They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me. The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me. I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt. So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
Psalm 18:18-24

In a normal reading, David’s Psalm 18 points to a hope of salvation from God that the almost-king has in the midst of difficult circumstances. But upon reading this particular portion, one is reminded of the mystical link between the almost-king and the coming-King that is so prevalent in the Psalms, and is especially evident in passages like this one.

  • Only Jesus fully delights God.
  • Only Jesus is dealt with lovingly when He is seen according to His righteousness.
  • Only Jesus is rewarded because of the cleanness of his hands.
  • Only Jesus kept the ways of The Lord.
  • Only Jesus did not wickedly depart from God.
  • Only Jesus kept the rules and statutes of God.
  • Only Jesus was blameless before God.
  • Only Jesus kept Himself from guilt.

While we attain to these things in part (as David did), and thus incorporate this psalm in our personal and corporate worship, it seems the best ‘use’ of the psalm to reflect on our inability to fully meet the demands of our Holy God, and instead to worship the One who did and does the Law of God.

Consider, also, that when we put our faith in Christ, we are united with Him; thus what is true of Him, becomes true of us. His righteousness becomes our righteousness. His God-delighting becomes our God-delighting. His holiness becomes our holiness. Thus, this psalm then becomes not only a reflection of our inability, but of Christ’s full ability, and through faith it spurs us to spend time thanking Him who “was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:25).