Psalm 21 - Crown Him Lord of All - Section 1 - (series: Lessons on Psalms)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

We sing and praise thy power!

We sing and praise thy power!

May 5, 2014

Tom Lowe


Psalm 21 (KJV)



Title: Crown Him Lord of All
To the chief musician, A Psalm of David.

1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
7 For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
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.
10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
11 For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
12 Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.
13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.


Introduction

The contents of this psalm tell us that it looks far beyond David to great David’s greater Son. Psalm 21 belongs to that class of psalms we call “Messianic.” Both the Targum, which is the Chaldean paraphrase of the Old Testament, and the Talmud, which is the collection of ancient rabbinic writings on Jewish law and tradition teach that the king mentioned in this psalm is the Messiah. The theme is the ascension of Christ, but it also speaks of God’s judgment upon those who reject Him and His joy over His saved ones. It will show Him as the King of heaven, and picture His coming reign as the King on the earth. This psalm was undoubtedly used in temple worship. It was probably the praise psalm David and his people sang after the victories prayed for in Psalm 20 as they celebrated a day of national thanksgiving. They had prayed for specific blessings and God had granted them. The hymn opens and closes with praise for God’s strength granted to His king and the army (vs. 1, 13).

Since it is a Messianic psalm, it looks forward to the day when the Lord Jesus will return, put down all His foes, cause every knee to bow, and wear the diadem (crown) of the world empire, swaying His scepter from the river to the ends of the earth.



Commentary


1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

Although David is speaking of his personal experience, the primary reference is to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Referring to himself in the third person, David expresses his joy in the victories—the king shall joy in thy strength. He praised God for giving him the desire of his heart (v. 2). In Hebrews 12:2, it is said of the Lord, “. . . He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward.” He has ascended into heaven, and—“Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.” This verse speaks of the joy of Christ over having delivered us from the condemnation of sin and providing for our eternal salvation. He rejoices because of the power and strength that the Father has bestowed upon Him. He has gone to heaven, and the angels and principalities have been made subject to Him. Today, He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through faith in Him: “Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him” (Heb. 7:25). The last part of the verse tells of another resource He provides for His saved ones; “He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf.” This is a wonderful Psalm.

The word “salvation” in verses 1 and 5 means “deliverance, victory.”


2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.

The people and their king address the Lord and thank Him for what He did for

them in answer to their prayers. David had prayed that his life is spared (v. 4), and the Lord answered him, which this verse clearly shows (Also see 20:1, 6). This blessing was part of God’s covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7:16: “Your dynasty and your kingdom will continue for all time before me, and your throne will be secure forever.”

When the Lord Jesus was here on earth, He prayed this to the Father: “Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began!” (John 17:24). This prayer will be answered in the future when we are with Him. He came to earth to make this possible. His Father has not refused any prayer issued from His lips.

Today, we know how gloriously Jesus triumphed on the cross. “In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ” (Col. 2:15). Jesus went into death in seeming weakness and defeat. But He went committing His Spirit to God, confident that all His foes were vanquished. He proclaimed it in His departing cry, “It is finished.” So then, the secret of the King's strength is disclosed.

When we see the word “Selah” we should pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just read or heard, lifting up our hearts in praise to God for His great truths.


3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.

The word “prevent” (here “preventest”) in verse 3 means “to see to it beforehand.” The Lord met Joshua before the battle of Jericho (Josh. 5:13-15); and God went before David and “welcomed” him to the battlefield and victory. It is a great encouragement to know that God goes before His obedient people and guides us along the path leading to victory: “For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will be our guide until we die” (Ps. 48:14).

The crown in verse 5 is probably of God’s special “blessings of goodness” (v. 3) upon David (v. 5)—“For you made us only a little lower than God, and you crowned us with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:2). If a real crown is meant, it is probably the crown of an Ammonite king (2 Sam. 12:30{4]). To David, the victory God gave was like a second coronation, assuring that he was indeed God’s anointed. “Length of days forever” (v. 4) and “blessed forever” (v. 6), remind us of God’s covenant with David that was ultimately fulfilled in Christ—“Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Lk. 1:30-33).

The Lord Jesus Christ came to give His life a ransom for many down here. On earth, you find Him in humiliation, and you find Him pleading again and again in prayer. He agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane. Psalm 102:23-24 says of the Lord: “He has cut me down in midlife, shortening my days. But I cried to him, "My God, who lives forever, don't take my life while I am still so young!” He asked for life. He died in the very prime of life. He was 33 years old. He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine” (Lk. 22:42). In Hebrews 5:7 we are told: “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could deliver him out of death. And God heard his prayers because of his reverence for God.” How was He heard? He died! But God raised Him from the dead. Now He lives in His glorified human body for ever and ever. He is now at God’s right hand. “His glory is great in thy salvation.” Oh, the glory that is due Him because He saved you, and He saved me!

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