The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 20

Psalm 20

G-d loves you – He loves every single human being who has ever been born. However, this does not mean that we automatically benefit from His love. Only those who enter into a covenantal relationship with Him find any meaningful comfort, peace, blessing etc from His love. The question that we have to answer is this: Is the love of G-d going to have any positive impact on my life in this world and in the age to come?

v1: This is a verse written in the future tense so should read “The L-rd will answer…”

This shows a confidence in our G-d – and this is one of the purposes of this psalm: that we might approach G-d with confidence, as we have entered into a covenantal relationship with Him. David is speaking with confidence – this is not simply a wish or hope. He is certain about it.

He has experienced G-d’s help consistently in his life and G-d has never let him down.

Name has to do with character. It is significant that when we speak of the character of the L-rd He is being revealed here through the term “The G-d of Jacob”. Jacob, relentlessly, pursued the things of G-d and he was victorious in this.

· Defend – protect. Place you out of the reach of the enemy.

v2: Again written in the future tense – “He will send you help…” (Future tense used throughout this passage)

· Sanctuary – holy place, from that place of holiness (related to the purposes of G-d) When we are pursuing the purposes of G-d, like Jacob did, we can expect G-d to move in our lives and send help.

· Holy place(sanctuary) and Zion (related to G-d’s perfect Kingdom) are parallel (//) to each other.

v3: How do we give G-d gifts/offerings (things that cost us something) today? We do this by physically giving to others, but with a spiritual objective – do it in the name of G-d (Example: Tithing, giving to the needy, giving to a stranger/our neighbour etc etc).

G-d is faithful to remember all we have given in His name (Prov 19:17, Heb 6:10 etc)

v4: When we have a heart that is correct (righteous and pure) before G-d then our desires and purposes are not in conflict with the desires and purpose G-d has for our life – our thoughts, wants, desires etc fall into line according to what He desires and has in store for us. This then becomes a “win- win” situation.

v5: Rejoice – a shout of great joy and power. Neh 8:10 tells us that it is the joy of the L-rd that gives us strength.

· It’s in G-d’s salvation that we can experience His victory. Notice that there is a relationship here between salvation and the name (character) of our G-d (//).

· Set up/lift up our banners means that we are going to esteem/testify about the character of our G-d.

· When our hearts belong to G-d and we are in submission to Him our petitions/requests/desires etc are in line with His will and therefore able to be fulfilled/granted. Foolish things that tickle our ears and please our flesh are not G-d’s prerogative to fulfil.

v6: Now – a word that carries a sense of urgency.

· The L-rd saves His anointed one (a reference to Messiah) Most New Testament believers understand this as having to do with the deliverance that G-d brought upon Yeshua – the Messiah – when He raised Him from the dead. It’s a resurrection hope that we have that’s our victory – not a physical deliverance from the flesh, but a spiritual deliverance that has physical implications to it (overcoming death positions us for a Kingdom experience)

· G-d answered His Messiah with abundant power (a saving strength).

· Right hand speaks about victory and integrity to a promise – a contract, agreement, expectation that had been pre-determined.

v7: This verse now speaks of two options/choices in life – what are we investing in? Is our protection/investment etc in our material wealth or is it found in the character of our G-d?

v8: They bow down – they submit, but to the wrong thing. They are defeated.

· BUT – a word of contrast.

· Rise and stand – a picture of resurrection hope. We trust in the faithfulness of G-d.

v9: This is a verse that is used in the closing prayer, in Hebrew tradition, to end the Shabbat. Again, it should be translated “will” and not “may”. This is a poem of assurance (in the original) and not a poem that leaves any doubt in our minds.

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