In the 18th section of the book of psalms, David, the king is seen rejoicing in the goodness of the lord and in the deliverances God has given him. These are seen in the verse 1 to 19 of the 18th section. There onwards, David is further shown taking comfort and enjoying the integrity which God has placed upon him. He further gives God praise in verses 29 to 50 for His goodness and mighty deeds. The book of psalms also commonly known as the psalms is a book found in the Christian bible and also in the Hebrew bible. It is composed of about 150 poems all of which express the full range of the faith of Israelites in religion and in God. In this particular psalm, we are shown the strong believe David had on the Lord and how he depended on Him for his strength and integrity. This paper will, therefore, explore some of the characteristics this psalm gives, God. Furthermore, the paper will consider some of the similarities and differences in the character of God as seen in the books of Psalms, Genesis, and Exodus.
Psalms 18 shows God as a God of strength. David calls God a rock to show His strength. He was not really a real rock but He acted as one to David when he asked for help to be delivered from his enemies. The characteristics of a rock include strong, hard, unbreakable, and stout. These were the same characteristics that David gave God when he called Him his rock. This is seen in the second verse of psalms 18. God is also shown as being merciful. He offers David help when he calls upon him for help. Verse 4- 5 of psalms 18 shows that David had numerous enemies who wanted to finish him. There were many people around David who wanted to harm him and this made him feel helpless before them. When he called upon God, He did not hesitate to give David the help he needed to conquer his enemies.
Another characteristic of God that becomes apparent in psalms 18 is that God knows everything; he has all the answers to our questions and problems. When David did not know what to do with his enemies, God send an earthquake that moved the earth bringing buildings down this is in verse seven. In the 8th to the 14th verses, God answers David’s calls by sending a storm when David did not know how to deal with his enemies. God is also shown as being righteous. David says that the lord helped him because he was righteous, because his hands were clean. He also says that his enemies who were not righteous did not receive any help from God even when they cried to Him because they were not righteous. In verses 20 to 23, it is indicated that Christians must be righteous so that they show everyone else how to be righteous christens. This is proof that God only likes people who are righteous and clean.
God is also shown as the provider. Everything that David has has been provided for him by God. He is strong and wise; he is also given the ability to win over all his enemies. He wins all of the battles he gets involved with because God has provided him with mercy, integrity, strength and wisdom. The image of God presented in psalms 18 can be compared and contrasted with His image as shown in the creation and the flood story. The image in psalms is that God is all powerful, He is righteous, He is strong, without mercy for those who are not righteous, helpful, and all knowing. This image can be compared with the image of God presented in the book of Genesis about creation. In the creation story, God is shown as powerful, righteous, vengeful, and a God of order. The image of power is clear when He creates the whole world all by himself by word of mouth. He says let there be, and a creation takes place. Power is also shown when he creates and breathes life in man. This image of power can also be seen in psalms 18 when God is able to help David overcome his enemies by sending storms and earthquakes to destroy them. Another image in creation is righteousness. God demands obedience from his creations, and when they sin he becomes extremely angry with man and He punishes them. This shows that he likes righteous people just like in psalms 18 where He only helps those who are righteous and clean before Him. The image of God being the provider presented in psalms 18 is also clear in the creation story. God creates man and provides them with food to eat. The vengeful and destructive image of God presented in the creation story when he punishes man for disobeying him can be compared with the way He lets the unfaithful, enemies of David get destroyed in the battle.
The flood also shows this side of God that does not like unrighteousness. He decides to flood and finish the whole world because people have been unclean and unrighteous before Him. He only saves Noah and his family because they were the only faithful ones. His vengeful character also becomes clear when he decides to kill all humans because they disobeyed Him.
‘The Psalms 18.’ In The Holy Bible, King James Version. New York: The American Bible Society, 2000.