The Key to the Psalms

This Psalm (18) presents us also with a direct scriptural proof and illustration of a most essentially important principle as to the nature of all the Psalms, giving a key to their general character and form. We know from the Book of Samuel that the occasion of this Psalm was the celebration of David's deliverances from the hand of Saul, and of all his enemies. But it is evident that the language of the Psalm in no way stops short at any events in the life of David, or that in its main purport the Spirit of God contemplates even what happened to that already anointed sufferer, who was the occasion of the Psalm. The Spirit of God takes up the circumstance which has present personal interest for him whom He uses as prophet merely, as the occasion to bring out the larger and wider scene of which Christ alone can be the centre, giving a meaning to the whole, in respect of which the more immediate circumstance only forms a partial, though perhaps a most interesting link in the chain which leads up to the full display of God and His ways in the great result. So it was with all the prophets, only here more personally predictive. Sennacherib's invasion, for example, is the occasion of bringing on the scene the Assyrian of the latter days. Thus prophecies had an application of the deepest interest at the time, and became the instrument of the present government of God, but were also the revelation of those ultimate events on the earth in the same peoples and nations in which the government of God would be fully and finally displayed. They are no private interpretation (idias epiluseos). They formed part of the great scheme of divine government. J. N. Darby.