Sunday, August 3, 2008

Psalm 21

Psalm 21 (NET) reads:

For the music director; a psalm of David.

O LORD, the king rejoices in the strength you give;
he takes great delight in the deliverance you provide.

2 You grant him his heart's desire;
you do not refuse his request. (Selah)

3 For you bring him rich blessings;
you place a golden crown on his head.

4 He asked you to sustain his life,
and you have granted him long life and an enduring dynasty.

5 Your deliverance brings him great honor;
you give him majestic splendor.

6 For you grant him lasting blessings;
you give him great joy by allowing him into your presence.

7 For the king trusts in the LORD,
and because of the Sovereign LORD's faithfulness he is not upended.

8 You prevail over all your enemies;
your power is too great for those who hate you.

9 You burn them up like a fiery furnace when you appear;
the LORD angrily devours them;
the fire consumes them.

10 You destroy their offspring from the earth,
their descendants from among the human race.

11 Yes, they intend to do you harm;
they dream up a scheme, but they do not succeed.

12 For you make them retreat
when you shoot your arrows at them.

13 Rise up, O LORD, in strength!
We will sing and praise your power!

This psalm praises the Lord for his preservation of the Israelite king. The first six verses describe what the Lord has done for the king, and the basis for this blessing is in verse 7—“For the king trusts in the LORD, and because of the Sovereign LORD's faithfulness he is not upended.”

The psalm presents the king and the Lord in a covenant relationship. The king upholds his end by “trusting” in the Lord, i.e. following the law and not worshipping other gods, and the Lord stays faithful to the covenant by defeating the king’s enemies.

To me, this is a reminder of the faithfulness and power of God to complete the work He has begun in the church. It’s easy to get discouraged and think that this thing called Christianity is a meaningless dead-end, but psalms like this remind us that God is in control and that nothing is going to thwart His plans. We may not always understand His plans, but we can trust that He knows what is going on.

“Father, I confess my lack of faith in many situations. I am too easily discouraged; too simply disheartened. I thank you for the words of this psalm and I pray for the confidence of its writer. I confess that You are in control of history; that You have a plan; and that everything is happening according to that plan. We look forward to the day when you bring history to its consummation and put sin and death into submission to Christ. You are good. Amen.”

No comments: