URC Daily Devotion Sunday 11th October 2020

Sunday 11th October 2020 Psalm 18

How I love You, Lord, my God,
You my Rock and fortress strong;
constant Refuge, mighty Shield –
I will praise You in my song.
Snares of death entangled me,
hellish torrents frightened me;
but You heard my desperate cry,
and Your hand has set me free.

2: All creation reeled and rocked,
mountains quaked when God came down,
soaring on the wings of wind,
fire and hailstones all around.
Then HIs anger, with a blast,
split the sea that billowed there;
when the Lord unleashed His wrath,
earth’s foundations were laid bare.

3: From on high the Lord reached down,
seized me with His pow’rful arm;
when the floods engulfed my soul,
He delivered me from harm.
God, the Lord, my strong support,
brought me to a spacious place,
for it is His great delight
to reward my righteous ways.

4: With the faithful You are true,
to the pure You show Your grace,
but to crooked humankind
You reveal an angry face.
You, Lord, bring the haughty low,
save the humble from their plight,
and You keep my lamp aglow,
turn my darkness into light.

5: All God’s promises are sure.
Who is God besides the Lord?
He is perfect in His ways.
Who the Rock except our God?
It is God who gives me strength;
He enables me to stand
high above the battlefield,
held up by His pow’rful hand.

6: God prepares me well for war,
makes my feet as swift as deer,
arms me with salvation’s shield,
makes my pathway broad and sure.
I pursued my enemies
till they fell beneath my feet,
beat them fine like blowing dust,
low like dirt that lines the street.

7: God has rescued me from strife
with the nations all around.
He has made me head of all;
foreign leaders now bow down.
Yes, the Lord exalted me
over all my enemies;
they obey all my commands,
cringing low on trembling knees.

8: God, the Lord, my Savior, lives!
To the Rock be all the praise!
He has overcome my foes,
shown me His unfailing grace.
Lord, I will extol Your name
and make all Your blessings known.
You give vict’ry to Your King,
give His heirs a royal throne.

Ada Roeper-Boulogne © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources

you can hear v1 sung here


This is one of the longer of the Psalms and it won’t likely be among your favourites if you prefer walking beside still waters or lifting your eyes to the quiet hills. 

This is more like a white-water ride; engulfing floods and trembling mountains, the snares of death and fearful enemies, reeling and rocking aplenty. The writer longs for a rock and a fortress, for security and a refuge, but many of the words of this psalm evoke very powerfully the kind of experiences that are anything but that. And not only does the writer long to be rescued from this frenetic tempest of human experience, but also wants a secure way of knowing that they deserve to be rescued – the kind of security that longs to be able say, ‘I’m a good person, so I know I will be OK’. 

We all know the power of such experiences and such desires, and of how they can’t simply or readily be quelled. There are times in most of our lives when we are completely knocked sideways and we find ourselves pleading for solid ground and for the kind of reassurance that it will be OK, it must be OK, somehow. We use the same metaphors as the Psalmist, as we find ourselves ‘all at sea’, or ‘rocked to the core’, or feeling that everyone is against us or that no-one understands. It’s rare to find such disturbing experiences captured so vividly. 

The temptation is to quieten such feelings. But, first, they deserve to be heard. Perhaps our prayer today can simply be to speak before God with such honesty ourselves; either from present storms or from memory of them. Today, just as in the Bible, there is space for such prayers.


O God,
when my life reels and rocks,
when the floods engulf my soul,
and I am sinking, desperate and afraid,
hear my cry, and rescue me. 
When I can hold on no more,
take my hand,
and pull me close,
that I may live. 
My lamp is sometimes low
and the light fades,

but keep it glowing with your light,
and keep my flame alive, Amen. 

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Dr Susan Durber is Minister of Taunton United Reformed Church


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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