“I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:1-2)
My Bible tells the story –the testimony-behind this glorious fist-punch of a praise song. Here it is: A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. The song has a story, and once you know the story properly, you will be able to join in the song.
Praise cannot exist all by itself as an artificial religious language appropriate for church and nowhere else: it is the natural response to God acting and working in my life. It’s a fountain of pleasure, like the guffaw that leaps out of you after a really funny joke.
And so, there is nothing remotely stuffy about the opening line: I love You, O Lord, my strength! It’s the song of someone who knows God by heart, so to speak, and he’s singing “You did it again! You ALWAYS come through! Yes!”
In what way? Do you see the thought? The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, God is not a hidey-hole where I can hide away whimpering and where the world cannot get at me. He is a position of security, sureness strength, One translation describes God as “Bedrock beneath my feet!” I like that! Because when things hit me hard, I need a place to regroup, a place of inviolable security. A safe-house. If everything else crumbles under pressure, I can be sure of this one thing, that God is my indestructible, constant safe-house, my stronghold.