|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-19 The first words, I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, are the scope and contents of the psalm. Those that truly love God, may triumph in him as their Rock and Refuge, and may with confidence call upon him. It is good for us to observe all the circumstances of a mercy which magnify the power of God and his goodness to us in it. David was a praying man, and God was found a prayer-hearing God. If we pray as he did, we shall speed as he did. God's manifestation of his presence is very fully described, ver. 7-15. Little appeared of man, but much of God, in these deliverances. It is not possible to apply to the history of the son of Jesse those awful, majestic, and stupendous words which are used through this description of the Divine manifestation. Every part of so solemn a scene of terrors tells us, a greater than David is here. God will not only deliver his people out of their troubles in due time, but he will bear them up under their troubles in the mean time. Can we meditate on ver. 18, without directing one thought to Gethsemane and Calvary? Can we forget that it was in the hour of Christ's deepest calamity, when Judas betrayed, when his friends forsook, when the multitude derided him, and the smiles of his Father's love were withheld, that the powers of darkness prevented him? The sorrows of death surrounded him, in his distress he prayed, Heb 5:7. God made the earth to shake and tremble, and the rocks to cleave, and brought him out, in his resurrection, because he delighted in him and in his undertaking.
Verse 16. - He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. While destruction thus came upon David's enemies (vers. 12-14), God's protecting hand was stretched out to save David himself, who was carefully "taken" and tenderly "drawn" forth from among the "many waters," i.e. the dangers and difficulties which threatened him. Some commentators see in the words used - "he sent, he took me, he drew me" - a tacit reference to Exodus 2:5, 10, and, by implication, a sort of parallel between the deliverance of David from his foes and that of Moses from the waters of the Nile (Kay, Hengstenberg, 'Speaker's Commentary').
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He sent from above,.... Either his hand, as in Psalm 144:7; he exerted and displayed his mighty power in raising Christ from the dead; or he sent help from his sanctuary; as in Psalm 20:2; and helped and strengthened him in a day of salvation; or when he wrought out the salvation of his people; or "he sent his word", as in Psalm 107:20; his word of command, to take up his life again, as he had given it to lay it down, John 10:18. The Targum is, he sent his prophets; but it may be much better supplied, he sent his angels, or an angel; as he did at his resurrection, who rolled away the stone from the sepulchre, as a token of his justification and discharge: so Jarchi interprets it, he sent his angels; and Aben Ezra supplies it thus,
"he sent his word or his angel:''
unless the sense should be, as Cocceius suggests, he sent a cloud from above, which was done at Christ's ascension, and which received him out of the sight of the apostles, Acts 1:9. Since it follows,
he took me; that is, up to heaven; thither Christ was carried in a cloud, one of God's chariots, he sent for him; and where he is received, and will be retained until his second coming; though rather the sense is, he took me by the hand:
he drew me out of many waters. This is said either in allusion to Moses, who had his name from his being drawn out of the water, Exodus 2:10; and who was an eminent type of Christ; and this is the only place where the Hebrew word is made use of from whence he had his name; or else to a man plunged in water ready to be drowned; see Psalm 69:1. By these "many waters" may be meant the many afflictions, sorrows, and sufferings from which Christ was freed, when raised from the dead, and highly exalted and crowned with glory and honour; and the torrent of sins which flowed in upon him at the time he was made sin for his people, from which he was justified when risen; and so will appear a second time without sin unto salvation; and the wrath of God, the waves and billows of which went over him, and compassed him about as water, at the time of his sufferings; from which he was delivered when he was shown the path of life, and entered into the presence of God, and sat at his right hand, where are joys and pleasures for evermore; and also his grand enemy Satan, with his principalities and powers, who came in like a flood upon him; but he destroyed him and spoiled them; and particularly the floods of ungodly men, spoken of in Psalm 18:4; seem to be here designed; compare with this Psalm 144:7; "so many waters" signify many people and nations, Revelation 17:15; and accordingly the Targum is,
"he delivered me from many people.''
This was true of Christ when risen and ascended; he was then separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; and this sense is confirmed by the following words, where what is expressed figuratively here is there literally explained.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16-19. from above—As seated on a throne, directing these terrible scenes, God—
sent—His hand (Ps 144:7), reached down to His humble worshipper, and delivered him.
many waters—calamities (Job 30:14; Ps 124:4, 5).
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