|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 17. - He delivered me from my strong enemy. This is generally understood of Saul. By the defeat of Gilboa, and its consequences (1 Samuel 31:1-4), God delivered David from the peril of death which hung over him so long as Saul lived. And from them which hated me. David's enemies among the courtiers of Saul were powerless without their master. Many, probably, fell in the battle; the rest sank into obscurity. For they were too strong for me. I must have succumbed to them had not God helped me.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He delivered me from my strong enemy,.... Which, as it may respect David, may be understood of Goliath the Philistine champion, who was a man of war from his youth; or Saul, king of Israel; and, as it may respect David's antitype, may design either the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, who were men of power and influence; or more especially Satan, the strong man armed, with all his principalities and powers; or, likewise death, the last enemy, from whose pains and cords he was loosed when raised from the dead, and when he was delivered from every other strong enemy;
and from them which hated me; from the old serpent the devil, between whom and him there has been a lasting enmity; and from the world, the people of the Jews, particularly the Pharisees, who bore an implacable hatred to Christ;
for they were too strong for me; as Goliath and Saul were too strong for David of himself, so Christ's enemies were too strong for him; not as God, for he is the mighty God, the Almighty, and stronger than the strong man armed, but as man; for in his human nature he had a sinless weakness, which showed itself in his agonies in the garden; or a natural weakness, through which he was crucified; and this weak nature of Christ Satan attacked, and got an advantage over, and brought it to the dust of death, which is meant by his bruising his heel, though by it he got a broken head. But though Christ's enemies were too strong for him, considered merely as man, they not being, at least many of them, flesh and blood, but principalities and powers; yet being helped by his Father, and supported by his divine nature, he overcame them, and was delivered from them.
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