Psalm 20 — Seeking the Interest of Others — Reading the Psalms

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David

1 The LORD answer thee in the day of trouble;
The name of the God of Jacob set thee up on high;
2 Send thee help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen thee out of Zion;
3 Remember all thy offerings,
And accept thy burnt sacrifice;         Selah
4 Grant thee thy heart’s desire,
And fulfill all thy counsel.
5 We will triumph in thy salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners:
The LORD fulfill all thy petitions.
6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed;
He wilt answer him from his holy heaven
With the saving strength of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:
But we will make mention of the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are bowed down and fallen:
But we are risen, and stand upright.
9 Save, LORD:
Let the King answer us when we call.

In this psalm of blessing we read of what prayer we ought to offer to one another, as well as our confidence in the blessings of the Lord. Often the psalms are personal. They are about my individual needs, fears or joys. With this psalm we look outside ourselves to our loved ones, and up to the salvation of God.

The first five verses are all expressions of blessings onto others: “The Lord answer the”, “send thee help”, “remember thy offerings”. These are the very things we need ourselves, but right now we think of the needs of others. In fact, we love our neighbors as ourselves, petitioning God that they receive the needed blessings. When they are lifted in blessing we triumph in their salvation. For the whole body is in praise when one part is joyous. The whole of our fellowship is well when one part is blessed.

Next, in seeing their blessing, we come to a firm belief and trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness. Now we know that the Lord saves his anointed. Now we know that, in the salvation of others, we too can trust God’s promise to save. Some trust in chariots, horses, guns, investments, power, sexuality, strength, intelligence or money – but we will make mention of the Lord our God.

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