The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
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 according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions.
6 Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear 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 remember the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
9 Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.
Psalm 20 and 21 is a powerful set of what is known as Warfare Psalms. Psalm 20 is the affirming song that was sung before a battle and Psalm 21 is the celebrating song that was sung after a battle. The former was stated in anticipation of what God was going to do for His people and Psalm 21 was stated in celebration of what God had done. Within the center of God’s will was the assurance that God could be counted on to protect and provide for His people, that He was willing and capable to deliver the outcome that His people needed. There was to be no doubt and hesitation, but a strong confidence to lift the spirit of the military action.
God was the Commander-in Chief over the King who was the general and leader over the soldiers who went out to battle. The beauty of this Psalm is the concept of God’s presence and victory even before the battle had begun. As long as God’s people were obedient and faithfully called on His name they had a right to believe in His providence and presence. This confidence resulted in a spirit that manifested itself in a rock-solid assurance that was contagious.
Delbert W. Baker
University of Eastern Africa Baraton, Kenya