[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:] I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
There’s an old expression that comes to mind when I read today’s focus scripture: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The phrase refers to the idea that complex ideas can be described with a single image. David often used imagery to describe the attributes of God which convey rich meaning and clearer understanding to the reader.
Pictures give us comfort. Likely, you have a few photos on display in your home or at work of people who are near and dear to you. Those pictures are a symbol of the love in your life from which you draw comfort, encouragement, and joy. I asked my wife last night if she had noticed how many pictures we have of our granddaughter scattered throughout the house. Every time I look at one of them it makes me smile.
Pictures help us to remember. Recently I went through a box of old family photos and as I looked at each picture I was reminded of people and events from long ago. Viewing those pictures took me back to my childhood and rekindled vivid memories of things I had not thought about in years. It was almost like being there again.
Pictures reveal vital information and tell a story. We’ve all seen the mystery movies in which a detective solves a crime because of something he notices in a photo. Even family photos can correct wrong perceptions from the past. I always saw my grandmother as old, wrinkled, and overweight. However, earlier photos reveal that she was once young, beautiful, and remarkably thin. It was no small revelation to learn that “Grandma used to be hot!” Or as she would have said, “Grandma was a looker.”
The Bible Paints Pictures of God
Psalm 18 is a song of praise to God written by David “when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” David was celebrating a great victory and acknowledging that it was God who made it possible. His affection for God pours out in the opening words of the song, “I love you, O LORD, my strength.” His victory resulted, not from his own strength, but the strength of the Lord.
Then David turns to his photo album. “The LORD is my rock…my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.” A rock to David symbolized God’s protective care. It was in and among the rocks that David took refuge from the enemy. The picture of the rock also symbolized stability in what had been a very unstable time in David’s life. There was substance and strength in the rock that represented the powerful presence of God.
David also paints a picture of God as “my fortress…my stronghold.” In reality, David didn’t have a great fortress in which he could take refuge and resist the attacks of the enemy. His safety and protection came from God.
Pictures of God Help Us Remember the Attributes of God
David was astounded at how God protected him and delivered him against all odds. He was able to stand against an enemy of superior size and resources. He knew that there was no way he could have survived the fiery arrows of the enemy without God’s divine protection. Thus he gives this picture of God: “He is my shield.”
David knew that he had been supernaturally delivered from death and that his victory was impossible by human standards. Only God could have saved him and given him such a victory. In this picture he depicts God as “the horn of my salvation.” The word “horn” in scripture is often used metaphorically to signify strength and honor, because horns were the chief weapons and ornaments of the animals that possessed them and consequently a symbol of victory.
David shared pictures of God that tell us much of who God is and what we can expect from Him. These pictures are suitable for framing and displaying prominently in your heart and mind.
It is like David pulled out his wallet and proudly proclaimed, “Let me show you some pictures of my God.” With a huge smile on his face he points to each image and explains, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” These are pictures worth a thousand words.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Do You Know the Rock of Ages?
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.