Today we shall be studying psalm 21 meaning verse by verse. The connection of Psalm 21 with the preceding Psalm is apparent by comparing (verse 2 with 20:4). The Psalm contains thanksgiving for the Lords deliverance (verses 1-7, assurance of the kings future victories by his subjects (verses 8-12), and a final prayer (verse 13). Verses 1-13: The first part (of Psalm 21), is a thanksgiving for victory; the last part is an anticipation of future successes in the Lord through the king-general. Two scenarios of victory provide a context for praise and prayer to the Commander-in-Chief of Israels king-general.
Psalm 21 Meaning Verse By Verse
Verse 1: “The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice;
King David had many reasons to take joy in the power of God. Perhaps this joy came from preservation and success in battle or some other deliverance. The tone of the opening of this psalm is passionate. The shouting of the early Methodists in the excitement of the joy were far more pardonable than our lukewarmness. Our happiness should have some sort of in expressiveness in it.
Verse 2: Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.”
The strength and salvation of God came to David in response to both the desire of his heart and his spoken prayers (the request of his lips). This speaks to the special place answered prayer has in the life of the believer. Every Christian should know the thrill of frequent, beautiful answers to prayer. When a Christian does not enjoy the blessing of answered prayer, it is because he is either prayerless, he is praying wrongly, or he has some hindrance in worship. Many things can hinder prayer in the life of the believer, something which would prevent him from saying with David, You have given him his hearts desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips
Verse 3: For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head;
King David could see that the goodness of God had come to meet him. God brought it to him, more than David chasing down these blessings of goodness. It was undoubtedly true that God went before David with blessings, and that David recognized and praised Him for it. Yet often, it did not seem like that in the many long years between his anointing for the throne as a young man and when he finally took the throne of Israel. David wore the crown both of the throne of Israel Gods special nation and the king of victory. Its nature of pure gold shows how special the country and the triumph were.
Verse 4: He asked life of thee, [and] thou gavest [it] him, [even] length of days forever and ever:
David went into battle praying that God would preserve his life, and how he celebrated the answer to that prayer. In the life-and-death danger of conflict, David was given life and length of days.
Verse 5: His glory [is] great in thy salvation: honor and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
David knew the exaltation that came to kings and victors in battle; but here he declared that this glory, this honor, this majesty he enjoyed came from God and not from himself.
Verse 6: For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad about thy countenance.
David proclaimed that he was most blessed forever, but it was the presence of God Himself that was his greatest blessing and gladness. David was more thrilled with the presence of God than with the crown of royalty or victory.
Verse 7: For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the Highest, he shall not be moved.
David declared his trust in the mercy of God and that it would continue to preserve and bless him in the future. Each of these things was undoubtedly true of King David, but they are also or perhaps even more so true of Davids greater Son, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of David.
Verse 8: Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
David recognized that even though he was victorious in battle, God was not done finding and judging His enemies. The Right Hand of God (Jesus Christ), has defeated His enemies and our enemies. He defeated sin on the cross and defeated death when He rose from the grave. We may think that our enemies are the people who are giving us a hard time around us, but they are under the control of Satan. Satan was defeated on the cross by Jesus Christ our Lord
Verse 9 and 10: 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. Their fruit shalt thou destroys from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
The expression, the time of thine anger, reminds us that as now is the time of his grace, so there will be a set time for his wrath. There is a day of vengeance of our God; let those who despise the day of grace remember this day of wrath. David confidently expressed his confidence that God would judge His enemies, and he showed that confidence in the strongest terms even that God would also decide the posterity of those who against Him. Their fruit here means all their offspring, like the fruits of their labor.
Verse 11: For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, [which] they are not able [to perform].
The strong statements of judgment in Psalm 21:8-10 seem to demand an explanation. Why such a severe punishment? Because they intentionally rebelled against God and His people, even though their plans were more significant than their ability to perform (they imagined a mischievous device which they are not able to perform). Intentional evil has a virus in it which is not found in sins of ignorance; now, as ungodly men with malice aforethought attack the gospel of Christ, their crime is excellent, and their punishment will be proportionate.
Verse 12: Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, [when] thou shalt make ready [thine arrows] upon thy strings against the face of them;
David sees and perhaps literally saw the enemies of God running away on the field of battle, with their back turned against the advancing armies of God. You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces; He saw the enemies of God as helpless before the ready arrows and the bowstring of the war-like, judging God. His arrows are aimed right at their faces. The judgments of God are called his arrows, being sharp, swift, sure, and deadly.
Verse 13: Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: [so] will we sing and praise thy power;
David worshipped God directly here. He exalted the LORD who had this high strength within Himself, and never needed to rely on another for strength. Exalt thyself, O Lord thy creatures cannot exalt thee. We will sing and praise thy power after the direct statement of praise, David expressed the determination that he and the people of God would continue to glorify God and to do so in song. This psalms end is consistent with the tone throughout. It is full of praise to God for the blessings of victory, deliverance, and answered prayer. This attitude should always be among the people of God.
When Do We Need This Psalm 21
- When we are overwhelmed and feel plain old weak.
- When we feel like we are not winning at life and there is defeat at every door.
- When it seems as if this world in which we live is full of evil and we just cannot see the good.
- O Lord, I rejoice that You gave me strength when I rely on my strength, and all this didn’t work out.
- Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength when the enemy seeks to devour my soul, you stood by me and gave me victory. Hallelujah
- I pray to you Lord that you endow me with more strength and more dominion over my enemies
- I pray Lord, that you give me more grace to stand more firm in my faith and worship you for the rest of my life.