What does Psalm 18:31 mean?
ESV: For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? —
NIV: For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God?
NASB: For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God,
CSB: For who is God besides the Lord? And who is a rock? Only our God.
NLT: For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock?
KJV: For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God?
NKJV: For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?
Verse Commentary:
In David's era, pagans worshiped many false gods. The Canaanites often referred to their false gods as their rock; this follows the theme of a foundation or a sturdy base on which to stand. Moses said, "their rock is not our Rock" (Deuteronomy 32:31). David contends in Psalm 18:31 that Israel's God is the Lord and the only Rock, the provider of salvation and security.

Later in Israel's history, when Ahab was king, the worship of the false god Baal flourished. Ahab's wife Jezebel had imported Baal worship and promoted it. She personally provided for Baal's false prophets and tried to exterminate the Lord's prophets. But Elijah, the fiery prophet of the Lord , championed His cause by challenging the Baal prophets to a contest that would determine whether the God of Israel or Baal was real (1 Kings 18:20–39). He gathered the 450 Baal prophets and the people of Israel at Mount Carmel and told the false prophets to prepare a sacrifice and call on Baal. He, too, would prepare a sacrifice and call on the Lord. Whoever answered the call by fire would be declared the true God.

Despite the frantic actions of Baal's prophets, and their prolonged calling on Baal, no fire fell. Yet when Elijah called on the Lord, He answered with fire that consumed the sacrifice and even the torrent of water that Elijah poured on it. When the people saw what had happened, they declared, "The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God" (1 Kings 18:39).

In the modern world, so-called-tolerance demands that whatever or whomever a person worships be considered as valid as whatever or whomever anyone else worships. But David's declaration of one true God stands correct (John 14:6). David's God is our God, and He alone is God.
Verse Context:
Psalm 18:28–45 celebrates the Lord's goodness to David during his wilderness experience (2 Samuel 22:1). Second Samuel 22:29–46 is a companion passage, and 2 Samuel chapter 8 features several of David's victories. Other passages that focus on the victory God gives His people are Romans 8:28–39, 1 Corinthians 15:50–58, 2 Corinthians 1:8–11, 2:14–17, Ephesians 6:10–20, Philippians 1:12–26, 1 Peter 1:3–9, and 1 John 5:1–5.
Chapter Summary:
In 2 Samuel chapter 22, David expresses praise for all the times in his life where God gave him victory. That prayer or song is copied almost identically here. Psalm 18, itself, might have been adapted for use in public worship. David remembers dire situations where God rescued him. He dramatically recounts how God provided rescue and power. David also credits God with rewarding his obedience by making him a powerful and successful military leader. For these reasons, David commits himself to the praise and worship of the Lord.
Chapter Context:
This psalm is David's prayer to the Lord in which David praises the Lord for making him victorious over his enemies. Second Samuel 5, 8, and 10 are companion chapters, and 2 Samuel 22 provides another version of this psalm. Second Samuel 22:1 tells us David composed Psalm 18 on the day the Lord delivered him from his enemies and Saul. Second Samuel 19 reports David's victorious return to Jerusalem after David vanquished his enemies.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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