What does Psalm 18:33 mean?
ESV: He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.
NIV: He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
NASB: He makes my feet like deer’s feet, And sets me up on my high places.
CSB: He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and sets me securely on the heights.
NLT: He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
KJV: He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
NKJV: He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.
Verse Commentary:
In many cultures, animals such as gazelles, antelope, or deer are symbols of agility. David acknowledges God's assistance in escaping enemies, using that imagery. One can picture a speedy, sure-footed deer outrunning a predator. Likewise, high ground is an advantage in battle. The security David feels through God is like being settled into a high, defended area.

Like David, the apostle Paul acknowledged the Lord as his strength. He was aware of his human weakness but received strength from God to overcome his trials. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:10, "For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Christ invites everyone to set aside the burden of trying to "save" themselves; in contrast, His yoke is easy (Matthew 11:28–30). A yoke joins two animals together for plowing, and similarly believers are "yoked" to Christ. Alone, a Christian would easily tire, but yoked to Christ the believer draws strength from Him. If the Lord calls us to perform a specific task, He will give us the strength to accomplish it. It is no wonder Paul tells Timothy, a young pastor, to "be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1)!
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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