November 21 2022
Today, Monday November 21
A Prayer and Plea for God’s Help
Psalm 20:1-5 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David
“May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you; May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion; May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
May He grant you according to your heart's desire, And fulfill all your purpose. We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.”
The brief title of Psalm 20 tells us that this Psalm was written by King David and was given to the “Chief Musician” to be sung by the choir of Israel. Over the years I have often used this Psalm to encourage people to pray and believe that the Lord will answer their plea for help in the times of their troubles. I’ve signed many notes and letters with Psalm 20:4-5 after my name. “May He grant you according to your heart's desire, And fulfill all your purpose. We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.”
Psalm 20 is a prayer and a plea for God’s help before the battle, while Psalm 21 is the praise after the victory in battle. In verses 1-5, the people pray for their king, David, who will be leading them into battle. Notice the words “we and you”. In verses 6-8, David the king encourages the people to trust in Jehovah for victory and not in chariots and horses like the other nations did. In these verses notice the words, “I, we and they”. Both the king and the people speak in verse 9, where "the king" is Jehovah God, The King.
The psalm begins and ends with a plea for God to hear them as they pray and to give victory to the army of Israel (vv. 1, 9). The anointed king was the very life and breath of the nation (Lam. 4:20) and the lamp of Israel (2 Sam. 21:17), and the enemy soldiers would make him their special target (1 Kings 22:31).
Those who have problems with the military aspects of some of David's psalms should remember that David went to war only when the enemy attacked Israel. He did not invade other nations just to gain territory, and he was fighting the Lord's battles (1 Sam. 17:47; 25:28; 2 Chron. 20:15). The covenant God made with David (2 Sam. 7:11) assured him of victory over his enemies. In this regard, David is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Commander of the Lord's armies (Josh. 5:14-15), who one day will ride in victory against the armies of this world (Ps. 45:3-7; Rev. 3:14; 17:14; 19:11-21).
As I have read the Psalms, and the many prayers and pleas for God’s help in the times of trouble, I have pictured the reality of the daily battle that we all fight as believers against the devil and demonic forces, against the world and its allures of pleasures and wealth, and even the battle against our own flesh (Rom 7). Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11-13: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
This Psalm is a great prayer and plea for God’s help, and to believe and trust the LORD for victory every day. May the Lord help you today to “fulfill your purpose”, and answer “all your petitions”!