Psalm 20

Introduction To The Treasuries of David

I have titled this series The Treasury of David, it is a title not original to myself but was given by a man referred to as the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, in a work of the same name.

A total of six Volumes on the 150 Psalms was penned, when Pr Spurgeon had taken very ill and unable to reach the pulpit and publicly declare the word of the Lord to a ready and waiting congregation. He therefore took his pen and began to wright those things the Lord had placed upon his heart in the exposition of the Psalms of David.

He refers the work done by him, though for the encouragement of others, he said: 

“ The delightful study of the Psalms has yielded me boundless profit and ever-growing pleasure; common gratitude constrains me to communicate to others a portion of the benefit, with the prayer that it may induce them to search further for themselves.[1]

Nevertheless, though the title of the series belongs to another, know that the words contained herein are my own, I take full responsibility of my account to the Lord respecting them. Though I do, in rare occasions, consider the works of other men on the scriptures, I do so often only to arouse my thoughts. 

THE PSALMS

Possibly the greatest single volume of work in the Bible that can bring about the greatest comfort to those who love the Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Psalms bring to us the fragility of man but the power of God, the sin in man but the grace and mercy of God, the trouble against man, and the salvation of God, the fear in man and the comfort and shield of God.

If the Psalms do anything incredibly well, it is to bring about the contrast between God and man concerning these things.

The Psalms bring to us an insight into the nature and Character of the God we rejoice in, unlike any other book in the Bible, save that revealed by Christ in the Gospels. The Psalms can’t help but instill faith in the heart of the believer.

The Psalms are centrally located in The Bible and brings about the heart of God. Almost all the emotions of the Lord are expressed in this volume. 

Anger

Justice

Holiness

Mercy

Grace

Forgiveness

Sacrifice

And most clearly, Love.

The Psalms are the understanding of the nature of God repeated back to him in prayer for our encouragement. Beloved, it is remembering WHO GOD is that has the greatest blessing to us when we are in times of trouble. 

When you read the Psalms it truly is as if you are reading the engravings of the heart of God, and you can’t but help feeling overjoyed at his love and comfort imparted to you. If there are any verses that should be memorized for you comfort, joy and peace, it is The Psalms.

Most of the Psalms are those penned by David, though not all are. 

The Psalms are songs, some of which to be sung publicly, given to the direction of “The Chief Musician”.

The inspiration of the Psalms is not limited to the words contained after the verse numbers, but extend to the very headings, as these headings are not those entered in by the Translators or the printers but are found in the very earliest of the copies of Scripture. Yes, the headings also are the inspired words of the Lord.

The headings often provide for us context as to the history and purpose of the song.

EG:

Psalm 3: A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son

Psalm 7: Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.

Psalm 18: To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who spake unto the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,

These are a precious part of the inspired text and should never be discarded or overlooked, for they will often give to the reader some context that will help in the understanding of that which follows.

We are at Psalm 20

There is no reason for me to have begun this series in this particular Psalm, I could have begun at Psalm 1, but it is not my intention to give the impression that I will preach on each of the 150 Psalms…yet If the Lord desires it, I will. But it was inspired by an encouragement my wife desired to encourage others with this week that led me to consider it.

Psalm 20 is a Song that may even be seen as an anthem prior to war.

It is written by the King and yet it is a prayer for the King.

It is A Psalm of David, but it is also a Psalm for David.

David is a type of Christ in the Old Testament, he is a king as Christ is The King who shall sit on the Throne of David.

Jesus Christ is also known as The Son of David, he is a direct descendant of David the King through Bathsheba in the Royal Line of Solomon. 

The Gospel of Matthew presents perfectly how that Jesus Christ is ALSO the rightful heir to the Throne of David the King, Jesus is the last in that perfect royal line that could be The King of Israel and claim the throne of David.

So, it is in this Psalm that the prayers uttered for David the King by his nation, could easily and justifiably be prayers uttered for Christ the King by his Church.

Psalm 20;

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

 The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.  We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear 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 are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call. (Ps 20)

A Public Intercession of Prayer

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

 The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah. Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.

