Calvary Road Baptist Church


Psalm 18.41


My text for this evening comes from a psalm that David wrote when he was a young man in conflict with King Saul.

It seems to be recorded in its original form in Second Samuel chapter 22. Its final form, apparently edited a bit by David as a more mature man, is found as the 18th Psalm.

I will begin reading at verse 40. As I read, I will point out some things common with a number of the Psalms. I refer to obvious Messianic allusions, statements that are true about David, the human author, but which are more true and prophetically significant when they are applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who would be born a thousand years after David died.


40    Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

41    They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

42    Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43    Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44    As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

45    The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

46    The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47    It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

48    He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

49    Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

50    Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.


One of the reasons God chose to use the Psalms penned by David, to give us such profound insights into the ministry and the sacrifice the Lord Jesus Christ would make a thousand years later, is because of the great parallel that existed between David, God’s anointed prophet and king, and his enemies -- and the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ, and His enemies. Let me point out some of the amazing parallels between David and his enemies prophetically pictures what would be true of Christ and His enemies a thousand years later, and what is still true of Christ and His enemies three thousand years after this psalm was penned.

Look at verse 44, where the psalmist writes, “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Seems to speak of conversion, doesn’t it?

But the word translated “submission” refers to cringing, which is feigned submission, submission that isn’t real, submission that’s forced, submission that is not from the heart.[1]  In other words, this is a portrait of false conversion!

Why do you folks think I try to be so careful when dealing with sinners? I was not always this way. I was in the ministry for twenty years before doing evangelism this way.

Why do you think I am so insistent? I was not always this way. I did evangelism for twenty years before being insistent in this way.

My friends, my approach to evangelism has taken the shape it is presently in because the Bible teaches about those with false conversions. I had a false hope when I was thirteen years old, and many of you have had the same experience.

Therefore, to be a good pastor, I need to do my best to make sure, as a good pastor ought to make sure, that you are truly converted, that your submission to Jesus is genuine, that you really have with the heart believed unto righteousness.

Look at verse 47: “It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.” This verse describes the victories God gave to David over his enemies. However, it far more perfectly describes the victory that God will give to His Son Jesus over His enemies. Where David writes, “It is God that avengeth me,” the apostle Paul writes these words in Romans 12.19: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” As well, where David writes, “and subdueth the people under me,” we read these words in another Psalm and in Hebrews 1.13: “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” That is God speaking to His Son, Jesus.

Therefore, this portion of the 18th Psalm that we have read is very definitely a Messianic passage. That is, it is an Old Testament passage from long, long ago, which undeniably looks to the future, to the ministry and life of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is Israel’s Messiah.

It immediately speaks of the conflict that David, as God’s anointed king, had with his enemies. However, the passage ultimately speaks of the conflict that the Lord Jesus Christ, as God’s anointed Prophet, Priest, and King, would have and continues to have with His enemies.


Now we turn our attention to you.


Just as David’s enemies are found in this Psalm, so too are Christ’s enemies found in this passage. You may not think of yourself as Christ’s enemy. However, so long as you are unsaved, so long as you remain lost, so long as your submission to Jesus is only feigned, so long as your submission to Jesus is only a convenient pretense, so long as your submission to Jesus is not a real and genuine conversion experience, you are still His enemy. As Paul wrote in Romans 5.10, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Thus, anyone, even the most devout religionist, is God’s enemy until he is reconciled to God through faith in Christ. You see, now, that you are God’s enemy so long as you are not a Christian.

Though we initially read 11 verses, my text is a single verse, Psalm 18.41: “They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.”

Jesus is sitting at the Father’s right hand in heaven, as I speak to you tonight. Twenty-eight verses in scripture confirm that fact. Yet, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God, Who convicts sinners and prepares their hearts for conversion, you are being directed to Jesus. If you actually come to Jesus you will have to come to Him by faith (since He is there and you are here), and you will, at that moment, experience the miracle of the new birth.

However, while the gospel ministry is going forth here, there is another thing simultaneously happening that many lose sight of. As men, women, and children are dying without Christ, and as the Spirit of God draws back from sinners who commit the unpardonable sin and stubbornly refuse to come to Jesus, so is God simultaneously subduing Christ’s enemies, God is making Christ’s enemies His footstool.

While some few are being converted, mostly in places like China, Southeast Asia and in the Sudan, far greater numbers of sinners are being subjugated all over the world by God and made into Christ’s footstools, good for nothing better than the bottom of the Savior’s shoes.

Having resisted the gospel during this lifetime, and having refused to bend the knee and bow the head and confess Jesus Christ to be Lord (but insisting on being stubborn and rebellious), you have not cried out to God for saving mercy. You have not pleaded with God for saving grace. You have not begged God for faith to believe in Jesus.

But you will, my friend.

Oh, you will.

Of that, you can be sure.

Our text for this evening shows us that you will.


“They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.”


Three things to notice about you my lost friend, for this verse speaks of you:




Notice that it says, “They cried . . . even unto the LORD” You need to know something about this cry you will someday cry, my friend. In fact, you need to know two things: Your cry will be desperate, and your cry will be deficient. That is, you are going to plead, and beg, and pray, and apologize, and submit, and surrender, and attempt to bargain, and trade, and buy, and whatever else you can think of doing for salvation.

Deny that you will all you want, but you most certainly will. However, when you cry it will be too late. It will be far too late. You cannot imagine yourself really pleading with God for mercy, crying out to God for saving faith, begging God for saving grace, but you will. Only, it will be too late. It will be far too late.

