I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:3)

When we call on His name that is the time we will be saved from our enemies. Calling on the Lord speaks of prayer.

The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid:
David described two threats

  1. The threat of death, and
  2. The floods of ungodliness.

The overwhelming presence of ungodliness was a significant trial to David. (Psalm 18:4)

He made darkness His secret place (Psalm 18:11)
There is no light there. The Lord Himself is the light. We have to totally walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Cor 5:7) Even in the tabernacle there was no light in the Holiest of Holies

25 With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; 26 With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. 27 For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks. (Psalm 18:25-27)

With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful: David understood a basic principle of God’s dealing with men; that God often treats a man in the same way that he treats others.

Jesus explained this principle in the Sermon on the Mount: For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you (Matthew 7:2). Human nature wants to use a small measure of mercy with others, but expect a large measure of mercy from God. Jesus told us to expect the same measure from God that we give to others.

“Note that even the merciful need mercy; no amount of generosity to the poor, or forgiveness to enemies, can set us beyond the need of mercy.” (Spurgeon)

“The attitude of God towards men is created by their attitude towards Him.” (Morgan) This principle works in a positive way; those who show great mercy are given great mercy. It also works in a negative way: with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. Perhaps the greatest illustration of this was how God used the shrewd Laban to educate the devious Jacob (Genesis 27-28).

Scripture Confession
43 You have delivered me from the strivings of the people;
You have made me the head of the nations;
A people I have not known shall serve me.
44 As soon as they hear of me they obey me;
The foreigners submit to me. (Psalm 18:43-44)

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