Psalms Chapter 20

Psalms Chapter 20 #Prayer #Expectancy #Trust 

(Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)


Psalms 20 and 21 are actually one Psalm. The first Psalm is a prayer for King David.  This is a pre-battle song. Although the title declares David as its author, it is highly probable that he wrote the Psalms down after the fact. Or in other words, someone dictated it to him after the battle (Longman 2014, 121; Lawson 2004, 119). The people are asking God to hear and answer all of David’s prayers for the battle the nation is about to begin. Psalms 21 is a prayer of thanksgiving for the glorious victory that David and Israel received. The victorious king routed the enemy in pure form. But they also know that the victory is theirs because they worship and serve a Warrior King-The Almighty God [The True King of His loyal servant and his people.] The three-parts of Psalm 20 are: 1) The Prayer Offered to God. David is referred to in the second person during (Verses 1-5). 2) The People’s Confidence in God. David is  (Verses 6-8). 3) The People’s Dependence on God (Verse 9).

David describes the prayer for military victory offered for him by the people before he leads the armies of Israel into battle.

The Petitions for the King (20:1– 5)

(To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; 

The psalmist asks God to “The LORD hear thee [David] in the day of trouble.” The people also remember the words of Jacob in (Gen. 35:3), “I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress.”  As he flees his brother Esau’s wrath, Jacob receives a vision from God.

This is God’s promise to Him. “And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of” (Genesis 28:13-15). The people believed in the God of Jacob, and so did their King. “[T]he name of the God of Jacob defend thee[.]”

Today Christians all over the world also believe in the promises of God. His ultimate protection of his people extends to us too. See Galatians 3:29 “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; 

At this stage in Israel’s history, there was no temple. The sanctuary refers to the presence of God in the Ark. If you remember David captured the Ark and placed it in a tabernacle on mount “Zion.” This verse identifies the place from which David would receive help. Today Christians know that the Lord is their helper. We are His sanctuary. The Lord protects and provides for His Church. “

All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result, you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His mighty angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 

They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his might on the day He comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you because you believed our testimony to you” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.

 The people are reminding God that He accepted Davids offerings and burnt sacrifices. David followed the Levitical offerings and sacrifices. Leviticus 9:24 describes how the people knew that God allowed their offerings and sacrifices. “And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.”

Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel. We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all thy petitions.

“Keep your promises to the King, oh God!” That is what we would say today. David [and apparently the people knew that David took counsel only from God] did not take advice from men. He received his counsel directly from The Lord. The people also acknowledge that God heard and answered David’s prayers. How do we know that?  They declare it in verse 5.  “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: [They are battle ready. Not in their name but in the name of] the LORD [who] fulfill all thy petitions.”

The Lord God Almighty still answers the prayers of His Children. 

  1. “To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27.
  2. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” Matthew 21:22.
  3. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” Philippians 4:6.
  4. “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” John 16:24.

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.

 The people know that God has saved David before. They have nothing but confidence that He will do it again. Christians today have an intercessor in heaven. Romans 8:34 (NIV) Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. 

In the midst of any sort of battle remember that the battle is not ours to win. Military might and prowess was not the reason why Israel won their battles. They “remember[ed] the name of the LORD [their] God. See Deut. 17:16; 20:1-4; Lev. 26:7-8; Psalm 33:16-17; Isa. 31:1-3; Jer. 9:23-24; Zech. 4:6 The children of Israel has a long-standing tradition of trusting in the name of the Lord their God. It started as they stood at the Red Sea. “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” Exodus 14:13-14.

The people are also used to rejoicing after the victory too.  Moses certainly did (see Exodus 15:1-6; Cayce 2017). The confidence in God the deliver and triumphant warrior continues in verses They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call. Jesus tells us to trust Him too.

  1.  John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” 
  2. Galatians 3:6 “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”



Cayce, Ken. Discover Books of the Bible.

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed August 30, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Lawson, Steven. 2004. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group. Accessed August 28, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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