Daily in the Psalms : Psalm 20
THE LORD IS OUR HELP AND STRENGTH
The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. Psalms 20:1-3
Here the King is about to go into battle against the enemy and he goes into the sanctuary to offer his sacrifices and ask the Lord for His help. With all the people watching and hearing, he asks the Lord to send victory in the battle. There is no greater name for a help and consolation in time of trouble than the Name of the Lord. David cries out for the Lord to hear their prayer. His prayer is for the people, but also for himself. It is a great pattern for us also. It makes no difference who you are, you are not exempt from trouble. But, we have great assurance that in our hour of deepest and darkest trouble, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Just speaking His Name ought to give is strength and hope. It is the will of the Lord for us to call upon Him in trouble and it is the will of the Lord for the people to call upon Him to help and guide their leaders in times of trouble. The key here is that David and the people called on the Lord before the battle. Too many times we go our own way and try our own strength before we call upon Him.
Just as today’s prayers are a help for those of tomorrow, today’s prayers are an assurance for tomorrow’s battles. Prayer before the battle gives us power and puts our heart in a right position before the Lord. The New Testament believer does not have to offer up a physical sacrifice, but the Lord does require the sacrifice of prayer from us. Just as the sacrifice was for the future and it’s acceptance was a source of comfort and assurance to the Old Testament believer, the acceptance of our sacrifice of prayer should give us comfort and assurance for our trouble and the prospect of facing our enemy.
There are many names that you can look to for strength, but none as great as the Name of the God of Jacob. When you call upon Him, you can know that you are invoking the help of the Almighty. To call upon Him is to be brought to a safe place, to have a fortress, to be placed upon the Rock and to be safe from the enemy. The Name of God is a more secure and safe place that the fortress of the greatest army of the world.
This was not the first time that David had called upon the Lord. He said, “remember all the other times?” Because God had heard and accepted his call in the past, he was assured that his cry would be heard now. Because his heart was right and because his past actions were right, David prays with assurance that the Lord would accept his sacrifice. Our circumstances may be different from those of David, our dispensation may be different , but the fact of our need for the Lord’s help remains the same and the condition of getting that help remains the same. The Lord stands ready to help, but He is looking for our sacrifice. Have we given our heart to Him and do we have a record of actions that have been according to His Word?
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. 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. Psalms 20:5-6
The Name of God is an inspiring battle cry. It is in His Name that we set up our banners. Banners used to be a very important part of war; they identified and inspired the soldiers. In the Church, we often use banners to challenge and inspire us for the Lord. The banners are identification of who we are and in whom we trust. In ourselves, there are many weaknesses and problems, but we can always have confidence in God. So, let’s not raise our banner, but His. Let’s let all know that we are His and He is leading us in our battle. The enemy has little to be afraid of if we fight under our own banner. But, when we fight under the banner of the Lord, all doubt is removed. David knew about this, he faced a giant that was an enemy that could easily defeat David. But David did not go into that conflict under his own banner, he told his enemy, “I come against you in the Name of the Lord.” So, it was with assurance and gladness of heart that he was able to once again go into battle under that same banner. Hope comes when our hearts are right. David placed God in His rightful place and he was assured of victory. He did not have to hope that he would rejoice, he said, “We WILL rejoice.”
Remember the great battles of the history of this nation; there were always songs of praise to the Lord for victory. I remember the days that I spent in the military in the “60’s,” there were no great songs that praised the Lord, just rock music and songs that praised the drug culture. Interestingly, there was no victory! Right now, we are having a difficult time with minor enemies and some two-bit dictators. Why? Because we are fighting under our own banner, we are praising our own might and our smart bombs. If we would again raise the banner of the Lord, we would fight under His integrity, our intentions would be pleasing to Him and He would bring the victory.
The people of God joined their hearts and the Lord heard their cry and He fulfilled their petitions. God’s people are different from others. Our banner is different and our success ought to be different. The only way it will be different is for us to join together under the banner of the Lord and allow Him to work and fight for us. If our confession of Him were more pronounced, if our hearts were more united, then our battles would be more bold and our successes would be more sure. Great is the army with the Lord’s banner!
There is something very important here that we do not need to miss. David prayed until he had definite assurance that help was on the way. He said, “I know.” Prayer ought never to stop before we reach this point, especially in our times of trouble. This will change our hope into certainty.
TRUSTING GOD IN THE BATTLE
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Psalms 20:7-8
There is a simple contrast between the true Christian and the unbeliever. We trust in the God of Jacob and the unbeliever is so foolish to think that might alone will win the battle. History will clearly reveal that the strongest army does not always win. There should be no assumption in the might of man, but there should be complete assumption in the might of God. There is an old saying, “There is might in right!” This is so true in the realm of faith. There are those today that say that we can claim victory just because we speak, but our speaking must be right, then the can be assured of His might. We have a Bible, it is always right. When we live and go into battle with lives that are in line with it, we will prevail. That is why we are told to study the Bible and learn its truths. When we know the Bible and the God of the Bible, we can look at any battle and know who will win.
We can have assurance because we see the battle through eyes of faith. The enemy may seem more firm, more strong, more defiant, and sure of victory. While we may seem overwhelmed at times. But faith always has surer wheels than pride. Faith in the God of Jacob can take us to victory, when our own power or the power of other men will fall.
A person of faith, when he is committed to God, can sing the song of victory before the battle and can shout for joy before help has actually been obtained.
Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call. Psalms 20:9
The word “save” indicates final victory and deliverance from the enemy. That is why we say that we are saved when we trust the Lord as Saviour. It is an act of faith and that act of faith give us final victory and deliverance from our enemy. David’s prayer was a prayer for help, but he was asking for more than that, he was asking for complete and final deliverance. Too many times we pray just for the moment or just for our present situation. The child of God needs to look farther than that; he needs to look for final and complete deliverance.
Sin has cost us a lot, but faith in God can recover it all. We can regain some ground here as we fight the enemy, and we will regain it all when we are called to glory.
This Psalm closes with a word of confidence and encouragement for all who have to face the enemy. It is a challenge for us to sing praises to our God, trust Him in all things, pray for those that have rule over us and claim the promise that we can live quiet and peaceable lives in all Godliness and honesty.
We are in a war and we will be in that war until Jesus comes. While in that war it is certain that we will face the enemy. Thank God we can call upon the God of Jacob for our help and we can be assured that He will bring the victory.
So Glad To Be So Saved
Danny "Preacher" Bezet