Psalms 21:0 ¶ To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
This is yet another psalm identified as a composition of David, the shepherd King of Israel. It is a song of praise to God for giving the king victory over his enemies.
Psalms 21:1 ¶ The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
Psalms 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
King David is expressing his joy for the LORD’s provision of strength and salvation/deliverance from the enemy; in fact, it is a source of great rejoicing. He acknowledges that the LORD has answered the desire of his heart as expressed in prayer.
Selah = Pause and meditate on this truth.
Like David, we should be quick to praise the LORD for answered prayer!
Psalms 21:3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
“preventest” = “precede…meet”
David thanks the LORD for going before him and making him prosperous in goodness and kindness. He acknowledges that it is the LORD that gave him the crown he wore as king.
Just as David recognized that the good things in his life were from the LORD, so should we.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Spurgeon: “All our mercies are to be viewed as “blessings; gifts of a blessed God, meant to make us blessed; they are “blessings of goodness,” not of merit, but of free favour; and they come to us in a preventing way, a way of prudent foresight, such as only preventing love could have arranged.”
Psalms 21:4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
David had asked the LORD to make him strong in life and is giving thanks to the LORD for answering that prayer. I think the reference to giving him life forever is a reference to the fact that the LORD promised that his seed would rule forever on the throne of Israel—a promise that will culminate in Jesus taking the throne of David in the millennial kingdom.
2 Samuel 7:11–16 “Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever….thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
Isaiah 9:6–7 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Luke 1:30–33 “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Psalms 21:5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
Psalms 21:6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
Because the LORD had given him the victory, David was honored and glorified. Why? Because he knew that his blessings were a result of the LORD’s blessing upon him. David rejoiced at the LORD’s countenance or presence among them—a reference, I believe, to the tabernacle.
How blessed we are to have the LORD’s presence in our very being when we place our faith in Jesus as our Savior.
Romans 8:11 “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
Psalms 21:7 ¶ For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
David boldly declared that his trust in the LORD was steadfast and unmovable because it was anchored in God’s lovingkindness.
We are so blessed as Christians today to be anchored in the family of God through the seal of the Holy Spirit when we accept God gift of salvation in Jesus.
Ephesians 1:12–14 “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Psalms 21:8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
Psalms 21:9 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.
Psalms 21:10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
As David often does, he identifies his enemies as enemies of the LORD. He knows that the LORD knows who His enemies are and that He will destroy them and their descendants. What is not addressed is the timing of that judgment. I am sure that David was making application to his time as king.
The reference to destruction by fire cannot help but bring to mind the judgment of hell.
Matthew 13:49–50 “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Revelation 20:14–15 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
We know that it is true that no enemy of the LORD will ever prove victorious against Him. It is true that He will exact His wrath against His enemies in accordance with His time and purposes. We also know it is true that every person is held accountable for their own sin and that every person has the opportunity to turn to God in repentance for salvation.
1 Chronicles 29:11 “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.”
Isaiah 43:13 “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?”
Nahum 1:2 “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.”
Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:”
Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
Psalms 21:11 For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
Psalms 21:12 Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.
Why is God going to destroy His enemies? Because they plot evil against Him and His people—plots that will never succeed because they have no power against Almighty God.
David is confident that the enemies of the LORD will never prove victorious against Him; and, as noted previously, he considered his enemies and the LORD’s to be the same.
Psalms 21:13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.
I liked the CJB translation for this verse: “Arise, ADONAI, in your strength;
and we will sing and praise your power.”
David identifies the desire to praise God in song as the inspiration behind this song.
Spurgeon: “Joy should always flow in the channel of praise. All the attributes of God are fitting subjects to be celebrated by the music of our hearts and voices, and when we observe a display of his power, we must extol it.”