6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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Summary: This psalm will show Christ as the King of heaven, and picture His coming reign as the King on the earth.

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 tells 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 be 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.”

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