Victories to the king, loyalty for the Messiah in Psalm 18


I’ve decided I ought to run a mini series on the 8 Messianic Psalms, the ones where the Messiah is addressed directly (actually the Messiah is only in 7 of the psalms, in the 8th the Messiah has multiplied into a congregation of Messiahs, but we will get there, and notice the pattern again, 7 promises an 8!). I’ve already something on Psalm 2, which is the first such psalm, (it addressed the Messiah as “My Son”) So there are only seven more to do. Still I currently have two other series in progress (incomplete at the time of writing) one on Jesus’ ancestors and one on the seven saviour judges. Working on several at the same time keeps the active posts interesting!

david in the psalmsSo the second Messianic psalm is Psalm 18, a resurrection psalm from King David.

The Psalm starts with David declaring his love of YHWH, using a number of titles that have connections to Jesus. (Actually so does the name YHWH…I must do a post on that soon).


“I will love you, O YHWH, my strength. YHH my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock in whom I will trust; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower” – Psalm 18:1-2.

God is twice called “a rock” in these opening words, using two different words… and of course the New Testament tells us: “…they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.– 1 Corinthians 10:4 (See also Romans 9:33, 1 Peter 2:6-8)

More interesting is the phrase “the horn of my salvation”, i.e the bit that means my Salvation actually works. Because this title picked up and used of Jesus by Zecharias, John the Baptist’s priestly Father

…Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David ”.– Luke 1:67-69

Zacharias is not talking about His son John, but of the one John is going to be a messenger for!

As  the psalm continues the anointed king seems to be in some trouble:

“The cords of death encompassed me, floods of chaos(Belial) troubled me. The cords of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God, He heard my voice out of his Temple and my cry for help …came into his ears. Then the earth shook and quaked – Psalm 18:4-7a

Compare that with Jesus who cries God answers from the temple and the earth quakes..

Then Jesus cried out again with a loud voice… then the temple curtain was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split apart.” – Matthew 27:50-51

dark cloudsThe Psalm continues: “He(God) bowed the heavens and came down with thick darkness… thick clouds of the sky” – Psalm 18:9-11

The Gospels tell us: “Now from noon until three, darkness came over all the land. ”  – Matthew 27:45

Modern science would explain this darkness as a sand storm in the cloud layer.. quite literally thick/heavy clouds.

The Psalm tells us that in all these phenomena (present at the crucifixion), God is acting for the sake of the King…

“He(God) sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy – Psalm 18:16

It even explains why, it is because… “He(God) delighted in me(the Messiah)” – Psalm 18:19

A phrase used of pre-existent Wisdom (or as the Septuagint puts it the “Logos”), who was begotten not created… “Daily I(Wisdom/Logos) was His(God’s) delight– Proverbs 8:30

Delight” is of course the word spoken over Jesus at his Baptism, the phrase “In whom I am well pleased”, Matthew 3:17, Luke 3:22 is from the Greek version of Isaiah 42:1 which in Hebrew reads “In whom my soul delights“, and Jesus Baptism was also the focus of the first Messianic psalm, Psalm 2.

And finally

After another 20+ verses of thanksgiving, Psalm 18 ends by this great victory to “the King“, “The Messiah“, “David’s descendant” and interestingly to “Jesus“.

“He(God) gives great victories to His king; He shows loyalty to His Anointed(Messiah) to David and his descendants forever” – Psalm 18:50

You see the  word “victories” is “ישועות” which contains Jesus‘ name “ישוע” extended with a wav-ו and a tav-ח. The name of the first of these “wav” actually means “peg”(as in tent-peg) or “hook”, you can see this idea in the letters shape even in modern Hebrew. The name of  the second letters addded to Jesus here is “tav”, which means “mark” but was written in early and middle Hebrew as a cross “+“!

So this final verse put “Jesus” hooked/pegged to a cross alongside the Messiah King, a descendent of David.

Just 6 more Messianic Psalms to go!


Christen Forster

Christen Forster is widely recognised as an original Bible teacher who brings people into a love of and confidence in scripture.

Christen has planted churches, been a youth worker, mission administrator and church leaders. The author of several books, Christen is now an itinerant minister, helping churches to step into a more deliberately spiritual experience of the Christian life while at the same time firmly rooting their practice in scripture.

© 2000 - 2024 Christen Forster
Christen Forster

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One Reply to “Victories to the king, loyalty for the Messiah in Psalm 18”

  1. This is a wow revelation in this Psalm thank you for drawing it out, so much beauty in the poetic prophetic language used by David.

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