You see, verse 41, which is you crying, comes after verse 40, which is God giving your neck to Jesus for destruction. In other words, you will not have enough spiritual sense to cry out to God for deliverance until after it is too late, until after God has subjugated you, until after you have died and gone to Hell.

Your cry will, indeed, be desperate, because once you are in Hell you will begin to realize what a terrible fix you are in. Deficient because your cry will simply be too late. Because you ignored the passage that urges you to “Seek the LORD while He may be found,” when you do cry out to God for mercy it will simply be too late,




“. . . but there was none to save them


Not yourself. You will already be in Hell when you finally begin to cry for someone to save you, so how will you be able to save yourself? If you cannot save yourself before you die, how can you possibly save yourself after you die? Therefore, when David wrote that there was none to save you, he surely included you in that number.

Not your friends. How can your friends save you? There are two reasons your friends will not be able to save you: First, because your friends are in the same situation you find yourself in. Like you, your friends are dead in trespasses and sins. Like you, your friends are under the condemnation of God. Like you, your friends are spiritually weak, impotent, and incapable. Your friends cannot help you. That is if you have any real friends. Before I was converted, I had no real friends. Oh, I had fellows I would hang around with. However, they could not do me any good. In addition, they did not really care for me any more than I cared for them. They just used me, like I will have to admit I used them, to pretend they were not lonely, to pretend they were having a good time, to pretend they had life figured out. However, they were not real friends, and they could not do me any real good. Not even Christian friends can do much more than witness to you and then urge you to come to church. No Christian can save you, no matter how good a friend he is. Therefore, no man will save you. Not yourself. And not anyone you know.

“. . . but there was none to save them” Not even Jesus. This may surprise you, but Jesus is the Savior . . . right now. He directs laboring and heavy-laden sinners to come to Him . . . now. However, there will come a time when it is simply too late. You see, Jesus is not angry with you now. He is not mad at you for being unconverted now. However, there will come a time when God subjugates you, when you will die and go to Hell, and the Lord Jesus Christ’s attitude toward you will dramatically change. From being the One willing and able to save you, your stubborn refusal to come to Christ has convinced Him of your hatred. Moreover, according to Psalm 18.40, His plan will be your destruction.

Therefore, you will cry out for salvation someday. However, there will then be none to save you. Not yourself. Not your friends. Not even the Lord Jesus Christ.




“They cried . . . even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.” The LORD God Almighty will not help you then, my friend.


Cry out to Him all you want, but He will not save you.


Cry out for mercy, but you will not then find mercy.


Plead for saving grace, but He will not even hear you.


Why not?


Because, first, you have no standing before God. The child of God is urged to come boldly to the throne of God’s grace. Perhaps you have heard the saints of this church boldly urging God to draw you to Christ through the preaching of the gospel. Oh, how they have prayed for you, my friend, and will continue to pray for you. God hears their prayers because they have standing. That is, they have access to the very throne room in heaven through their Savior, Jesus.

However, you have no such standing. What does that mean? It means that God is not obligated to hear, much less answer your prayers, now. However, God is so good, so merciful, and so gracious, that though He does not have to, He oftentimes does, hear and respond to the pleas of a lost man for mercy. However, after He has subjugated you, after your allotted time on earth has expired, after that beast we call “death” has consumed you, it will be too late for you.


Cry all you want.


Plead all you want.


In addition, you will plead and cry for salvation.


However, God, Who is not obligated to hear you now (though He oftentimes mercifully does hear), has declared that He will not hear you then.

Another reason not even God will save you then: You have not the Spirit of God. Romans 8.26 declares, “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” That verse speaks of the indwelling Holy Spirit’s ministry of helping the Christian in his prayers to God. However, you do not have the Holy Spirit living in your bosom, because you are not converted. As a lost man, you resist the wooing ministry of the Holy Spirit; you quench and grieve the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. There will come a time when the Holy Spirit will no longer strive with you, and then you will live out your life, die, and go to Hell. So, for what reason and by what twisted logic can you imagine that the Holy Spirit, Who you grieve and quench and resist now, will come to your aid, after you die, and help you pray to God for salvation after you have died? For what reason will He, after He has given up on you, return to help you ask God for a salvation you shunned when you had ample opportunity to seek it?

Therefore, you see, there will come a time in your existence when you will be dramatically transformed into quite the prayer warrior.

You do not much pray now for your salvation.

You do not cry out to God for mercy now.

However, there is coming a time when you will pray without ceasing.

Oh, how you will cry out to God.

Oh, how you will plead.

Oh, how you will beseech.

Oh, how you will argue your case and present the reasons why you should be saved.

You will cry out to Jesus, but He will not save you, because God’s Word says, “there was none to save.” That certainly includes Jesus. You have no time for Jesus now, and cannot imagine feeling any need for Him now. But oh, how you will cry loud and long for Him . . . when it is too late.

You will cry out to God, too. Tears, and snot, and saliva, running down your face, you will cry as you have never cried before.

Oh, how sorry you will be then.

Oh, how you will reason and explain to God.

However, it will be too late.

That, my friend, is the Bible truth about your desperate cry, the cry of your heart and soul after you have died and gone to Hell.

Would it not be better to cry out to God for mercy and grace now, before it is too late?

Because your desperate cry of Psalm 18.41, your desperate cry after you die, will be a cry that will go unanswered.

[1] Francis Brown, S. R. Driver & Charles A. Briggs, The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew And English Lexicon, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), page 471.

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