Monday, August 1, 2016

Introduction to Psalm 20

Psalm 20 has the power to radically transform your life. It is meant to convince your heart of certain truths about who God is and who He wants to be in your life - right now, and for the rest of your life.

If you’ve ever faced a difficult or devastating situation and fallen apart - maybe you’ve crumbled emotionally or shut down mentally, escaped ("avoid the problem") through substances or distractions - that is not God’s best for your life.

He wants to see you through those situations - to overcome it through the supernatural power of Trust.

I often wonder why Psalm 23 is so wildly popular, and yet psalms such as Psalm 20 - which are just as powerful and deserving of attention - go largely unnoticed. I personally have never heard anyone quote any part of Psalm 20 - in a book, a sermon, nor in conversation.

And it is my heart’s desire - and I believe the Lord’s - for Psalm 20 to be as equally ingrained in the hearts and minds of God’s people as “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Not simply for popularity’s sake - but because Psalm 20 is an expression of God’s will - His desire for you, to meet specific needs in your life.

David wrote this Psalm. This is important as we’ll consider how these verses applied to his life.

There are two facts about Psalm 20 that help us identify the underlying message God is trying to convey here:
  1. The context of the psalm is found in the opening verse: The day of trouble
  2. It is written mostly in the second person. That is, to you. (May the Lord answer you. May He defend you. And so on.)

Combining those two facts, it is clear that this Psalm is written for when you are in trouble.

How reassuring! How comforting!

Because we all find ourselves in some kind of trouble at one time or another. And God has written this song to express His provision for such situations.

This provision, and the central theme of Psalm 20 is presented in a simple yet powerful word found in verse 7: Trust.

Trust, as we will find out through studying this Psalm, is a key that will unlock the supernatural power of God in your life to overcome the day of trouble.

Trust is very similar to faith. They are so closely related that I often find it difficult to tell them apart. In fact, in Nave’s Topical Bible under “Trust” it says, “See: Faith”.

Scripture is clear that both trust and faith are matters of the heart, not of the mind.

But where faith has a corresponding outward action (e.g. walking on water, healing the sick, moving a mountain), trust is an inward attitude that manifests itself through inaction.

Faith says, “I believe God, therefore I will do <<insert miracle here>>.”
Trust says, “I believe God, therefore I will rest.”

In other words, in the day of trouble we are often tempted to say, “What am I going to do about this?” And we look to ourselves and our own resources and attempt to take matters into our own hands. When the Word says we ought to:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
​​And lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
“In quietness and trust is your strength” Isaiah 30:15

When fear and anxiety (which come because of the trouble) would attempt to cloud your judgment and choke your thoughts, trust blows away the fog and brings peace and clarity to your mind and heart.

Trust positions us to have clarity in the day of trouble, to know whether we are to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13) or “say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’” (Matt 17:20)

What I am hearing the Lord say to His people is this:
Psalm 20 is My will for your life.
It is My desire to answer you in your day of trouble.
To defend you, help you, strengthen you, to remember your offerings.
To grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose.
It is My will that you rejoice in your salvation, and carry My name as your banner.
It is My desire to fulfill all your petitions.
I want you to be confident that I will save you with the strength of My right hand.
I don’t want you to put your trust in the security found in worldly means. You will see those who do fall. But as you trust in My name, you will see miracles in your life.
I will save you. I will answer you when you call.

Our Response
I firmly believe that these words from God are not just to solve the problem you may be facing today, or even in the next few months. They are seeds that the Lord wants to plant in your heart, which will grow and bear fruit by positioning you to be in a place of trust for any day of trouble you face - for the rest of your life!

So what you can do to embrace this process is to take this Psalm and renew your mind with it.

You can start by listening to the music at the top of this post. The song is Psalm 20, word-for-word from the Bible. It will help you begin to plant and water - as you listen to it again and again, the Word will seep into your heart. And then I will share some thoughts on Psalm 20 - line by line - that I hope will encourage you and also prompt you to meditate on the Psalm for yourself and hear what God is speaking to you.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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