….THE DAILY DEVOTIONAL

I am re-publishing the Daily Devotional from today as it contains a very insightful commentary regarding the psalm.  The Daily Devotional is a service of the Living Church Foundation and is edited and directed by the Reverend Emily R. Hylden.

This exposition on the language of Psalm 20 points out that God is the Lord of All and the one upon whom we are truly dependent and not upon earthly rulers.

Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church Foundation.
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David and Goliath a photo by Jim Forest (2008)
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In the Day of Trouble
Daily Devotional • April 9
By the Rev. Patrick Gahan
“He sat on the front row at every session,” I mused to myself as I read his obituary. Eddie Robinson, the famed African-American coach at Grambling State University, had died. I can remember attending the American Football Coaches Association meeting in Atlanta where he was present. I was impressed how he sat on the front row taking copious notes from each presenter, most of whom were half his age and not a one who was within even a hundred victories of his own. Coach Robinson knew that the spectacular athletic “horses” he recruited could not alone win the day.

The psalmist, too, knows better than to trust in his “chariots and horses” to win the day. Even though Psalm 20 is a liturgical psalm used on the occasions when the Davidic king made his animal sacrifice at the Temple or shrine, the real king behind the prayer is God almighty. When the king would enter the sanctuary, the people would invoke the Lord to “answer the king in the day of trouble … may he send you help from the sanctuary” (Ps. 20:1-2).

Note, however, by the end of the psalm the pronoun changes to “answer us when we call” (Ps. 20:9). Again, as noted in an earlier meditation, the Davidic king is symbolic of the Lord’s leadership of Israel, of the kingdom of God on earth. The reigning monarch in Jerusalem is just one among those whom God saves, and so he must make his burnt offering like every other person. So, while the Egyptians and Philistines depict their leaders storming the enemy on grand chariots drawn by fierce steeds, the Israelites remember their greatest king was a shepherd boy who once slew a giant with a simple slingshot (1 Sam. 17: 45-47).

Psalm 20–21:1-7

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you!

2May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion.

3May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices.Selah

4May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans.

5May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

6Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand.

7Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.

8They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.

9Give victory to the king, O Lord; answer us when we call.

21:1In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord, and in your help how greatly he exults!

2You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

3For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold on his head.

4He asked you for life; you gave it to him—length of days forever and ever.

5His glory is great through your help; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.

6You bestow on him blessings forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

7For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

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