A Pastor by the name of Barton Bouchier, of Epsom in England, born in 1794 died in 1865, who wrote of this Psalm saying;

A sweeter wish, or a more consolatory prayer for a child of sorrow was never uttered by man, “The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee.” And who is there of the sons of men to whom a “day of trouble” does not come, whose path is not darkened at times, or with whom is it unclouded sunshine from the cradle to the grave?… Man is born to trouble.” A “day of trouble,” then, is the heritage of every child of Adam… It is the prayer of another in behalf of some troubled one, and yet it implies that the troubled one himself had also prayed, “The Lord hear thee”—hear and answer thine own prayer!Barton Bouchier.[2]

It was a public petition to God to hear the prayer of the King, it was also the prayer of the King in the day of trouble, even a time of war.

  • That it was public is evident for it be directed to ‘The Chief Musician”, 
  • that it was interceding on behalf of the King prayers is evident for the people sang The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend theeSend thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; 
  • Finally, That it was a day of trouble is evident by the first verse, that it was even a time of war is evident by the lifting up of the banners of war in verse 5, and the world trusting in the weapons of war in verse 7, contrasted with our trust in The name of the LORD our God alone.

The people here are instructed by the King to seek the Lord for the King;

To you it might sound strange and yet is that not what we all do when we petition each other to pray for one another?

As Pastor, I do ask you to please pray for me. 

I am and will be the focus of attack by the devil as I lead the local Church of the Lord.

There are trials that I will likely endure that most in the congregation will not endure.  Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered is applicable in the world, to the head shepherd which is Christ and to his under-shepherds. Pray that I may be fervent in my love for the Lord, that I may be strengthened for the work I am to do for the Lord on your behalf. That my faith will grow. That when days of trouble comes upon me, I might be ready, that I would be sent help, that I would be strengthened.

If this is true for me beloved, how much more the King of the people of God?

David’s life was a life filled with trouble. His days were days of war and this Psalm is a song ordained by David to be publicly sung to petition God to hear the prayers of David, to strengthen David for the work he has to do for the sake of those under his care and charge.

Exactly the same is be written of about Christ, the Son of David, the Son of God.

None had more days of trouble that Christ, so much so that he was titled as “a man of sorrows” (Isa 53:3).  Jesus was well acquainted with grief. Not only was he touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but he also bare the sin of the world upon him.

As Jesus went to pray in the Garden before his passion on the Cross, he petitioned his disciples to pray for him.

Three times Jesus asked the father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me

Three times Jesus told the father, “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done”. 

Three times he asked his disciples to pray with him.

Three times was the Christ confirmed to endure his day of trouble.

We are living in days of trouble. 

Trouble where we need to support each other greatly in prayer. 

To petition also the Lord that he will hear the prayers of those charged to lead us.

Australia uniquely at this time, has a man who prays leading it. We need to pray that the Lord will listen to his prayer, that we may see this day of trouble come to a rapid end.

It does not matter what your political persuasion is. 

Id does not matter what you think about those things being done today.

It does not matter what you think the influences are;

What does matter is that during this most unique event in world history, our nation has, for one of the first times in history, a leader who is not ashamed to pray publicly in Jesus name.

Psalm 20 is an anthem that leads us to pray in the day of trouble.

Psalm 20 is not limited to kings however; it provides the manner in which we pray for one another. 

Wives praying for husbands and husbands for wives, children praying for their parents and parents for their children. Friends praying and upholding each other in prayer, knowing above all that we do not trust in Chariots and Horses, we do not trust that the machinations of men or of the world will fight our battles for us, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

These are days of trouble, of war and battle that will not be won by the means of men.

A Public Anticipation of Victory

5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. (Ps 20:5)

Yet again the people here have sung to support the King in the work he is to attend to for the defense of the nation.

Many here are also the elements of Christ and his leading in the defense of the Church, but these I am yet to be able to give a full answer to, nevertheless they do appear. 

The people rejoice in the salvation of the King, and most clear is the salvation they are confident they will have a part.

This is not that salvation of the soul that is sung for, but that of war.

and in the name of our God we will set up our banners(v5)

The banners are the colors and emblems of nations who face against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms, and here it is in the name of our God we will set up our banners

The people knew that it is “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts” (Zech 4:6). 

