Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #73
Posted: February 3, 2006

PSALM 21:1-2

We step this week into a new study of Psalm 21.  The title, “To The Chief Musician, A Psalm Of David” tells little about the Psalm.  It was probably written by David, sung by David, and intended by David to be an exaltation not of himself but of the King of Kings.  These Psalms that speak of the Messiah are so rich with infinite truths we can not touch them with our finite understanding.  I embark upon scratching the surface of these truths with my little finger and will make no noticeable mark upon their depths. 

How fitting that the truths of the Psalm came before those of Psalm 22.  In Psalm 22 we will be taken to the foot of Calvary as we sit and watch Him die for us.  It is in Psalm 21 that we see Him after His suffering high and lifted up as King of Kings.   We are reminded that both the humiliation and exaltation were planned by the Father before they were ever carried out in time. 

Some believe, Psalm 20 was sung as the King went out to battle while Psalm 21 was sung when he returned from the battle.  David is, as in other Psalms, looking beyond himself as “a king” to “THE KING” our Lord Jesus Christ. 

We see Christ in Chapter 21 returning from the battle of Psalm 22 as the ‘Suffering Savior’.  Let us look at the first two verses that describe our lofty Savior when they say, The King shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall He rejoice! Thou hast given Him His hearts desire, and hast not witholden the request of His lips. Selah.”

As we step into verse 1 we see our Lord in His exalted state pointing in humility to the Father.  He ‘joys’ in the ‘strength’ and the ‘salvation’ of the Father, Jehovah God our Lord.  These are twin sisters of grace.  We cannot have one without the other.  The word ‘strength’ means the force, majesty, praise, and boldness of prevailing.  The word ‘salvation’ means to open wide into freedom and deliverance.  Our Savior, God’s Son, attributes all of this to the Father.  It is the strength and salvation of the Father that has glorified the Son as the King.  The Father in turn has told us in other places that if we are to have His strength and salvation we must come through the Son. 

Our Savior, the Son, says it has brought Him ‘joy’ even causing Him to ‘greatly rejoice’.  The word ‘joy’ means to brighten up, to cause to be exceedingly glad.  The word ‘rejoice’ means to spin around in gladness.  The word ‘greatly’ means with intense animated and passionate fervor.  I can not imagine our Savior having this kind of reaction to His condescension to the earth to die for sinners like myself.  He called it the ‘joy that was set before Him’.  If He could respond to the doing of this salvation in such a way, how can we respond less in the receiving of this great salvation?  How can we not in our suffering turn to Him that said, ‘The joy of the Lord is my strength’?  “Our weakness unstrings our harps, but His strength tunes them anew.” (Spurgeon)

In verse 2, we are confronted with the truth that causes one to think of Christ’ earthly and eternal position as mediator between God and man.  We are told in verse 2 that the Father has given the Son the ‘desires’ of His heart.  The word ‘desire’ means a longing that causes one to be satisfied.  The Father has not held back the request from His Son’s lips.  The word ‘request’ means a longing desire to possess.  When we think of the Psalms that speak of the Messiah we are reminded that we studied truth about the Father and the Son who are one.  To speak of one is to speak of the other.  How unsearchable are their ways and their thoughts are past our finding out.  Psalm 139 said, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high, I can not attain unto it.”  When I ponder the truths of oneness of the Father, Jehovah God, and the King, Christ Jesus, I much exclaim, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord our God and King’.

These verses end with the word ‘Selah’.  It is a musical note of pause in the song.  It speaks of catching the breath.  Such truths as these do leave us breathless.  It also speaks of stopping to change the focus.  Surely these truths will cause us to set our affections on things above and not on things below.  John Phillips said it best when he defined Selah as meaning, “Well, what do you think about that?”