24 The Picture, Prerequisites and Principles of God’s Protection

Psalm 18:16-30

16 He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. 17 He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. 18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support. 19 He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
20 The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all His rules were before me, and His statutes I did not put away from me. 23 I was blameless before Him, and I kept myself from my guilt. 24 So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.
25 With the merciful You show Yourself merciful; with the blameless man You show Yourself blameless; 26 with the purified You show Yourself pure; and with the crooked You make Yourself seem tortuous. 27 For You save a humble people, but the haughty eyes You bring down. 28 For it is You who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness. 29 For by You I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. 30 This God–His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.

God’s Protection:

  1. Its Picture (vv 16-19)
    David paints a metaphoric picture of God’s power and might, having drawn him out of many waters. God’s protection is not just a matter of obligation, but of love. There are many testimonies of God protecting His people, e.g. the Red Sea crossing, the fiery furnace and lion’s den. These foreshadow the ultimate deliverance in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate fulfilment of God’s promises. God is always with us to protect (Psalm 46; Is. 41:10).  His protection is not just physical, but especially spiritual.

  2. Its Prerequisites (vv 20-24)
    David’s righteousness and obedience were prerequisites for God’s protection. The righteousness of believers is not their own – it is the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, imputed by faith and through grace alone. David’s righteousness and obedience were not a result of following the rules, but of faith in God. Even though we are not sinless, we must seek a life that pleases and honours God. If we strive for righteousness and obedience, God will protect and draw near to us (Prov. 3:5-6 James 4:7-8).

  3. Its Principles (vv 25-30)
    God shows Himself:
    a. Merciful to the merciful.
    b. Blameless to the blameless.
    c. Pure to the purified.
    d. Tortuous to the crooked.
    He saves and protects the humble righteous, but punishes evil, bringing down haughty eyes.  
    Our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:10-18; James 4:7-8).
    God’s protection does not necessarily mean that we will escape suffering, for Christ Himself said that in this world we will have trouble.
    Only Christ embodies sinless perfection. We must abide in Him to fulfil the prerequisites to receive God’s protection.

David prophesied looking forward to the incarnation of the Son of God, who is our righteousness and salvation.