caught them;
I did not stop until they were conquered.
I struck them down so they could not get up;
they fell beneath my feet.
You have armed me with strength for the battle;
you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
You placed my foot on their necks.
I have destroyed all who hated me.
They called for help, but no one came to their rescue.
They even cried to the LORD, but he refused to answer.
I ground them as fine as dust in the wind.
I swept them into the gutter like dirt.
You gave me victory over my accusers.
You appointed me ruler over nations;
people I don’t even know now serve me.
As soon as they hear of me, they submit;
foreign nations cringe before me.
They all lose their courage
and come trembling from their strongholds.
The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted!
He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
he subdues the nations under me
and rescues me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
you save me from violent opponents.
For this, O LORD, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing praises to your name.
You give great victories to your king;
you show unfailing love to your anointed,
to David and all his descendants forever.
New Living Translation (NLT)

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