An Outburst of Praise
(46) Yahweh lives! Blessed be my rock, and may the God of my salvation be exalted! (47) It is God who avenges me and subdues peoples under me. (48) He delivers me from my enemies. Indeed, you raise me up above those who rise against me. You deliver me from the man of violence. (49) Therefore, I will extol you among the nations, Yahweh, and sing praises to your name. (50) Great deliverance he gives to his king and shows steadfast love to his anointed one, to David and his offspring forever.
This final paragraph recapitulates several major themes found in earlier verses of Psalm 18. Key statements remind us of phrasings the psalmist previously employed: “Yahweh...my rock” (cf. vs. 46 with vs. 2), “the God of my salvation” (cf. vs. 46 with vss. 2 & 17), “God avenges me” (cf. vs. 47 with vss. 37-42) “subdues peoples under me” (cf. vs. 47 with vs. 39), “He delivers me from my enemies” (cf. vs. 48 with vss. 17 & 37), and “You raise me up” (cf. vs. 48 with vss. 16 & 43).
We should note that Psalm 18 closes with a declaration that refers both to the author, King David, who praises God for his blessings, and to the one in whom this psalm will find its ultimate fulfillment, the Anointed One or Messiah, David’s promised offspring (vs. 50). As in several of the royal psalms, the identities of Israel’s historic kings, particularly David and Solomon, blend together with descriptions of the promised Prince of Peace who will rule over Israel in the coming Millennial Kingdom.
I. Israel’s king rejoices in God’s deliverance. (46-48)
II. Israel’s king will be the reason for universal rejoicing. (49 & 50)
Just as God has shown his steadfast love to King David, so he will shower his love upon Israel’s future king, the Messiah.
Outbursts of praise are fitting expressions for those who have experienced the greatness of God’s grace. Such an outburst characterizes these closing five verses of Psalm 18. Throughout the psalm David has been building to this point, and now, as in the final moments of a great symphony, every instrument in the orchestra sounds, playing together at full volume. The sensation is overwhelming, something we do not often experience. All we can do is revel in the moment and then recall how we were feeling while enjoying such a glorious eruption of sound.
This description helps us anticipate what the worship of heaven will be like when our triune God receives universal praise for all that he is and for all that he has done. That glorious moment of adoration will reach its climax in the exaltation of God’s Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords! Compare today’s outburst of praise with the following description of heavenly worship found in Revelation 5: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever’” (Rev. 5:13)!