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 pure gold on his head.
4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
7 For the king trusteth in the Lord, and through the mercy 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 oven 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 mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
12 Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.
13 Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.
This psalm closes the loop, completes the cycle of prayer and response, request and answer that was begun in Psalm 20. This is a psalm that was used in the aftermath of victory; a victory that was the subject of petition in Psalm 20. God’s will had been followed, the prayers for victory had been offered, conquest had been experienced. Now God’s people were faithful, very faithful, in coming back to God and offering Him the praise and thanksgiving for the success that had been experienced.
It is instructive for believer to know that the job is not completed when the prayers for victory have been offered and the battle has been won. There is yet more to be accomplished. What is that? There is need of specific, deliberate thoughtful thanksgiving and praise to God. This Psalm appropriately outlines after battle essentials. The Psalm comfortably divides into three sections: thanksgiving for the King and his victory (vs. 1-7), thoroughness in insuring a lasting victory (vs. 8-12), and a final praise to God alone (v. 13).
Delbert W. Baker
University of Eastern Africa Baraton, Kenya