to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice
July 09, 2019 – Tuesday
Psalm 18:43-44 NIV
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; You have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, 44 foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me.
Whenever you are going to look at the Psalms, you really want to have a good reference. I normally use biblehub.com and enduring word.com. While both of these are excellent, for Psalms Charles Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David is clearly superior. A three volume set is available through a number of booksellers online. You may also find The Treasury of David online here where you will discover it was written in weekly installments over a twenty year span and initially published in seven volumes. Spurgeon’s love for God, Jesus, and David is unambiguous from his writing as are David’s writings of his love for God.
With that noted, let’s now take a look at Psalm 18 and then our verses for today. This is a song David sang and has as its introduction the following (labeled verse 1 in the Hebrew texts)
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said.
Spurgeon gives this Psalm the title The Grateful Retrospect with the following explanation:
We have another form of this Psalm, with significant variations (2 Samuel 22:1-51), and this suggests the idea that it was sung by David at different times when he reviewed his own remarkable history, and observed the gracious hand of God in it all. Like Addison’s hymn beginning, “When all thy mercies, O my God,” this Psalm is the song of a grateful heart overwhelmed with a retrospect of the manifold and marvellous mercies of God. We will call it THE GRATEFUL RETROSPECT. The title deserves attention. David, although at this time a king, calls himself, “the servant of Jehovah,” but makes no mention of his royalty; hence we gather that he counted it a higher honour to be the Lord’s servant than to be Judah’s king.
David’s retrospect is seen even as we near the end of this Psalm. In verse 43 David credits God for his deliverance from the attacks of the people during the civil war between himself and Saul. David also credits God for making him the head of nationsand now People I did not know now serve me. From the youngest and smallest, a simple shepherd boy, looks back and sees not what he has accomplished, but what God has made possible for him. Then in verse 44 foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me there is a wonder that harkens back to David’s time as a shepherd tending his flock and he is obeyed by foreigners. David wonders how is this possible while stating the only explanation that makes sense is God is the cause of it all. Spurgeon adds the following
As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me. Thus readily did the once struggling captain become a far renowned victor, and thus easy shall be our triumphs. We prefer, however, to speak of Jesus. In many cases the gospel is speedily received by hearts apparently unprepared for it. Those who have never heard the gospel before, have been charmed by its first message, and yielded obedience to it; while others, alas! who are accustomed to its joyful sound, are rather hardened than softened by its teachings. The grace of God sometimes runs like fire among the stubble, and a nation is born in a day. “Love at first sight” is no uncommon thing when Jesus is the wooer. He can write Caesar’s message without boasting, Veni, vidi, vici; his gospel is in some cases no sooner heard than believed. What inducements to spread abroad the doctrine of the cross!
By God’s hand David became King. By God’s hand, Jesus was born in the flesh, God’s only begotten Son. Jesus is King of the body of believers, the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow (Colossians 2:19). He is our King, our Lord, our Salvation.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)