I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The word translated “love” (Hebrew: racham #7355, used 47x) is a rare verb form of a word group that expresses tender intimacy through physical expressions like hugging or embracing.
David’s word choice was intended to express very strong devotion—like Mary’s love on Resurrection Morning when she longed to dearly hug Jesus (John 20:17).
The Hebrew word racham was always used in Scripture in a positive sense about God, and by God, to express His love for His people. It is a word which speaks of a love that draws someone close and hugs them—a love which yearns for someone who has been away for awhile and can’t wait to welcome them back with a hugging, embracing love.
Psalm 18:1 is the sole time in the Bible that this term for a “hugging, embracing love” was used by a person describing love for God.
In other words, David was the ONLY person in the Old Testament to take this word for God’s love of His children, and turn it around to use it to express his own personal love for the Lord. So this was very much a part of the reason why God said that David had a heart for the Lord!
In essence, David was saying in verse 1:
“Lord, I love You so much that I am passionately drawn to You;
I long to run and throw my arms around You to show the immensity of my love for You!”
That is “embracing love”—a “seeking love”—a description of David’s own heart after God.