Psalm 20 was a song supplication. The king and his men were about to embark upon a military campaign against a foreign enemy. The people and the king prayed for success, and the key to the psalm was written in verse 7. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Psalm 21 was probably written as a companion to Psalm 20. The first was a psalm of supplication, and the second was a song of victory. The battle had been fought, and God’s people were victorious. The faith of the people had been vindicated. Once again, for many people, there does not seem to be any kind of direct application that can be made from the psalm. However, this psalm, and its message, does have a bearing upon the lives of Christians today. That application can be seen in two ways.
First, every Christian faces struggles with life that are very similar to the battles that armies have, and do, face. Part of the struggle is internal. Earthly, or worldly, natures are in continual conflict with the spiritual orientation that comes in Christ. Like Paul, God’s children often cry put in prayer, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Pain yet victory. What Christian has not experienced that?
In addition to the internal battles, Christians face hostility in the world as well. The dark, evil power of the prince of this world is pitted against those who are joined to Christ. Time after time, the New Testament scriptures urge that Christians be on the alert – be prepared – endure in faith until the end. Satan is constantly probing for weaknesses in Christians’ faith. Once he finds it, he strikes!
But, as in the time of David, Christians trust in the name of the Lord God. The Word of God is very clear. Christians will have to do battle in this life, but Christians also know that in Him the battle will be won. In fact, in Christ, the victory is already won! A Christian’s responsibility is to love the Lord, applying His instructions to the events that occur in life, and persevere until His return. This is the first great principle from Psalm 21, Christians are engaged in a struggle, but there is victory in Christ Jesus.
The second point has to do with prayer, and the desire of the heart. In Psalm 21, the people said to the Lord, “You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips”. One of the most important weapons available to a Christian is the power of prayer. At the same time, what God sees in prayers is the desire is what that person really desires.
What makes a good prayer? Some Christians are reluctant to pray, because they “aren’t good at it”. Still other Christians seem to be able to lead a very polished prayer without too much effort. But what determines a good prayer? The key is what is in the heart of the person. Time after time, Jesus and the New Testament writers pointed to what is in the hearts of Christians as the secret to successful prayer. James wrote, “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Yes, Psalm 21 has a very definite application today. Prayer, a person’s requests to the Lord, must be based upon trust and the real desire of a godly heart. In addition, the message is clear that when prayers are answered, voices should be raised in praise to God, and in thanksgiving. Many will pray as a final desperate act. Yet, when the prayer is answered, the Lord is quickly forgotten.
As the New Testament scriptures have clearly shown, those in Christ are already the victors. Therefore, much of a Christian’s life and prayers should be an expression of Thanksgiving. As Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Who is Jesus?
He is God—Matt. 1:23 & John 1:1
He is the Creator—John 1:3
He is the Son of God—Matt. 3:17
He is the messiah, the chosen One—Matt. 16:16-17
He is the Savior—Luke 2:11
He has all authority—Matt. 28:18
He is our mediator between God—1 Tim. 2:5
He is the final judge—2 Tim. 4:1
More could be said about Jesus, but these points suffice to show why we should love and honor Him. Anyone who rejects any part of His Being or work cannot be saved. (TS)