Psalm 18:37

ESV I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed.
NIV I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
NASB I pursued my enemies and overtook them, And I did not turn back until they were consumed.
CSB I pursue my enemies and overtake them; I do not turn back until they are wiped out.
NLT I chased my enemies and caught them; I did not stop until they were conquered.
KJV I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

What does Psalm 18:37 mean?

David tells us in this verse that he chased down his enemies, overtook them, and obliterated them. This is a reference to David's past wars (2 Samuel 8:1–8, 14). In 2 Samuel 22:38–43 David also reports his victories in war. He sang a song to the Lord after the Lord had "delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul" (2 Samuel 22:1). That speech seems to have been adapted for public worship, here in Psalm 18. This is an expression not only of David's commitment to God, but to God's work in making David successful.

It should be noted that David did not initiate land-grabbing invasions of other nations. He did not lead soldiers into foreign countries, engaging armies in military conflict so he could acquire their territory. However, when a foreign power invaded Israel, David attacked that enemy and thoroughly subdued it. Nations who were hostile to Israel were defeated and left intact, but as subordinates to Israel.

As Christians we live in a culture that is neither friendly to God, nor to us. Jesus predicted that in the world we would have tribulation, but He told us to take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Unlike David, who fought to defend a physical kingdom using physical war (Psalm 144:1; 1 Samuel 17:50; 2 Samuel 5:18–20), the primary battle of a Christian is spiritual (John 18:36; Ephesians 6:12). Even so, we can declare our commitment to God and praise Him for victory in advance (Romans 8:37).
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