Psalm 18:1-19

I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.

He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him- the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightning and routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Reading this we think, “Why doesn’t the Lord vanquish my enemies this way?” Well as a matter of fact, He does. We just can’t see it. In the Old Testament, everything was external and physical. Since the cross it’s become internal and spiritual, but the battle still rages. Now instead of fighting Saul’s forces like David was, we fight against an invisible enemy, many times more powerful. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephe.6:12).

Our enemy was at first determined that we would never be saved, but the Lord defeated him. Now he’s determined that we’ll never live a victorious life, but again and again the Lord defeats him. And just like Saul kept coming after David, so will our enemy keep pursuing us. But as in David’s case, each attack brings another victory. Like him we can always count on two things, battles and victories.

As Arthur W. Pink wrote, we’ve received a fourfold salvation: we’re saved from the penalty, the power, the presence and most importantly the pleasure of sin. And even if we stumble from time to time, as we certainly do, the conviction of the Holy Spirit siphons off any of the pleasure we might have temporarily enjoyed from sinning, and we humbly and remorsefully seek forgiveness. As soon as we ask, we’re forgiven.

In the heavenlies, the thunder rolls, the lightning flashes, and the sound of clashing swords echoes all around as the Lord sends His Holy Warriors in our defense. But all we hear is His gentle loving voice. “I forgive you.” Another victory.

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