Save, Lord! / Knowing Christ in Psalm 20

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.
Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

Psalm 20:1-9

As a man well versed in the difficulty that trouble brings, David knows exactly what the believer needs. We need the Lord to answer us, because there is no one else capable of defending or strengthening us. Our help comes from Him. We honor Him with our lives and service, not because they earn us right standing with Him, but because He is worthy. What follows in this passage can lead to dangerous misinterpretations of scripture if not handled carefully.

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.

Many have taken this verse, and others like it, and built a theology around the idea that God will give us anything we desire and fulfill all of our plans. Money, health, status, success in business and personal life. These are not bad things in and of themselves, and many Godly men and women have serve the Lord well with these blessings, but they were never meant to be the reason for our service. There is no magic lamp to rub and no genie to come out and grant our wishes. To truly understand this verse, we must first look at who David is praying for when he says these things. David is not praying that the desires of a wicked heart be granted. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick”. This prayer is not for a deceitful and sick heart. This prayer is for a heart that has been changed by God (Ezekiel 36:26). Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” David was called a man after God’s own heart. The desire of the heart of David and the desire of the heart of the Church, the bride of Christ, is not that we get everything we want, but that He is glorified above all else. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, when we are concerned with His glory rather than ours, this is where our heart lines up with His. This means wanting God to get the glory in ALL things…

For better, for worse
For richer, for poorer
In sickness and health

This isn’t always easy. We have wants and desires that seem innocent enough, but ultimately do not line up with what God has planned for us.

Is it wrong to not want to be sick?
Is it wrong to not want to be lonely?
Poor?
Single?
Hungry?
Absolutely not!

Is God wicked for allowing us to experience these things?
Absolutely not!

Romans 8:28 says “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” The “all things” doesn’t mean only all good things. If we have worries and concerns, then we should cast them on the Lord, but, ultimately, we must be in submission to the will of God…even when we don’t get the answer we want. Jesus lived his life in submission to the will of the Father and He laid down His will in the garden when He said “not My will, but Your will be done.” If it was necessary for Jesus to lay down His will and submit to the will of the Father, how much more necessary is it for you and me?

Is it difficult to trust God sometimes? Yes. But we have to remember, no matter what we are going through, the Lord saves His people. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Anointed and He saves His anointed, His elect, His Church, His bride. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says:

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

We can only rejoice in salvation because Jesus has rescued us by His “saving strength”. That is true strength. That is true power. Some will boast in their status or in their own power, but in the end, their knee will bow to King Jesus, just like everyone else. As for His bride, her head and her station will be lifted…She will be truly blessed.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3-10

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call!
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