Summary: A sermon about winning the victory when we find ourselves in trouble.
Kneeling to Rise Triumphant (Psa. 20)
Read Psalm 20
This psalm along with psalm 21 are twin warfare songs. This psalm we have just read was sung on the eve of battle when the Israelites would prepare themselves for war...Psalm twenty-one was sung after the battle. This psalm in dedication...the next in thanksgiving.
No one quite knows when this psalm was written. We know that it was written by David and that it was penned in anticipation of a battle. Adam Clark presumes it was written on the eve of battle when David faced off against the Ammonites and Syrians. And he could be right. It seems to fit. In this psalm David writes of people who boasted of their chariots and horses...and if you read the account of the fight David had with these people you see that the ammonites went to war against David with 33,000 troops and 32,000 chariots. And no doubt the Ammonites and Syrians boasted in their chariots...why wouldn't they...the chariot was a very impressive war machine.
Now friends, this wasn't the only battle he fought in his life. David was a man of war, throughout his life he fought many battles. And for the most part he won all the battles he faced. In fact, the battle he faced against the Ammonites that day he won. And when we look at this psalm, which he sung on the eve of battle that day, and before all other battles he and the nation found themselves in, I believe he was able to rise in victory because he knew this truth...to rise in victory we first must kneel.
Saint’s, like David we are all going to face our battles in life...and like David I believe...actually let me change that...I know that we can rise in victory! I know we can rise in victory if we remember this truth...to rise in victory we first must kneel. So, how should we kneel? Well, I believe this psalm reveals three ways we should kneel. And the first way is this...we should kneel in prayer.
1. KNEEL IN PRAYER (vv. 1-4)
David was a man who truly knew the importance of prayer. He didn’t use it as a “last resort” as some Christians use it...oh no...when we read his story in the bible, or when we read the psalms that he wrote we quickly learn that the first thing he did when he was in trouble was that he knelt in prayer. And I truly believe that he did so because he knew that when we kneel in prayer that is when God acts on our behalf.
Yes, David knew the importance of prayer and that is why he asked for the nation to pray for him as they prepared for war. As we know, David was a man of war. Throughout his life he fought countless battles. Having fought so many battles, you think that he would just rely on his own skill. Why not? People do it all the time today! People today try to do things in their own strength, in their own skill, and in their own way. But you see, David knew a very important truth...you cannot enjoy victory if you leave God out of the picture.
In this psalm we see four items that he put on his nation’s prayer list...for now we will just look at three of them. And the first item he put on their list was this...that God may answer his prayer. We see this in the opening of verse one. There the nation prays, “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble”...and in the opening of verse four we hear the nation pray, “May he grant you your heart’s desire”. Now saints, it doesn’t take us that long to understand what the desire of his heart was and what his prayer would have been. It no doubt would have been that God would grant them victory over the enemy. I know this is what I would have been praying for if I was going to war. And friends, he knew the one who held the victory in his hands...and that was none other than God. Therefore, he bows his knee in prayer.
Saint’s, when we find ourselves in battle, in a fight against the enemy, do we take the time to stop and kneel in prayer, asking the Lord for victory over the battle? Well, in our text David does, but he doesn't stop there. He knew that he couldn't enjoy victory if he fought in his own power. So he asked the nation to pray that God would help, support and strengthen him as he went to war. Look down with me to verse two, there we hear the nation pray, “May He send you help from the sanctuary and support you from Zion”. David knew that it is only through God’s power that we are able to overcome the battles in our life. You see, our enemy (that is the devil) is powerful and smart. If we were to fight him in our own power we will experience defeat after defeat. That is why he tries to get us not to pray...he tries to get us to just react to the trouble in our own power. You see, Satan is a very smart and cunning person...and knows that when we pray...God steps in and he’s finished. Saint’s, victory is only found in God and is only enjoyed when we pray for him to help and strengthen us through the battle. If we don’t stop to pray...simply put...we won’t have victory!