He bowed the heavens also, and came down. And darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly. Yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. (Psalm 18:9-10)
This picture of God’s active, sovereign, and mighty involvement in the affairs of men may conjure up images of Superman, but David’s vision of being rescued by his redeemer is not fiction. It is likely that David was imagining a time in the future when the Lord, Jesus would be actively engaged in the affairs of men.
David’s statement, “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me” (Psalm 18:20) might seem pretentious unless you understand that David had devoted his heart and life to the service of the LORD and his godliness was the fruit of God’s gracious working in his heart.
The word translated recompense, shûwb (shoob) means to turn back. “The process called conversion or turning to God is in reality a re-turning or a turning back again to him from whom sin has separated us” (7725). David experienced conversion, not in the same way a New Testament Believer does, but he gave his life to the Lord and I believe he had a rebirth or regeneration of his spirit.
What David was lacking in the process of salvation was remission of his sins. It says in Hebrews 9:22, “almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” The Greek word for remission, aphesis (af´- es – is) “denotes a release, from bondage, imprisonment, liberation from captivity and remission of debt. It also means forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed)” (859).
David proclaimed, “I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God” (Psalm 18:21). David did not say he kept the laws of the LORD, he said he kept the ways of the LORD and did not depart from his God. David’s perfect record had to do with his relationship with the LORD. David walked with the LORD and kept to the path that God had chosen for him. He was obedient to the will of the LORD and confessed his sin throughout his entire life.
David said, “As for God, his way is perfect: The word of the LORD is tried” (Psalm 18:30) and concluded Psalm 18 by saying, “Great deliverance giveth he to his king, and showeth mercy to his anointed, to David, and his seed for evermore” (Psalm 18:50). The word evermore or ‘ôlâm in Hebrew means eternity. David knew that in eternity Christ would reign over Israel, therefore, David is stating that the Messiah would come from his seed or be one of his descendants. This must have been an amazing revelation for David. It is clear that David’s understanding of being God’s anointed meant that his seed or one of his offspring would eventually give birth to Jesus Christ who would come down from heaven and complete the process of salvation for David.