And with all the victories of David, he ensured the people knew that it was not the strength of David’s arm that defeated the ‘ten thousands’, but the arm of the Lord in whom he trusted. 

All David’s victories began with a heart for God.

It was that heart that was offended at the rants of a giant against the armies of God and the God of the armies of Israel.

It was that heart that determined to go into battle to fight the uncircumcised philistine.

It was that heart that believed an answer needs to be given witnesses, that a cause was before them and must be addressed.

It was that heart that put off an armor offered and went in to fight in the name of the Lord alone.

It was that heart for God that placed the stone in the sling and ran toward the giant to slay him.

In each and every way, what we see in David is a man who had no reliance on the strength of his arm, nor did he expect to see the fearful army of his God to come to his defence, his salvation was in the name of his God

When David became the King of Israel, the people would sing in the name of our God we will set up our banners.

Victory was anticipated by the people in this Song, because the focus was placed upon God who would hear their prayer and fight for them.

They had confidence in their King that he will lead them through all the battles they were to face.

David the king, was just a shadow of Jesus Christ The King.

He is our confidence to lead us through all the battles we are to face.

He is the captain of the Lords Host, and when our heart is for Christ, he leads us through it all.

We already have Victory in Jesus for the sake of our soul, but do not underestimate the ongoing victory in the battles we face when, in the name of our God we will set up our banners.

Interestingly, our joy is that the war is already won; even though the battle rages, the war itself is won. Satan is already a defeated foe, the wicked will not prevail, they cant.

The troubles in our life are not our life, our life is in Christ, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.

A Private Confirmation of Strength

6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

This now is the Kings response in this song. 

This is David knowing by experience that the LORD saves his anointed, those he has chosen for his specific purpose and for his peculiar determination.

Several times, when David fled from Saul, he was encouraged by those soldiers with him to kill Saul. Two of the most public examples were when Saul came into the cave to rest in sleep and then another time when he was again asleep before David. 

Both times David had both motive and opportunity to slay the king, even while King Saul was himself unconscious in sleep.  

But David would not slay the anointed of the Lord, even though he knew that he was also anointed to replace Saul as King.

Nevertheless, he says in 1 Sam 26:10, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. 

Even from this time David knew that he was restrained by the Lord from taking the life of the Lords anointed by his own hand. 

Just so has David confidence that those anointed of God have their lives in his hand and while they yet live;

God will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

If you are born again and in Christ, the Bible says you are the Chosen of God and your life is in his hands (John 10).

Not a hair from your head will fall to the earth without the Lord knowing it.

He feeds the birds of the air and clothes the grass of the field, there is no doubt he will take care of you and watch over you for his purpose.

Does that mean trouble is averted?

Does that mean that my temporal life will always be preserved until taken by age?

Clearly not, but it does mean that your life is hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3)

And we say with Job, “though he slay me yet will I trust him” (Jb 13:15)

The People’s Faith In Christ

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call. (Ps 20)

The language has with it the expectation of warfare, expectation of a day of trouble, of a time when people are divided against people, and come against one another for dominance and mastery.

We have seen how the verses before this are the petition of the people directed to the Lord on behalf of their sovereign, but within this is also an encouragement for us to take awaya choice for us to live by what will help us endure and stand while others are brought down and fallen.

It saddens us that we are so forgetful of the Lord we profess to believe in. We make the claim that we are Christian and yet far too often when the days of trouble come, we are brought down in heart and mind just as the world is.

Turn in your Bibles to 1 Peter 3:8-15

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren,be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Beloved the Hope that is in you is not a trust in chariots, or in horses:

It is not in the things that the world think will deliver them

We do not have a trust in so temperamental a thing

Our Governments seem to, on the one had keep us on the hook with bated breath waiting for the next glimmer of hope, and yet take away any hope we have in a moment of time.

There is a level of cruelty in the governments of the world not readily recognized, and yet having its effect on the sensibilities and conscience of its subjects. Even to the point of having those who are to remember the name of the LORD, living as if we are to trust in chariots and horses.

As Christians this is not where we have placed our hope, and yet some indeed seem to have their trust in worldly things to deliver them.

