A Quarter in the Psalms- Psalm 21

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

21:1 O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
2 You have given him his heart’s desire
 and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
3 For you meet him with rich blessings;
 you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
4 He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
 length of days forever and ever.
5 His glory is great through your salvation;
 splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
6 For you make him most blessed forever;
 you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord,
 and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

8 Your hand will find out all your enemies;
 your right hand will find out those who hate you.
9 You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear.
 The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
 and their offspring from among the children of man.
11 Though they plan evil against you,
 though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
12 For you will put them to flight;
 you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13 Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!
 We will sing and praise your power.

In Psalm 20 David asked for God to bless his people by answering the prayers of their King, and in Psalm 21 David is rejoicing because God has in fact answered his prayers.

Main Point: Psalm 21 can be roughly broken up into two points. 1) David praising God for the way that he has answered his prayers, and 2) the ultimate outcome of the wicked. In verses 1-7 David is rejoicing because God has given him “the desire of his heart” and his prayers have been granted. In verses 8-12 David makes it clear that the Lord will punish those who do not submit to him.

Interesting Points: While this psalm has much that would be applicable to the King of Israel, we see that the ultimate fulfillment comes with Jesus. This undeniably comes to the fore in verse 4 where David writes the Lord gave him “length of days forever and ever.” While this certainly could just connote a really long time, we see in Jesus a King whose length days will see no end. Also in verse 5, His Glory is made great though the Lord’s salvation. Salvation here probably means a physical salvation, not with a view to eternal salvation. That being said, the Glory that Jesus has received by his resurrection(his salvation) outshines all others’ glory like the sun outshines the stars.

Also very interesting is the detail that David goes into describing the destruction of the wicked. Certainly the closest thing to Hell that I have seen in the Old Testament. They will be consumed by fire, and made like they are a blazing oven. On top of that he will aim his bow at their face! Thats fairly intense, and personal. Its a reminder that sin is not just a cold sterile thing. It is a personal offense against the one who claims lordship over all that lives.

Emotional reaction: I feel joy in knowing that God answered David’s prayer, and likewise has promised to answer my prayer. I feel confident that though the evil ones plot they will be thwarted. I feel confident because I know that my God has blessed my savior Jesus, who will take care of me. Jesus intercedes for me, and since his request are granted I know that no harm can come to me except what is for my good. Because he is blessed I will be blessed.

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