the 21st Psalm : Daily in the Psalms 21 Morning Devotional
Daily in the Psalms : Psalm 21
THANKSGIVING FOR VICTORY IN BATTLE
The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah. For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance. For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved. Psalms 21:1-7
There is no joy like the joy that comes from victory. That is why the Christian should always have joy; Christ has made us victorious. This Psalm gives us an indication of what the Christian life should be. It should be preparation for the battle and rejoicing over the victory won in the battle. The first sound out of the mouth of the Christian after victory in battle should be an acknowledgment of the One that gave the victory. That is part of the joy, giving God the praise that is due Him. I wonder how many times we have failed to publicly acknowledge God for answered prayer? Maybe that is why we don’t get more of our prayers answered, God knows that we will not give Him thanks. The most important battles in our lives are not won by military genius or the strength of the human arm. We must rely on the strength of God. So many of our failures are because we are too self-confident. To rely on ourselves will bring humiliation, misery and defeat.
When we fail our song is taken away and there is no sound of harmony from God’s people. But when we rely on Him we face the enemy in His strength, we experience great victory and we have a new song and we are all in tune as we give Him the honor and glory. The weakest Christian may not be able to sing a note in honor of his own strength or accomplishments, but he can ALWAYS sing and rejoice in the Great God of Heaven.
This song of victory was a response to answered prayer.
Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah. Psalms 21:2
God help us to pray with our heart and let our lips simply reflect the true desire of our heart. God knows our hearts and when we speak from our hearts, the God that loves and cares for us will answer.
For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head. Psalms 21:3
To prevent means “to go before.” The Psalmist was saying that God had gone before him with the blessings of His goodness. God had made the crooked ways straight, the rough ways smooth, the dreary ways exciting, and the barren ways filled with blooming flowers. Though we often miss them, the blessings of God that He places in our paths are His way of showing His love for us. Our hearts ought to sing as we walk in places where Jesus has gone before us to spread His blessings to make our journey more pleasant.
The petition of the king was that his life be spared, but God did much more, He gave him eternal life. Our request or even our hopes could never match the wonderful provision of God. He always gives us much more than we could ask or think. As a Child of God, we are joint heirs with Jesus, that means that all that Jesus has we have and we have it as long as He has it, forever. We are saved, safe, secure and satisfied; God gave us all of that and more, even before we asked.
Not only does God answer our prayer and bless us; His answer usually gives us the opportunity to be a blessing to others. That is why James says that we don’t get our prayers answered because we desire only to consume it on ourselves and not allow it to spill over to others. One way that we can be blessed is by realizing and letting others se that there are times in our lives that things seem hopeless, but the God that is more than enough will change our hopelessness into great expectation, change our suffering into joy.
We are followers of Christ; we are trusting in the One with unlimited ability. We are told in His Word that all power is given to Him, the whole universe is under His control, creation is obedient to His commands, and He can turn even evil intentions into blessings for those that love Him. It would be a great blessing to this world to see Christians faithfully serve the Lord, for them to see a soul that totally relies on Him and is never confounded.
Verse six says that He is blessed forever, that indicates that His supply is inexhaustible. In all situations and at any time, He is all that we need. What a blessing to know that the Lord that answered the prayers for so many in this Book, the Lord that has blessed the souls of men from the beginning of time, is ready to bless us today.
As I read these words, my mind went back to the time I stood and looked out over Niagara Falls. I thought about the source of water that constantly flows over that magnificent waterfall. As great as that source may be, it pales in comparison to the blessings that flow from Heavenly Father to bless His children. The rivers may dry, the fields may fail to produce their crops, and the machinery of the greatest factory may fail to produce it’s product, but the well of God’s supply will never fail. That fountain is never sealed to the believer, His blessings continually abound.
I am reminded of the story of an English Monarch of long ago. He decided to open his palace and courtyard to the public. The gardener came to complain to the king that the visitors were plucking the flowers. The king replied, “What! Are my people fond of flowers? Then plant them more!” We have a Heavenly King that has opened His kingdom to all of His children. He has planted an abundance of flowers along our pathway and we can pick them as we will, no matter how many we pick, more are supplied. The reason so many fail to see the blessings of God is because we are looking for blessings like the world gives. But Jesus said, “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” The greater our need, the more urgent our cry, the greater pleasure our Heavenly Father has in supplying that need.
SEEING HIS FACE AND STANDING FIRM
For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance. For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved. Psalms 21:6-7
As we pray and see God answer those prayers, we see the countenance, or face, of God. That ought to make us glad. Sin hides His face from us, when we see His face, we know that we are right with Him. Also as we see Him in the way that He deals with us here, it ought to make us look forward to the day when we will see Him face to face.
