I like a man who will insist on doing right even in difficult times.”
–Stephen Bly (Hard Winter at Broken Arrow)
“Doing what is righteous and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
–Proverbs 21:3 (HCSB)
Here we are back at Psalm 18 (HCSB). Right off the bat David proclaims that he is righteous (similar to Job). Verse 21, says that he has not turned to wickedness. Another version, “I have not turned from God to follow evil.” It is one thing to trip, fall into sin, fail, and a completely different thing to follow after sin. Take a look, meditate, and contemplate these verses throughout the week. They are powerful.
20 – The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; He repaid me according to the cleanness of my hands.
21 – For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not turned from my God to wickedness.
22 – Indeed, I have kept all His ordinances in mind and have not disregarded His statutes.
23 – I was blameless toward Him and kept myself from sinning.
24 – So the Lord repaid me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.
25 – With the faithful You prove Yourself faithful; with the blameless man You prove Yourself blameless;
26 – with the pure You prove Yourself pure, but with the crooked You prove Yourself shrewd.
27 – For You rescue an afflicted people, but You humble those with haughty eyes.
28 – Lord, You light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.
29 – With You I can attack a barrier, and with my God I can leap over a wall.
30 – God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
When I read this it seems that David is almost bragging on his God, and stating facts about his own life. Because I did this, God did that. We can say the same things, but only if we act in the same manner as David. When we keep His commandments and keep our hands (feet, eyes, mouth, etc.) clean he will repay us accordingly.
One thing I see in these verses that is not openly stated, but is definitely implied is the concept of obedience. “I kept”, “I was blameless”, “I have not turned”. David obeyed the commands and precepts of the Lord. He did things in the proper manner. Another aspect seen which relates to obedience is faithfulness. When David was faithful, God was faithful.
There is also the idea of light. Verse 28, we live in darkness; we all have darkness; the world is darkness, but the Word came bringing light. (see John 1:1-8) The light of the world has come in the person of Jesus Christ. No longer is the world completely dark, but there is now a great Light. Man cannot escape the light. The only way he may avoid the light is to cover himself. He can hide from the light, but in his hiding he is only proving that there is a Light shining brightly.
With the Lord on our side, victory, security, and safety are ours. We have that assurance. God is always faithful and loyal to us, in return we should be faithful and loyal to Him. One other thing to notice: this is not defensive, but offensive in nature. If I am obedient and faithful, if I do my duty when I then “can attack a barrier…[and] leap over a wall.” The RSV states, “crush a troop…” I like verse 29 in the NLT, “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.”
Today in the Texas Revolution: On March 24, General Antonio Gaona departs Bexar eastward towards Nacogdoches.