Both of the C pairs in the greater chiastic structure forms its own chiastic structure:
1c) Psa 18:3-18, The LORD delivers David from his enemies:
1a) Psa 18:3-6, I shall be saved when snares of death confront me, for I will call upon the LORD:
–> 1) Psa 18:3, I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies;
–> 2) Psa 18:4-5, The pangs of death + Sheol surrounded me/ Snares of death confronted me;
–> 3) Psa 18:6, In my distress I called upon the LORD + cried out to my God/ He heard my voice;
1b) Psa 18:7-8a, The foundations of the earth shook because He was angry/ Smoke went up from His nostrils;
1c) Psa 18:8b, And devouring fire from His mouth [n}/ Coals were kindled by it;
1d) Psa 18:9, He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet;
central axis) Psa 18:10, And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind;
2d) Psa 18:11-12, He made darkness His secret place/ dark waters + thick clouds His canopy;
2c) Psa 18:13-14, The LORD thundered His voice from heaven + Hailstones + coals of fire/ vanquished the foe;
2b) Psa 18:15, The foundations of the world were uncovered at His rebuke/ the blast of the breath of His nostrils;
2a) Psa 18:16-18, He sent from above and delivered me from those who confronted me, for He was my support:
–> 1) Psa 18:16-17, He sent from above + drew me out of many waters + delivered me from my strong enemy;
–> 2) Psa 18:18a, They confronted me in the day of my calamity;
–> 3) Psa 18:18b, But the LORD was my support.
It is interesting that the way David accessed the Lord’s help for his situation, was by asking for it (A pair). The Lord was his support, because he called upon Him. They had a real, living, reciprocal relationship. Because David spent time in relationship with God when times were good, the Lord was David’s support when times turned bad. (David, the man after God’s own heart, endured bad times too. Good times and bad times are a universal constant of human life, and no one is exempt from them.) But David knew a key that we in modern America often miss. He praised the praiseworthy Lord (vs. 3), in good times and in bad, when he was confronted with the snares of death, before he saw the deliverance of the Lord, as well as after he saw it.
Cultivating a truly grateful heart, and being in the habit of expressing that gratefulness, is like a magnet which attracts the Lord’s presence. Even human nature teaches us this. I am sure each of us does a lot for our families every day, but when all we hear is more demands followed by complaints because things are not to the family’s liking, we just want to stop trying and tune it out after a while. But when our efforts are appreciated for the acts of love they are, we want to tune in. A positive attitude of gratefulness is a powerful attractant!
All of us have been in the place of being tempted with bitterness when our expectations were not met, or bad circumstances happened. Welcome to the human race and life this side of heaven. The bitterness is like a root of poison, which continually produces poison, poisoning our hearts and minds. It does not help us to overcome the difficulties of life or to experience the kind of reciprocal relationship that David had with the Lord. When we are ready to let go of the bitterness, all we have to do is come before the Lord, and say, “I repent of letting bitterness find a home in my heart, Lord. Please forgive me. I reject it, and please deliver me of it, and open my eyes to see the many things to be grateful to You for, every day.” And begin to thank Him, for His love, for His forgiveness, for the beautiful sunrise this morning, for the sun which is still there even if obscured by clouds, that spring is coming … *smile.*
The central axis shows that the Lord was not lax in sending what immediate help was needed. He flew! He made haste to deliver David when his death seemed certain at the hands of his enemies.
2c) Psa 18:39b-48, The LORD delivers David from his enemies:
1a) Psa 18:39b, You have subdued under me those who rose up against me;
1b) Psa 18:40-42, You have also given me the necks of my enemies;
1c) Psa 18:43-45, You delivered me from the strivings of the people + made me the head of the nations;
central axis) Psa 18:46, The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted;
2c) Psa 18:47, It is God who avenges me, and subdues the peoples under me;
2b) Psa 18:48a, He delivers me from my enemies;
2a) Psa 18:48b, You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man.
Here the central axis is more praise, because the Lord came through after all. Isn’t it interesting that David’s praise begins with, The LORD lives! When we call upon the Lord, we are not calling upon a dead being or someone afar off. We are calling upon the living, breathing Creator and Ruler of the universe with the authority and the ability to do something about our supplications, who responds for our good always!