Psalm 144


In this psalm, David speaks as the king of Israel and the prosperity of the nation. Because God gave Israel victory over their enemies, and Israel put their trust in God, God blessed them richly and they became a people full of joy.


‘Of David.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

The heading tells us this psalm of David. Psalms 138-145 are all accredited to David.

‘Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.’ Psalm 144:1-2

David begins by praising the LORD, who is his rock, he praises Him because God trained his hands and fingers for battle. That is, he became a great warrior for God because God gave him the skills to do so, 1 Samuel 17:48-50 / 1 Samuel 18:26-27.

To David, God is a loving God, his fortress, stronghold, deliver, shield and refuge, in other words, God was his, all in all, he was totally dependent upon God for his strength, protection, love and comfort, Psalm 18.

It was God who subdued peoples under David, this is probably a referring to the time when David subdued mighty men under his authority, 1 Samuel 22:1-2, or it could be referring to the time when David became king over all of Israel, 2 Samuel 5:1-5.

‘LORD, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. Part your heavens, LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke. Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy; shoot your arrows and rout them. Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. I will sing a new song to you, my God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David.’ Psalm 144:3-10

David asks the LORD two questions, what are human beings that He cares for them and who are mere mortals that you think of them?

These two questions are basically the same questions which imply that David is amazed that God would show any interest in mankind, he’s amazed that God cares for mankind, Psalm 8, especially in light that life is short and fleeting

David asks the LORD to part the heavens and come down, touch the mountains so that they smoke, that is, he’s seeking God’s presence, as God appeared to Israel at Mount Sinai, Exodus 19:16-20.

He wants God to send lightning in order to scatter his enemy, he asks God to shoot His arrows and rout them, Psalm 18:4. These are
metaphorical words, which David uses to ask God to destroy his enemies.

He asks God to reach His hand down from on high to deliver him and rescue him from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners who were full of lies and deceit, Genesis 14:22 / Exodus 6:8 / Deuteronomy 32:40 / 1 Samuel 22:6-10 / 1 Samuel 23:19-20.

In other words, David sought to be delivered from the oppression of wicked nations who overcame Israel as a flood of waters.

When God delivered David from his enemies, he would have reason to sing a new song, he would have reason to use the ten-stringed lyre to praise God with, 1 Samuel 16:18 / Psalm 33:2 / Isaiah 5:12.

He would have reason to praise the One who gives victory to kings, the One who delivered His servant David from the hands of his enemies, 1 Samuel 17:34-36 / 1 Samuel 23:24-29.

‘From the deadly sword, deliver me; rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets. Blessed is the people of whom this is true; blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.’ Psalm 144:11-15

It was God who would deliver David from the deadly sword and deliver him from those foreigners who are filled with lies and deceit, 2 Samuel 7:26 / Psalm 18:50. Because David mentioned these foreigners twice, tells us that they must have been causing him a lot of trouble, hence why he pleads with God to help him.

When God delivers David and deals with these foreigners, then blessings from the LORD would come, Leviticus 26:1-13 / Deuteronomy 28:1-14 / Psalm 132:13-18.

Israel’s sons and daughters would begin to feel secure, the sons would be like well-nurtured plants and their daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace, Zechariah 9:15 / Titus 2:3-5, which means because they were safe and secure, then Israel’s future would be secure.

Israel’s farmers would also be blessed in having plenty of provision in their barns, which means their barns are full because they’ve been blessed with good crops which in turn means that they can not only feed themselves but also their livestock.

When God delivers David and deals with these foreigners, then Israel’s livestock would increase abundantly.

Another blessing which will come is seen in when Israel prospers, they will be so prosperous, that no one will breach the walls, no going into captivity, and no cry of distress in our streets. This could refer to Israel’s security, in that no enemies would come into wage war against them and lead them into captivity.

David declares a blessing upon God’s people and says that the people who are in that state of security, those who people who have God as their LORD, are blessed, Proverbs 14:34. Those blessings only come when we stay true to God and His promises, Exodus 24:3-8.


David described how God would richly bless Israel, however, those blessings came with terms and conditions, Deuteronomy 7:1-19 / Deuteronomy 28:1:54 / Deuteronomy 30:19.

This tells us that God’s blessings aren’t guaranteed, they are based upon adhering to His terms and conditions.

The word ‘if’ is used in Scripture to describe the terms and conditions for receiving God’s blessings.

1. If we want God to provide for us, we need to wait on God to provide, Psalm 27:14 / Psalm 37:7 / Isaiah 40:31.

2. If we want God to direct our lives, then we must trust Him to do so, Psalm 25:1-3 / Psalm 62:8 / Proverbs 3:5-6.

3. If we want God to bless us, then we must obey His word, Exodus 19:5 / Deuteronomy 7:12 / Joshua 24:15 / 1 Chronicles 28:7 / Psalm 25:10.

4. If we want God to reward us, we must be willing to endure difficult times, Galatians 6:9 / James 1:12.

It is often argued by some that a Christian cannot lose their salvation, but Paul uses the word, ‘if’, concerning women being saved through childbirth, which clearly implies terms and conditions, 1 Timothy 2:15.

Jesus uses the word ‘if’ in the same manner, when it comes to remaining in Him, John 15:5-10. John uses the word ‘if’ in the same manner, when it comes to confessing our sins, 1 John 1:5-10.

There are many passages which suggest that a person can lose their salvation, 1 Corinthians 10:6-12 / Galatians 5:4 / 2 Peter 2:20-22. Look at what Jesus clearly says, ‘the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.’ Matthew 24:13.

It is important to note that for every positive statement, like this one, there is also an implied ‘opposite’ which would also be just as true, ‘the one who DOESN’T stand firm to the end will NOT be saved’, Revelation 2:10.

Go To Psalm 145