The battle of the Valley of Salt was recorded in 1 Chronicles 18:12. Abishai and Joab the sons of Zeruiah led Israel and defeated 18,000 Edomites. The title of this Psalm mentions 12,000, which means this Psalm may have been written while the battle was still going on. Although Abishai was the leader of the army, David is attributing the victory to God. David just took over the Kingdom from Saul. Israel was in a very unstable state because Saul has put wicked, ungodly men into office, and a lot of priests were killed by Saul.
- Complaining to God (v1-3)
- Asking God to save them (v4-5)
- God speaks (V6-8)
- Questioning God (v9-10)
- Giving God the credits of victory (v11-12)
Verse By Verse
v1: Israel was in battle with the gentles because God has rejected them. Rejection from God is worse then the attack from enemies. We do not want to anger our God. We must repent from our sins and ask God to restore us. If God withdraw from His presence we tremble at the fall of a leaf (C.H. Spurgeon).
v2: Israel is very unstable like the earth, which could quake any time. Sometimes the church of Christ, or our personal spiritual condition could be unstable. Only God can stop earth quake, stabilized country, heal the church, and save us from destruction.
v3: Just like a man who purposely make another man drunk by giving him wine to drink, God has purposely let Israel experienced weak and experience hardship.
v4: The psalmist makes a turn at this verse. God has given a banner means God is now leading them into battle. But only to those who fear God. It is a banner of Truth, that lead us into victory.
v5-12: These verses are exactly the same as the Psalm 108:6-13
v5: The name David means “beloved”. David is praying to God on behalf of the nation. Jesus is praying for us in heavenly throne next to God the Father.
v6: God in His holiness has spoken. Because God is holy, He will not lie and will not change His promise. The land was promised by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. David is claiming these lands by faith in God.
v7: David is claiming the ownership of these cities. Ephraim provided soldiers for David’s Kingdom, thus it is called the helmet of his head. Judah is where David rules, thus it is called his scepter. What are God’s promises to us in Christ? Are we claiming these promises as our own? Read 1 Corinthians 3:22-23
v8: Moab and Edom were both enemies of Israel. Washbowl, a bowl used to collect dirty water from after ones finished watching his feet. [Throw my shoe]: Because God is leading, the threat from Edom is insignificant. In Christ we have victory against the enemy. One day the nations will subdue under the scepter of David. The King of Kings will reign the world, and we will be reigning as kings with Him.
v9-10: The Edomites lived on high, dangerous, hard to get to places. Who can lead David to conquer Edom? Not Joab, the captain of his army. David is calling to God.
v11: David could have the strongest armies, captains, armors and horses. But without God, they will surely fail.
v12: [Through God we shall do valiantly]: However dependance on God is not an excuse of inactivity. Dependence on God is the encouragement of the most courages acts. Like straw on threshing floor beneath the feet of oxen, the enemies will be under God’s foot.