Read Psalm 21
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.
3 You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.
8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
your right hand will seize your foes.
9 When you appear for battle,
you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you
and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
12 You will make them turn their backs
when you aim at them with drawn bow.
13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
we will sing and praise your might.
This psalm begins with thanksgiving for the answered prayers of Psalm 20. In verses 1-6, David is praising God for past victories that were accomplished in the Lord. We see a recap of all the blessings that David has received: strength, salvation, his heart’s desire, rich blessings, a crown of fine gold, length of days, splendor and majesty… just to name a few. This is a bountiful list of all the things that men seem to chase and want to acquire – and David has them and is praising God for providing them.
But specifically look at verse 6, “For you make him most blessed forever, you make him glad with the joy of your presence.” David’s joy is not rooted in all of those “things” listed above – his joy is found by being in the presence of God Almighty. This is reiterated in Acts 2:28 where it says, “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.” David is giving us a powerful reminder that our countenance and feelings of joy and gladness will not be found in earthly blessings, but in sitting at the feet of our Savior.
Then in verse 7, David makes the proclamation, “For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.” Other translations say the King relies on the Lord and the King is confident in the Lord. David’s security and assurance are found in his steadfast love for the Lord which can not be moved.
David closes the psalm by praising God for future victories.
We can glean a lot of wisdom from the pattern David establishes in this psalm of praise: Praising God for what He’s already accomplished (verses 1-6), proclaiming our trust and faith in God’s steadfast and unchanging love (verse 7), and then praising God for what He can accomplish in the future (verses 8-14). May we learn from King David that the fullness of our joy in all past, present and future victories can be found simply by being in the presence of the Lord.
- What is your heart’s desire? Where do you typically find joy & gladness?
- What would it look like for you to find joy in the presence of the Lord?
- Is your assurance and confidence rooted in your relationship with Jesus?