Psalm 21 - Crown Him Lord of All - Section 2 - (series: Lessons on Psalms)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

I said previously that David understood the secret of the Messiah’s strength, but he also saw three things resulting from the King’s secret of strength.
1. Sovereignty (v. 3)
When Jesus comes back to reign, riding His white horse to the battle of Armageddon, He will be wearing many crowns—“His eyes were bright like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him, and only he knew what it meant” (Rev. 19:12). Absolute, omnipotent sovereignty is to be His and His alone. David is looking forward to this: “thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.”
2. Salvation (vs. 4-6)
The King’s secret of strength also results in salvation, everlasting, ennobling, and exciting salvation. God did save Him in that He brought Him back in triumph from the tomb and gave Him life, “even length of days for ever and ever” (v. 4). Eternal life! It’s all bound up in the crown-rights of Jesus. It’s a life filled with honor, majesty, happiness, and bliss. Life on God’s terms! The years when Jesus reigns on this planet will be the most exciting years in all the history of mankind.
3. Security (v. 7)
The king’s trust in God is twofold: it is in God as Jehovah and in God in His character of Elyon. His trust is in God as the God who redeems His Word and as the God who rules the world. It is in Jehovah, the God of promise, the God of covenant, the God who never fails to redeem His given Word. His trust in Elyoh, the God of possession, the possessor of Heaven and earth, the One alone has the ultimate right to divide up the nations.

No wonder Jesus turned down Satan’s offer! “All these,” Satan promised, “All these kingdoms, with their glitter, glamor, and government—all these will I give thee, if thou will fall down and worship me.” The whole offer was a gigantic fraud; Satan could give no guarantee that the kingdom he offered would be secure. But God does, and it is from Him that Jesus receives the throne. So there it is—the secret of the King's strength is rooted and grounded in God himself.

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.

The reason for this great deliverance in answer to prayer is that the king trusted in the unfailing love of the Lord Most High. The king trusted in the Lord (v. 7) and so did the people, and they affirmed their faith as they addressed these words to the king. The emphasis now changes from past victories to anticipation of future victories (vs. 7-12) God will now give David and Israel because they have faith in the living God—“Some nations boast of their armies and weapons, but we boast in the LORD our God” (Ps. 20:7). “God’s right hand” (v. 8) is more than a symbol of power; it actively works for His people and brings defeat to their enemies (Ps. 89:13{1]). “Find out” (v. 8) means “dispose of.”

We have a rather anemic view of God today because we have lost sight of the righteousness and holiness of God. We have forgotten that God’s holiness is outraged at man’s sin, that the Bible says that God is angry at the wicked every day. The psalmists and the prophets of the Old Testament never lost sight of that side of God’s character.

We are not living in the day of wrath today but in the day of grace. However, there is to be a day of wrath. After the rapture of the Church, the Day of Judgment will begin, and God will passionately destroy those that destroy the earth and persecute His people. War, famine, pestilence, persecution, earthquake—these are all weapons available to Him. The man who refuses the forgiveness of God will have to face the fury of God.

Not only is He a God of salvation, but because of His death upon the cross for sinners, He is a God of Judgment. Those who have rejected Him are His enemies. You say you don’t believe there is a hell. The Bible teaches it. If you don’t believe there is a hell, you are in disagreement with the Bible.

Hell is not a pleasant subject. Who said it was? God does not take any delight in the lost. God’s judgment is called His strange work. His wonderful work is salvation. He wants to save. If you won’t come to Him His way, or if you don’t want His salvation, then there is nothing but the judgment that remains.

“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 (v. 9). This verse is clear. Fire is fire, and judgment is judgment. Just as fire devours what it touches (Ps. 79:5{2]), so the Lord will devour David’s enemies like a cook burns fuel under a stove. The nation of Israel and David’s posterity would be preserved (Ps. 18:50{3]), but there would be no future for their enemies. He will also destroy their offspring from off the face of the earth, and their descendents from the human race. “Fruit” (v. 10) refers to posterity.

The phrase “he shall not be moved” (v. 7) asserts that while he reigned, David would not be shaken by his enemies, because his faith was in the Lord (v. 7)—“I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me” (Ps. 16:8). What a comforting verse this is! Just imagine that the Lord is always so close—right beside you! This declaration of faith is the central verse of Psalm 7.

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.

God did give David many victories and He greatly extended Israel’s borders and brought peace to the kingdom. The nations might get together and plot against him, but David would still win the battle.

In this marvelous psalm, we see Christ’s cross and suffering. He endured the cross “. . . because of the joy he knew would be his afterward” (Heb. 12:2). His prayers have been answered. Now the king is in heaven. We see Him there crowned in glory and honor. He is there on behalf of His people. He is there in unspeakable joy and waiting for His manifestation and kingly glory.

Also, this psalm gives us a picture of judgment, which is amplified greatly in the Book of Revelation. That is a serious picture that is given to us there. Paul the apostle mentions it also in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8: “And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.” This is a picture of the Lord coming in judgment upon His enemies. 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 goes on to say: “They will be punished with everlasting destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power when he comes to receive glory and praise from his holy people. And you will be among those praising him on that day, for you believed what we testified about him.” In the Garden of Olivet, Christ’s gentle “I am He” overthrew the soldiers (John 18:6). How will it be when the wrath of the Lamb flames against His enemies—who shall be able to stand? (Rev. 6:16{5])

This is a glorious psalm of the ascension of Christ. What is your relationship to Him today? If He is not your Savior, if you have not trusted the One who came down here to die, then judgment is coming upon you someday. But today He is filled with joy up yonder at God’s right hand because He has provided for your salvation and for mine. This wonderful ascension psalm makes very clear the glorious grace of God in Christ Jesus.

As in 20:9, the psalm concludes with a statement addressed to the Lord and expressing praise for His greatness. David fought battles and won victories, not to exalt himself, but to magnify the Lord, and his people knew this. David showed the same spirit as a youth when he killed the giant Goliath (See 1 Sam. 17:36, 45-47). Psalm 20 closes with David and the people asking God to hear their prayers, and Psalm 21 closes with the prayer that God would be “lifted up on high” and exalted. “ . . . But I will honor only those who honor me” (1 Sam. 2:20).

“Be thou exalted, LORD!”—Every loyal heart must join in that devout wish. But we must ask ourselves if we have exalted Him in the inner kingdom of our heart. God has exalted Him to be Prince and Savior; and we shall not have peace until we have done the same (Acts 5:31{6]). And so, once again, we are made to see a “Messianic hope” sounding forth on this happy occasion, the hope that someday a true and sinless King will come who will truly be the right hand of God.

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