For the director of music. A psalm of David.
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.
(Psalm 21 NIV)
Today’s text (Psalm 21) is the thankful response to yesterday’s prayer (Psalm 20). King David cried out to the Lord for help and protection against his enemies; the Lord answered and David rejoiced!
When we pray earnestly and expectantly, and the Lord answers fearlessly and forcefully, what is our response? Do we remember to thank God at all? Or do we say a quick “thank you Lord” and move on with our day?
King David personally takes the time to record his meditations and praise to the Lord for answered prayers. David recognizes God’s hand of protection and blessing and gives God the glory for all that He has done on behalf of His people and himself.
In Psalm 20:7, David put his trust in the Lord and not in his armies or others. In Psalm 21:7, David reiterates his trust in the Lord alone, citing God’s unfailing love in the past as his assurance of God’s continuing watch-care over them in the present and the future.
In verses 8 – 13, David speaks of the Lord’s dominance over His enemies. David recognizes that these people may be coming after him and his kingdom, but in the larger scheme of things, they are God’s enemies.
These enemies may think they are pursuing David and the Israelites, but when they arrive for battle, God shows up to defend His people. David uses strong imagery to portray the fate of God’s enemies:
- God will grab hold of them so they can’t get away (v. 8)
- The anger of God’s enemies is nothing compared to God’s righteous wrath against them (v. 9)
- God will stop their families from perpetuating further evil against Him (v. 10)
- God will frustrate and stop the enemies’ evil plots and wicked schemes (v. 11)
- When the enemies show up and realize God has them in His crosshairs and is ready to fire on them, they will turn their backs and run away in fear (v. 12)
Take some extended time today to worship and thank God for His provision and protection, for His strength and His might in watching over us as His followers (v. 12).