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Read Psalm 21

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give!

You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
    length of days, for ever and ever.
Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
    you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
    and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
    through the unfailing love of the Most High
    he will not be shaken.

Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
    your right hand will seize your foes.
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.

Go Deeper

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.


  1. What is your heart’s desire? Where do you typically find joy & gladness?
  2. What would it look like for you to find joy in the presence of the Lord?
  3. Is your assurance and confidence rooted in your relationship with Jesus?

Listen Here:

Listen to this short podcast of Pastor David Platt expanding on verse 6 and explaining what it means to find joy in God’s presence.

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1 thought on “Psalm 21”

  1. It’s radical to think that the Crestor of the universe would choose to make a way to welcome sinful man into his holy presence. That in his master plan, he would love the world so much that he willingly gave his only begotten son as a sacrifice that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) And this is only the beginning! We can have as much of his presence as we desire! I can only imagine the joy we bring to the Father when we acknowledge him in all our ways and days. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Worshipping yesterday with HCBC brought me into his presence as did meeting with our treasured Life Group. I keenly feel his presence as I’m reading through Psalms and praying over each name in my prayer journal. In a few minutes I’ll walk into a classroom of 3rd graders where I’ll feel his presence. May we say with David, “Be exalted, Lord, in your strength, we will sing and praise your might.”

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