He reached down from heaven and took hold of me; He pulled me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me” (Psalm 18:16-17).
I have been meditating on Psalm 18, especially the verses above. There are a couple levels at which I appreciate this swath of scripture. There is, of course, the window into David’s soul that this Psalm opens. But my first interest is its prophetic significance. All of Psalm 18 could be placed in the mouth of Jesus as He suffered, died, was buried, and then raised. Poetically, it captures and describes His inner experience of all He went through for us.
The verses above show God raising Christ, pulling Him out of the “deep waters” of the grave. At the cross, Jesus was overcome by His “powerful enemy,” which would describe satan and death. All through His so-called trial, all the way up the road to Golgotha, and as Jesus hung by nails, gasping for breath, He was surrounded by those who hated Him. The enemies of Christ were too strong for Him (compare 1 Cor. 1:25).
This Psalm has also affected me on a personal level. This past year brought a lot of emotional suffering into my life. I have navigated many painful circumstances; I have felt paralyzed by my inability to control or solve the issues confronting me. Piled on that is disappointment with myself; I feel like I should be able to do something about my situation but can’t.
The words, “they were too strong for me” have been a balm for my soul. There really are seasons where we can do nothing but place ourselves in the Lord’s hands. It is not due to incompetence or passivity. It is because the Lord has placed us in a situation from which only He can rescue us. There is no shame in this, anymore than there was shame in Jesus being unable to raise Himself from the dead.
When we can do nothing for ourselves, the Lord will do for us. When we have no strength, the Lord is full of power (2 Cor. 12:10). When there is no way, the Lord is the way (John 14:6). Scripture assures us of these things. As long as there is a God, we have hope and options.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord (Lam. 3:25-26).