Trusting in God’s Name, Psalm 20

In God’s perfect timing and following recent discussion with friends about trusting in God, Psalm 20 becomes more meaningful than ever.

Do you feel that today is your day of trouble? Read and rejoice in this psalm!

The psalm begins with seven exclamations pleading for specific actions and outcomes (Psalm 20:1-5, ESV):

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
    May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings
    and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah

May he grant you your heart’s desire
    and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation,
    and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!

The first of these five emotional verses expresses a deep desire that God will answer you during your difficult trial and that God’s name will protect you. The second verse conveys the hope that you will also receive help from the church and God’s people. The third trusts God to recall your past and present faithfulness.

Verses four and five depict the marvelous outcome: God will grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans. We will shout for joy over the way God rescues you and we will witness publicly to God’s name as he fulfills all your petitions.

God’s rescue is so certain that the psalmist speaks with remarkable conviction and confidence:

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
    he will answer him from his holy heaven
    with the saving might of his right hand (6, ESV).

God is holy and enthroned in heaven, but he will answer those anointed with is Spirit just as surely as he saved David, his anointed king, and Jesus, his anointed Son.

Why should we doubt? Where is our trust?

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
     but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (7, ESV).

We don’t trust in military might, presidential power, legislative law, or judicial justice. We trust in something far superior: God’s name.

Those who trust in worldly powers or personal intelligence will fail:

They collapse and fall,
    but we rise and stand upright (8, ESV).

As they fall from their temporary height, we rise from our temporary descent. We stand upright in the righteousness of Christ.

The psalm concludes with this prayer:

O Lord, save the king!
    May he answer us when we call (9, ESV).

The king may be David, who represented the true king, Christ. But this rescue also applies to any person who bears Christ’s image as a prophet, priest, and king.

God will be close to the true believer. He will answer you when you call. He will protect you and surround you with the support of fellow believers. He will grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans and petitions. Those with misplaced trust will fall, but we will stand. When all this comes to pass, we will shout for joy and praise God’s name.

May the Lord answer you today in your time of trouble! Trust in his holy name!

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