King David’s Song of Ultimate Victory (2 Samuel 22; Psalm 18)

King David’s Song of Ultimate Victory
(2 Samuel 22:0 Psalm 18:0)

I love you, YHWH, my shield and deliverer (Psalm 18:1-6)
YHWH I love you, you are my Strength.
YHWH’s my Rock of Defence … and Deliverer;
my Rock-God’s my Refuge and Shield … antlered Saviour
tossing away from me violent opponents.
I called out to YHWH, so worthy of praise
and thus was delivered from all of my foes.
Death’s drowning waves all gurgled around me,
torrents of ruin my soul overwhelming.
Coiled round my head Sheol’s net-cord like seaweed;
death had set snares to bite on my limbs.
In my distress I cried out to the Lord;
my call reached his ears, from his temple he heard me.

He drove to my rescue in thunder-cloud chariot (Psalm 18:7–15)
The earth quaked and trembled, the mountains’ roots shaken –
convulsing because he was furiously angry.
Smoke from his jaws, dragon’s flames from his nostrils,
charcoal-red zeal blazing forth to consume.
Parting heaven’s curtains, descending cloud stairway,
boarding his cherubim chariot throne
he flew on the wings of the terrible tempest,
fastening around his shoulders a cloak
of dark thunder clouds lowering in heaven.
Out of his glorious presence came flashes
of lightening bolts all ablaze with his brightness.
Thus did the Lord thunder forth from the heavens;
so came the voice of the Most High resounding.
He fired off such arrows and scattered his foes,
with great bolts of lightening routed them all –
the valleys of oceans becoming exposed,
the foundations of earth were also laid bare
at rebuke of the Lord, the mere snort of his nostrils.

And plucked me to safety in a haven that’s spacious (Psalm 18:16–19)
Then reaching from heaven he took hold of me
and drew my soul out of the watery depths.
Me he rescued from powerful foes,
from enemies stronger by far than I am,
who had contended against me like doomsday;
but I could rely upon covenant YHWH.
He brought me forth to a place that is spacious,
delivering me as a son he delights in.

My devotion to him he has rewarded (Psalm 18:20–27)
YHWH’s dealt well with me, for I’ve been straight,
served with clean hands, therefore have been rewarded;
because I’ve maintained the ways of the Lord
and have not been guilty of spurning my God.
All of his laws I kept in full focus;
I have never turned back from his wondrous decrees.
Ever I’ve kept myself blameless before him,
carefully avoided practising sin.
YHWH’s rewarded my right way of living;
I kept myself clean, prepared for inspection.
Lord, to the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to souls that are blameless you show yourself true,
to the pure you always show yourself perfect,
but to the twisted you show yourself shrewd.
The humble you save, but you keep your eyes open
to those who are haughty, bringing them tumbling down.

Now I’m not only secure but victorious (Psalm 18:28–34)
To me, blessed YHWH, you are my lantern;
the Lord turns my darkness into clear light.
with you as my help I demolish defences.
As for God, his way is perfection,
and YHWH’s word is free from all flaws.
After all, who is God, other than YHWH?
And who is the Rock? None but our God.
It is God whose armaments give me my strength;
my way of life he safely maintains.
He makes my feet like the hooves of a deer
and causes me stand on mountainous heights.
My hands he trains to succeed in battle,
my arms can now bend a bow made of bronze.

It’s God’s own humility that’s made me a conqueror (Psalm 18:35–45)
Your saving help you supply as my shield;
your bending to me – that’s made me great.
A wide enough path for my feet you provide for me
and strengthen my ankles so they do not give way.
I chased after my enemies, crushing them all;
I did not turn back till they all were destroyed.
I crushed them completely, they cannot arise;
under my feet they have all of them fallen.
Your caches of arms fortified me for battle,
my opponents you humbled in front of my gaze.

My enemies turned, showed their backs as they fled,
so I could easily polish them off.
They cried for assistance, nobody saved them;
they called for the Lord but he never replied.
I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I pummelled them, trampled them – mud in the street.

You’ve rescued me, Lord, from attacks by the people;
you have preserved me as head of the nations.
Foreigners cower when faced with my presence;
as soon as they hear of me, do as I say.
They all lose their bottle, some hobbling from strongholds.

And by his grace this trend will continue (Psalm 18:46-50)
YHWH’s alive! Praised be my Rock!
Exalted my God, my Saviour, my Rock-Fort!
He’s God my avenger, subdues nations beneath me;
he from opponents sets my soul free.
You have exalted me over my foes,
from violent people you’ve sure rescued me.
So, Lord, I will praise you among all the nations;
I’ll ever sing praises to honour your name.
He’ll give me as king many a victory,
show unfailing kindness to me his anointed,
to David and offspring to all generations.
Adapted by Hugh Thompson – 17 January 2010 and 10 June 2014

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