Paul made the statement, “None of these things move me.” That position is reserves for those that trust in the Lord and experience His great mercy. Once you have tasted of the love and mercy of God, nothing that this world has to offer will move you.
As the Psalmist gives us a picture of the Lord Jesus here, we see that He was not moved from His purpose, not by His sufferings or by His enemies. Let us take this example and stay the course, let us not be moved by the world, what the world does around us or to us, let us complete the purpose of God for our lives.
I know that some have to face trouble in this life, but I want to remind you that if God did not intercede for us and restrain our enemy, none of us would ever stand, we would all have been over thrown a long time ago. I don’t know why some suffer more than others, but I know that God does not want us to be moved, He wants us to stand firm in our trust and faith in Him.
He will give us the victory that we ask for, but He will do more than that, He will make it possible that we shall not be moved. The God that can give you eternal life and help you stand firm.
THANKSGIVING FOR PROMISED VICTORY
Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. 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 destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them. Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power. Psalms 21:8-13
The key phrase here is found in verse nine, “Thou shalt make them..” I’m glad that we can have victory over our present battles, but God has also promised us total and complete victory, we have assurance of victory for our future battles. Those that choose to fight against God and His people may enjoy a short-lived success, but the One that knows the details of their every plot, the One who takes personally every attack against those that love Him, will one day raise His mighty hand against them. The cover under which they think they are hiding will be torn away and they will be exposed to the wrath of God. The child of God needs to be careful; there are many secret haters of God. Their seemingly innocent demeanor and actions hide the most vile and violent plans set against God and His people. Their hardened heart would compel them to crucify and bury Christ again and seal the tomb, hoping that he would never rise. There is a day coming when all the hidden secrets of the wicked will be revealed:
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:14
The same God that plants the flowers in the path for His children has prepared a fire of judgment for His enemies. The anger of God toward His enemies is compared to His love for His children. As sure as there is no way for us to escape His great love, there is no way for His enemies to escape His wrath:
Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. Nahum 1:6
Verse nine not only tells us of the fierceness of His anger toward His enemies, it also tells us that His judgment will be complete, “The Lord shall swallow them up, the fire shall devour them, their fruit and their seed shall be destroyed.” Those that do not respond to His love and grace will have to face His anger and wrath. The things the enemies of Christ treasure most, that which they give their lives for, will quickly vanish. Their dreams, their ambitions, their coveted honor will all perish in the hot flames of the wrath of an angry God. Even their children that follow in their steps will perish.
Verse eleven tells us that the wicked work hard at their task. Theirs is a tireless effort. The truth they need to see is, no matter how hard they work, no matter how carefully they make their plans, they will not be able to perform them. The God of Heaven can limit the work of Hell. The wicked are doing many things against God and His people, their activity makes it difficult sometimes, but thank God they cannot do all that they would like to do. The serpent is still able to hiss, but God has bruised his head.
While the wicked of this world may laugh and claim that they are having a great time, they have much to fear, the hand of God is in search of them and that hand will find them. None can hide from His eye and none can escape His hand:
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31
The rock and mountains and all the devices of man will hide them no more than the fig leaves that Adam and Eve sowed together in the garden. God will find them out, but far worse than that, He will touch them with His hand. On that day, the hardest heart will be griped in terror and the proudest spirit will be humbled in shame. God can completely overthrow the most powerful army in a moment; they will turn and run in the face of His mighty arrows. His arrows are sharp, swift and sure.
Our victory in battle ought to encourage us and the promise of the complete destruction of our enemies ought to keep us on track for the Lord. As sure as we see the face of God in answered prayer, the enemies of God will see His face in judgment.
We may have to suffer for a while here, but there is coming a day when the battle will be over, forever! The end of all conflict with evil will be the eternal, unchallengeable exaltation of our God. While He is watching over us and supplying all or needs, He is also preserving a day for His own honor and majesty. We know that on that great and wonderful day, we will all sing praises to Him and every knee shall bow. But, this verse tells us that we should give Him that praise and worship now, in anticipation of that great day. We are to praise Him and honor Him for all the victories that He has given and look ahead to the final victory.
But I believe there is something else that ought to cause us to praise Him. One day I found myself lost, condemned, on the edge of an eternal Hell. I called out to the Lord for His mercy and grace; that mercy and grace was freely granted and I was saved. How could I fail to exalt Him? How could I not sing praises to Him?
Many times since the day I was saved, I have found myself in times of great need. I have called out for that same mercy and grace and it has been freely given over and over. It ought to be a natural thing for me to praise God and thank Him for His power.
This chapter begins with the joy of thanksgiving and ends with that same joy. As we walk with and serve the True and Living God, we see victory along the way. That is a source of great joy, but it is only a glimpse of the joy unspeakable that awaits every Christian.
So Glad To Be So Saved
Danny "Preacher" Bezet