But that is not the hope that is in you, that people in the world would ever inquire of you.

and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

This is the steadfast hope that the world will inquire of you, but only if there is in you demonstration that you have remembered the name of the LORD your God!

Beloved please allow me to exhort you for a moment. 

I intend now to rebuke you for your lack of faithfulness to the Lord, as I have also had to rebuke myself for my lack of faithfulness and trust in the Lord.

We are all grieved about the decisions being made by our governments. 

We grieve greatly the freedoms being taken away from us, the many people who are destroyed by the foolish decisions of government, and we detest the evident working of the devil in the political climate of this day;

But our behavior in demonstrating our disappointment in government so fervently is also demonstrating only that our trust in chariots and horses should not have disappointed us.

In other words, by our anger or frustration with the world, we show to the world where our actual trust really was. 

We show to the world that we have somewhat forgotten the name of the LORD our God.

In venting our anger publicly, we have not manifested the hope that is in us with meekness and fear, to the point where ANY INQUIRY OF SUCH HOPE would be made.

OUR public animosity against the governments the scriptures teach, we are to pray for and obey, shows our trust in chariots and horses is the greater witness to the world rather than remembering the name of the LORD our God.

I have done this, and each time I allow myself to be drawn into it, I rebuke myself for yet another missed opportunity to confess the wonderful hope that is in me. 

What I do then is more harm than good. Why?

Because;

  • I betray too much disappointment in the loss of present comforts. 
  • I betray that I am not very different from those who also trusted in chariots and horses. (Trusted in the world)
  • Though by my mouth, I profess my trust in Christ, by my avid sinisism I confess my disappointment with the world.
    • My complaint of a broken chariot and a lame horse demonstrates where I placed my trust to others, more than my profession of faith in Christ
    • As such, my witness in this way does more harm than good

It was wonderful for me to receive that blessed reminder from my wife this week

It was a great joy and a kindly rebuke by the Lord for my misplaced trust in chariots and horses rather than the NAME OF THE LORD.

Why does this matter so much?

Because;

 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Those who place their trust in the machinations of man will be brought down and fallen. This is not a subjectivity, this is a very present reality.  

David did not have trust in his battle-ready youth to fight man to man with a giant, but he came “in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (1 Sam 17:45)

David did not have his trust in the strength of his arm to cast the stone, but he most clearly had his trust in the Lord who would guide its flight.

And all this was to what purpose? 

David confesses to the witness of the work of God;

that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S (1 Sam 17:46-47)

It is our Sinicism of the world that betrays a somewhat misplaced trust in the world. 

When we trust in the world we too can be brought down and fallen with the world.

I fear that many professing Christians have forgotten they are children of the God of Jacob. Too many have been too comfortable with the freedoms Paul, Peter, James and John did not enjoy

Too many have lived in a peaceful environment that King David had never witnessed himself.

When we look at the Bible, and even when considering history not long past, we see that many had their trust in the Lord and their faith was never to be ashamed of

The testimony of the hope that was in them was evident for all the world to see. 

Their love for the Lord and their faith in him was lived and never disappointed of, because it is the LORD who’s name is REMEMBERED. 

It is the LORD who is faithful and true.

It is God who’s words and promises never fail

It is Christ who gave his life as a ransom that we might have life.

How much more does he need to do before we will trust him singularly, and testify of his faithfulness without contradiction in our lives?

7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Isaiah wrote in the beginning of the Isaiah 40’s, and incredible portion of the Bible that so wonderfully portrays the power and strength of the Lord to prepare his people for the days of trouble that would soon come upon them. 

If you have never considered the Isaiah 40’s, I would encourage you to do so, for in them you will see, in ten chapters, the promise and power of God for the good of his people. 

The fortieth chapter ends with these words;

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31).

It is not chariots or horses we are to trust in help in time of need, when the days of trouble come, and they still will come beloved, it will be the LORD that makes us stand.

We will not be brought down, we will not be fallen, but we are risen and stand upright. We shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint, why?

Because they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.

These are the words of God and the promises of God for those who are his.

.


[1] C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 1-26, (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers), 1:v.

[2] C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 1-26, (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers), 1:305.

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