Psalm 18:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 18:14, NIV: He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

Psalm 18:14, ESV: And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.

Psalm 18:14, KJV: Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

Psalm 18:14, NASB: He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.

Psalm 18:14, NLT: He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; his lightning flashed, and they were greatly confused.

Psalm 18:14, CSB: He shot his arrows and scattered them; he hurled lightning bolts and routed them.

What does Psalm 18:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Looking back on how God rescued him from his enemies (2 Samuel 22:1), David continues to poetically describe the power of God (Psalm 18:7–13). Here he evokes the frightening aspect of lightning. The sudden burst of light, heat, noise, and destruction makes lightning a useful symbol of God's unstoppable power.

When Elihu addressed Job, he said, "Behold, [God] scatters his lightning about him" (Job 36:30). He added that the Lord "covers his hands with the lightning and commands it to strike its mark. Its crashing declares his presence" (Job 36:32–33). Fear of lightning may cause people to take shelter, but the Lord owns the lightning and wears it like a glove. The victory David obtained over his enemies was like a fierce display of God's anger and power, as if it were lightning aimed at the enemy.

Of course, we should not think every lightning storm is aimed at those who oppose God, and people are not wrong to seek shelter in a lightning storm. However, lightning should remind us that God possesses awesome power and merits our praise.