Saturday Psalm #18

I love you, O Lord, my strength.
You are my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,
my God, my mountain in whom I take refuge,
my shield, my great salvation,
my stronghold.
I praise you, Lord, how I praise you!
I called on you, and I was saved from my enemies.

I was ensnared in the ropes of death.
Sin surrounded me, enveloped me,
like a yawning grave sucking me in.
The Enemy had me in his clutches.

I called on you in my distress.
I cried to you, God, for help.
You heard my voice from your heavenly sanctuary
and my cry for help reached your ears.

Like a horsed warrior, you came to my rescue,
shaking and quaking the earth
until the very foundations of the mountains trembled,
shaking violently at your approach.
Smoke from your nostrils,
and a raging fire from your mouth,
you have done it again and again:
splitting the heavens,
breaking through the clouds,
riding with angel escorts,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
making the darkness your servant
and the thunderheads your covering.
From the brightness of your presence
rain clouds disperse with hailstones and lightning.
You thunder in the heavens.
You, Most High, make your voice heard with hailstones and lightning.
You shoot your arrows and scattered your enemies
flashing streaks of lightning and throwing them into confusion.
You rolled back the waters until the ocean floor could be seen.
You laid bare the foundations of the earth with a stern word, O Lord,
and a blast of breath from your nostrils.

How can I ever doubt your power?
How is it that I ever become discouraged and feel downtrodden?

You reached down from high above and took hold of me.
You pulled me out of foaming water.
You’ve rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
though they were too strong for me,
they were no match for you!
I faced disaster and humiliation,
but you came to my defense, Lord.
You brought me out to a wide-open place.
You rescued me and smiled on me.

You have rewarded me
because of my righteousness in Christ,
because my hands are clean because of him.
You defend me
because I love you …and you love me.
It is by grace alone that I have not wickedly turned away from you, my God,
it is by grace that I have not turned away from you laws.
I am innocent and blameless in your eyes,
I have kept myself from guilt through your Son, Jesus,
and you reward me
because of my righteousness in Christ,
because my hands are clean because of him.

I am hardly faithful, but you have been faithful to me;
I am hardly blameless, but you have been utterly righteous in your dealings with me
and pure toward me who have been impure,
and thoroughly clever in overcoming my own deviousness.

You save humble people, Lord,
but you bring down the haughty.
O Lord, you light my lamp.
You turn my darkness into light.
With you I can advance against a battalion.
With you as my strength I can leap over a wall.

Your way is perfect!
Your promises have proven to be true.
You are a shield to all who take refuge in you.
Who is God but you, Lord?
Who is a rock except our God?
You arm me with strength
and make my way perfect.
You make my feet like those of a gazelle
and give me sure footing on high places.
You train my hands for battle
so that my arms can bend a bronze bow.
You have given me the shield of your salvation.
Your right hand supports me.
Your gentleness makes me great.
You make a wide path for me to walk on
so that my feet do not slip.
Oh, Lord, help me to chase my enemies and overtake them.
Help me to persevere until I have routed them,
wounded them so badly that they cannot get up.
Help me mow them down.
Arm me with strength for battle.
Make my enemies quail in fear
and turn their backs and run, crying out for help, but finding no one to save them.

Lord, save me from my tendency to shrink from conflict,
but help me to be courageous and compassionate;
rescue me in every conflict.
Make me a better leader.
Give me more true servants,
thick-skinned and selfless.

The Lord lives!
Thanks be to my rock!
May God my Savior be honored.
You vindicate me, Adonai!
Bring good people under my authority.
Save me from my enemies.
Lift me up above my opponents.
Rescue me from violent people.
That I may continue to give thanks to you, O Lord, among the nations
and make music to praise your name.
Give great victories to your church, to your servant,
and show mercy to those who are active in your service,
to all who serve in the spirit of David, in Jesus’ name, amen.

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