Psalm 21 — Praise for a King — Reading the Psalms


For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD;
And in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire,
And hast not withholden the request of his lips.       Selah
3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness:
Thou settest a crown of fine gold on his head.
4 He asked life of thee, thou gavest it him;
Even length of days for ever and ever.
5 His glory is great in thy salvation:
Honour and majesty dost thou lay upon him.
6 For thou makest him most blessed for ever:
Thou makest him glad with joy in thy presence.
7 For the king trusteth in the LORD,
And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he shall not be moved.
8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies:
Thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery furnace in the time of thine anger.
The LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath,
And the fire shall devour them.
10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth,
And their seed from among the children of men.
11 For they intended evil against thee:
They imagined a device, which they are not able to perform.
12 For thou shalt make them turn their back,
Thou shalt make ready with thy bowstrings against the face of them.
13 Be thou exalted, O LORD, in thy strength:
So will we sing and praise thy power.

Should I take the time to try to make connections between this psalm and our King, Jesus, Lord of all? I think I just want to revel in the bliss of these words of praise. God is good and gives us good words.

What does God offer? What are the Lord’s blessings? When we are blessed in the strength of God, when we are in the salvation of our creator, how greatly do we rejoice! We are bounded on all sides by blessings and goodness. I say bounded – my old translation uses the word “prevent”, which sounds odd on our modern ears. Bounded and surrounded by blessings, we receive crowns on our heads bestowed by the one and only Lord.

Why? Because we trust in the Lord. By his lovingkindess we stand firm. This is both our devotion and the fruit of our devotion. Even if evil is intended, we, by the power of God, do not falter. It is evil that falls and turns back. Again, not by our power, but by the power of the Lord.

I do not use this psalm to call myself a king or ennobled. Truly, I know only one King, Jesus. Yet, I cry out the words of this psalm in praise of this great King and the great King Maker, the King above all kings. It is in God whom we trust, and we are blessed with these great words to praise him.


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