Weds 21 July - Psalm 21
1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
3 You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.
8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
your right hand will seize your foes.
9 When you appear for battle,
you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
12 You will make them turn their backs
when you aim at them with drawn bow.
13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
we will sing and praise your might.
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Meditation on Psalm 21
Psalms 20 and 21 are linked.
Alexander Maclaren compares the two.
“There (20) the people prayed for the king; here (21) they give thanks for him: there they asked that his desires might be fulfilled; here they bless Jehovah, who has fulfilled them; there the battle was impending; here it has been won, though foes are still in the field.”
Verses 1-6 The people celebrate the victories already won.
In Chapter 20, the prayer is that the LORD would give David victory in the battles he faced.
There is a common theme through these verses… ‘…when you are in distress…’; ‘may He send you help’; ‘and grant you support’; ‘may He remember you…’ ‘may He give you the desires of your heart’; ‘may we shout for joy over your victory’; ‘may the LORD grant all your requests’.
Whilst there is no one situation which the people are thinking about, they are asking the LORD to intervene.
As we come to verses 1-7 in Psalm 21, we see that the LORD has intervened and the people are rejoicing in the victories that David has won.
We know that David’s reign was full of battles - he was a warrior king.
As we remember some of the battles he faced, we go back to 2 Samuel 8; 10 and 12.
David defeats a wide range of peoples: Philistines; Moabites; Arameans; Edomites and Ammonites.
These battles have clearly taken place as the people are giving thanks for the victories and are echoing much of Psalm 20.
There is joy in victory.
There is fulfilment of heart’s desire in victory.
There is answered prayer in victory – ‘the request of his lips’.
There are unending blessings in victory.
There are crowns in victory.
There is life in victory.
And the secret of David’s victories is clearly stated – ‘the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High.’
Let’s look forward to the coming of the King of kings. Subsequent kings to David faced many battles – they experienced defeats and victories. When Jesus came, He came to do battle with Satan and, through the cross and resurrection, He won the greatest victory of all and we are now the recipients of joy, fulfilment, answered prayer, unending blessings and life.
Verses 8-12 The people celebrate the victories that are yet to be won.
In the opening verses (1-7), the people are addressing the LORD.
In these verses (8-12) the people are addressing the king and looking forward to the continuing victories the king would win. Again, we cannot identify specific battles but we know that right up to the time of his death, David faced battles within and without.
The people are confident, based on previous experiences, that just as he had won in the past, so he would continue to win in the future.
On what did they base this confidence?
v.9 points us to the LORD and his wrath. But, you may say, I thought God is a God of love. How, then, can a God of love, be a God of wrath?
Three verses help us to think this one through.
Notice the cause of God’s wrath:
- unrepentant heart
- storing up wrath against yourself
- rejecting the Son
He is angry because of my sin but He loves me enough to give me a way out.
And, therefore, David will do battle and win – ‘their wicked schemes will not succeed.’
Verse 13 The LORD will be praised. He is the victor over sin, death and the grave.
Thursday 22 July - Psalm 22
Friday 23 July - Psalm 23
Saturday 24 July - Psalm 24
Sunday 25 July - Psalm 25
Monday 26 July - Psalm 26
Tuesday 27 July - Psalm 27