Psalm 20 – Asking the Lord for Victory

Psalm 20 – Asking the Lord for Victory  by Myra Kahn Adams for Town Hall

Thanks for clicking by. It is worth sharing how this week’s study was birthed. After feeling called to write about a psalm, I was randomly flipping through the Hebrew Bible’s most-read book. When the word “distress” caught my eye, I started reading Psalm 20. Why “distress”? Simple answer: Untold millions of people are distressed by the world on the verge of war and the horrific potential for the U.S. to be engaged in a three-front war in Europe, Taiwan, and the Middle East.

Then, upon reading Psalm 20, I understood why it was supposed to be today’s study topic. And I liked its length of only nine verses so I could repost the entire psalm and still have space for commentary.

With its authorship attributed to David, Psalm 20 is directed toward the ruling king of Israel (unnamed, but obviously David) as his nation heads into battle. The psalm’s lesson is to trust God rather than human power. The intro title reads, “For the director of music. A psalm of David.”

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Verses 1-4: Prayers of the people for their king.

The wording in verses 1-4 points to an assembly of the people (and perhaps the army, although not stated) gathered in group prayer to support their king. They asked for God’s intervention and protection when they said:

“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed” (Psalm 20:1-4).

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