Psalm 18 begins with a statement, that these words are the words of David addressed to the Lord on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of Saul and all his enemies.
“I called upon the Lord,” writes David, “the cords of Sheol entangled me…He bowed the heavens and came down, thick darkness under his feet… the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones, and coals of fire… the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare… He rescued me…”
His friends must’ve wondered: “David we remember when we hid from Saul in the cave, but we don’t remember the foundations of the world laid bare. What world are you living in?”
Physicists, philosophers, and psychologists tell us that the world we live in is dependent on the story we tell ourselves.
David writes, “He rescued me because he delighted in me.”
Maybe David was thinking of other dimensions that intersect these dimensions.
Maybe David was thinking of creation, the giving of the law, and the parting of the Red Sea.
Whatever the case, he thought it all happened because God delighted in him—because God liked him.
Is that the story you’re telling yourself?
“This is my Father’s world and everything that happens to me happens because he delights in me and is telling me who I am.”
If you believe what your father says about you, is that arrogance or humility?
Do you believe the wonderful things he says about you: the story he is telling?
Or do you believe you are the things you have done; do you believe the story this world is telling?
David writes: “With the merciful you show yourself merciful (“Hesed:” Relentless Love), with the perfect you show yourself perfect, with the pure you show yourself pure, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.”
God is Pure, Perfect, Relentless Love, but his very presence seems tortuous to the arrogant human ego; Heaven is tortuous to “hell.”
Projection is a psychological defense mechanism through which we project our own undesired traits onto others and relate to them accordingly.
It’s so important not to sin, not because you’ll break some arbitrary law, but because you’ll project your sin onto God and construct a reality that seems tortuous.
When we sinners tell the story, we create a god in our own image, then hide from that god in fig leaves, law, and outer darkness.
Jesus said, “With the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged.”
Why would anyone pronounce any judgment other than the Pure and Perfect Relentless Love that is revealed in Christ Jesus—the story that God is telling?
Maybe God allows us to tell our own story and create our own world, so we’d finally get sick of that world and listen to the story that he is telling?
Maybe we create a “hell,” and God descends into that “hell,” that we might one day freely choose the story that he is telling…
Your “Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption” is the story God is telling; Jesus is the story God is telling.
A Good Choice in you is Jesus in you: the Story God is telling.
David writes, “You light my lamp.”
As David sings his psalm he sounds like a bronze age tribal chieftain—an old lamp.
And then, he begins to sound like a light—the Light of the world.
He writes, “I will praise you, Oh Lord, among the gentiles, and sing your name.”
It’s not David that conquers the gentiles and, then, sings hallelujah through those very gentiles—as if they were his own body.
In Romans 5:19 St. Paul tells us that this is Christ who’s talking—the Story that God is telling.
When the Lord bows the heavens and comes down, when he parts the channels of the sea to get to you, when he speaks his word saying, “You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And you will love your neighbor as yourself. I know they made you do bad things, but you are not a bad boy. You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”
Say, “Yes I am the story you are telling.”
That’s not arrogance; that’s humility; that’s no longer “I who live,” but Christ in me.
Psalm 18 also appears on David’s lips in 2nd Samuel 22 just before he dies.
The day that David is delivered from all his enemies is the day that the son of David lifts his head and cries, “Father forgive” and “It is finished.”
At the cross, we project our sin onto God.
And at the cross, God projects his righteousness onto us.
That’s the story that makes Heaven out of “hell,” and he tells it because he delights in you.