1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.
3 You came to greet him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him – length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great; you have bestowed upon him splendor and majesty.
6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.
8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes.
9 When you appear for battle, you will burn them up as in a furnace. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you, and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed
12 You will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow.
13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might.
Kings. Queens. In my lifetime I have seen royals. When the King and Queen of Greece came to Houston in the early fifties, my mother took her two young sons to see them at the old city auditorium. When my brother and I were in England in 1965, we saw Queen Elizabeth riding sidesaddle, on her way to Buckingham Palace, to celebrate her birthday. In 2003 I was a student at SMU/Perkins. I saw the King and Queen of Spain at the opening of the Spanish Art Museum on the campus. Two years ago, my wife’s sister was a guest at a banquet held at Buckingham Palace. Hosted by Prince Charles, she actually got to shake his hand. (Laura and I obviously don’t travel in the same social circles!)
Many scholars believe that Psalm 21 was written by a king. We don’t know if it was King David or some other king. It is important to remember that this psalm was written two thousand years ago and put what the writer says in proper perspective. In this psalm the writer is clearly acknowledging that God has provided amply for the king. The royal is thanking God for the strength that God has given him. He is thanking him for all the wonderful things that He has done for him. The king wears a crown of pure gold. God has given him a long life. He has given him victory over his enemies. He has showered him with blessings. The writer wants to sing God’s praises for his strength and might.
I know many people who are very proud of their ancestry. I am one of those, but there is no royal blood running through my veins. Or is there? In the New Testament we are told that followers of Jesus Christ are members of “a royal priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:9) So this begs some questions. If you and I are royals, like the king in this psalm, do we thank God always for the gifts he has given us? Do we? If a mighty king can freely and joyfully acknowledge what God has done in his life, why shouldn’t we? History tells us that, all too often, kings of this world were filled with their own importance, resulting in painful and sometimes tragic consequences. Their lifestyles gave, and still give, little evidence that they understand God as the giver of all the gifts they have. Pity.
What is up to us is to thank God always, every day, for his blessings, for his goodness, for his love and mercy. As the hymn says, “O worship the King, all glorious above and faithfully sing His wonderful love.”
Loving God, you have made us heirs to your Kingdom. Forgive us when we confuse the gifts you freely give us for byproducts of our own merit. We love you, and we thank you. Amen.