“A spacious place” (Ps 18:19) is rich with imagery. It speaks of someone who has been walking in a restricted, enclosed or even imprisoned environment who then bursts into wide and unrestricted living. Imagine, walking for some hours through thick and prickly undergrowth and then suddenly stumbling out into a lush woodland meadow! The contrast is massive and even thinking about it makes me take a slow and deep breath as I picture stepping into the cool and calm of ‘the spacious place’ of a forest glade. Do you get the picture?
This image of a spacious (or wide) space is also used later in the Psalms to picture a life that has been lived intently knowing God through his word:
and I shall walk in a wide place,Psalm 119:45
for I have sought your precepts
I think this is an amazing picture, as it cuts against so much of the cultural flack of our day. For example: “The Bible is so restrictive and needs reinterpreting for our modern world” or “you can’t construct your sexual ethics from the old dusty pages of Genesis, they are too naive”.
Yet the Psalmist has come to see that a life seeking after God’s precepts, through scripture, is a life lived in a wide (and not restrictive) place.