Psalm 18:3
I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies.
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(3) Presents a trifling verbal variation from Samuel.

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.I will call upon the Lord - The idea here is, that he would constantly call upon the Lord. In all times of trouble and danger he would go to him, and invoke his aid. The experience of the past had been such as to lead him to put confidence in him in all time to come. He had learned to flee to him in danger, and he had never put his trust in him in vain. The idea is, that a proper view of God's dealings with us in the past should lead us to feel that we may put confidence in him in the future.

Who is worthy to be praised - More literally, "Him who is to be praised I will call upon, Jehovah." The prominent - the leading thought is, that God is a being every way worthy of praise.

So shall I be saved from my enemies - Ever onward, and at all times. He had had such ample experience of his protection that he could confide in him as one who would deliver him from all his foes.

3. to be praised—for past favors, and worthy of confidence. Or, I did call—and was saved. For the future tense is commonly used for that which is past. And this seems best to agree with the whole context, which is to praise God for mercies already received. I will call upon the Lord,.... In prayer, for fresh mercies, and further appearances of himself, and discoveries of his grace and favour;

who is worthy to be praised; for the perfections of his nature, the works of his hands, his providential goodness, and more especially for his covenant grace and blessings in Christ. The Targum is,

"in praise, or with an hymn, I pray before the Lord;''

agreeably to the rule the apostle gives, Philippians 4:6; and this prayer was a prayer of faith, as follows;

so shall I be saved from mine enemies: which was founded upon past experience of God's goodness to him in distress, when he called upon him, as the next words show.

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be {b} praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

(b) For no one can obtain their request from God if they do not join his glory with their petition.

3. Not merely a resolution or expression of confidence for the future (I will call … so shall I be saved); but the expression of a general conviction of God’s faithfulness to answer prayer; whensoever I call … then am I saved &c. Cp. Psalm 56:9. This conviction is based on experience, and illustrated by what follows (Psalm 18:6).

worthy to be praised] Cp. Psalm 48:1, Psalm 96:4, Psalm 113:3, Psalm 145:3. Jehovah is the one object of Israel’s praise (Deuteronomy 10:21), and on Israel’s praises He sits enthroned (Psalm 22:3). The keynote of worship is Hallelujah, ‘praise ye Jah,’ and the Hebrew title of the Psalter is Tehillim, i.e. Praises.Verse 3. - I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. Not so much a simple future, "I will call upon the Lord at some particular time," as a future of continuance, "I call, and will ever call, upon the Lord, worthy to be praised;" and so - i.e., so long as I call - shall I be saved from mine enemies (comp. Psalm 5:10, 12; Psalm 6:8-10; Psalm 10:15, 16, etc.). Psalm 17:10 tell what sort of people these persecutors are. Their heart is called fat, adeps, not as though חלב could in itself be equivalent to לב, more especially as both words are radically distinct (חלב from the root לב, λιπ; לב from the root לב, לף to envelope: that which is enveloped, the kernel, the inside), but (without any need for von Ortenberg's conjecture חלב לבּמו סגרוּ "they close their heart with fat") because it is, as it were, entirely fat (Psalm 119:70, cf. Psalm 73:7), and because it is inaccessible to any feeling of compassion, and in general incapable of the nobler emotions. To shut up the fat equals the heart (cf. κλείειν τὰ σπλάγχνα 1 John 3:17), is equivalent to: to fortify one's self wilfully in indifference to sympathy, tender feeling, and all noble feelings (cf. השׁמין לב equals to harden, Isaiah 6:10). The construction of פּימו (which agrees in sound with פּימה, Job 15:27) is just the same as that of קולי, Psalm 3:5. On the other hand, אשּׁוּרנוּ (after the form עמּוּד and written plene) is neither such an accusative of the means or instrument, nor the second accusative, beside the accusative of the object, of that by which the object is surrounded, that is usually found with verbs of surrounding (e.g., Psalm 5:13; Psalm 32:7); for "they have surrounded me (us) with our step" is unintelligible. But אשׁורנו can be the accusative of the member, as in Psalm 3:8, cf. Psalm 22:17, Genesis 3:15, for "it is true the step is not a member" (Hitz.), but since "step" and "foot" are interchangeable notions, Psalm 73:2, the σχῆμα καθ ̓ ὅλον καὶ μέρος is applicable to the former, and as, e.g., Homer says, Iliad vii. 355: σὲ μάλιστα πόνος φρένας ἀμφιβέβηκεν, the Hebrew poet can also say: they have encompassed us (and in fact) our steps, each of our steps (so that we cannot go forwards or backwards with our feet). The Ker סבבוּנוּ gets rid of the change in number which we have with the Chethb סבבוני; the latter, however, is admissible according to parallels like Psalm 62:5, and corresponds to David's position, who is hunted by Saul and at the present time driven into a strait at the head of a small company of faithful followers. Their eyes - he goes on to say in Psalm 17:11 - have they set to fell, viz., us, who are encompassed, to the earth, i.e., so that we shall be cast to the ground. נטה is transitive, as in Psalm 18:10; Psalm 62:4, in the transitively applied sense of Psalm 73:2 (cf. Psalm 37:31): to incline to fall (whereas in Psalm 44:19, Job 31:7, it means to turn away from); and בּארץ (without any need fore the conjecture בּארח) expresses the final issue, instead of לארץ, Psalm 7:6. By the expression דּמינו one is prominently singled out from the host of the enemy, viz., its chief, the words being: his likeness is as a lion, according to the peculiarity of the poetical style, of changing verbal into substantival clauses, instead of דּמה כּאריה. Since in Old Testament Hebrew, as also in Syriac and Arabic, כ is only a preposition, not a connective conjunction, it cannot be rendered: as a lion longs to prey, but: as a lion that is greedy or hungry (cf. Arab. ksf, used of sinking away, decline, obscuring or eclipsing, growing pale, and Arab. chsf, more especially of enfeebling, hunger, distinct from חשׂף equals Arab. ks̆f, to peel off, make bare) to ravin. In the parallel member of the verse the participle alternates with the attributive clause. כּפיר is (according to Meier) the young lion as being covered with thicker hair.
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