A Psalm of David.

Another psalm by Israel’s great shepherd-king.  This psalm, written on the occasion of David’s coronation, either over Judah or over all Israel, looks forward to the future and the beginning of the kingdom of God, when David is again crowned as Prince of Israel, and Messiah is declared their King.

1.  The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD;

David here refers to the LORD’s strength that has brought him his heart’s desire and victory over his enemies.  “Strength” in this case indicates the strength that has prevailed, bringing about the fulfillment of David’s request.  Indeed, the LORD’s strength shall always prevail when He sees fit to use it.

And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

Salvation is indeed a thing to greatly rejoice about.  David is not just speaking about salvation from sin in the present, however, but also in the future when in resurrection life we are saved completely from the law of sin and death.

2.  You have given him his heart’s desire,

This psalm, following David’s request in Psalm 20, probably is the psalm of praise written after David’s request in that psalm was fulfilled.  Compare this verse with psalm 20:4, “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire.”  David’s heart’s desire has been fulfilled, and so he praises the LORD in this psalm.  How often do we remember to praise the LORD when our heart-felt requests are answered?

And have not withheld the request of his lips.

The thing that David had asked for had come to pass.  This is indeed a psalm of praise for an answered prayer.


In this context, this word connects the reference to David’s request being answered (verse 2) with what that answer was (verse 3.)

3.  For You meet him with the blessings of goodness;

This is how the LORD fulfilled David’s request.  How many blessings of goodness we receive in our own lives!  We are surrounded by plenty, and have access to God’s free grace.  We too can praise the LORD for the blessings of goodness that He has showered upon us.

You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.

The request the LORD had answered was for the crown that David had been promised.  Now he has received it, and praises the LORD for it.  Yet this does not just have reference to David’s coronation in the past, but also looks forward to his future coronation as the Prince of Israel, as we will see in the next verse.

4.  He asked life from You, and You gave it to him—

This refers not to this life, of course, as no one requests life before receiving it.  This has reference to David’s rescue from his enemies, who sought to take his life from him.  Yet it also has a fuller reference to resurrection life, and that day in the future when God will grant to David life from the dead, as he requested.

Length of days forever and ever.

David’s request was not just for this life, but also for the life to come.  That is the time when David’s days will be long indeed, flowing on and on throughout God’s Kingdom.

5.  His glory is great in Your salvation;

The LORD’s salvation has resulted in great glory for David as he writes this psalm.  Yet how much will the truth of these words be increased when David sings them in the resurrection!

Honor and majesty You have placed upon him.

David knew better than to take the credit for the honor and majesty he had received.  He knew that these came from the LORD, and he gave Him the credit He deserved.  Yet how often is the heart of man prone to taking credit for the things God has done for it!  This praise of David’s should remind us Whose the hand is that gives us all good things.

6.  For You have made him most blessed forever;

This again refers to David’s position that the LORD will give him in His future kingdom on earth.  What glorious promises he had!  Yet we know that we who believe in our day have a glorious future in store for us as well.

You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.

Yes, and how glad all God’s people will be when He is present with them at last!

7.  For the king trusts in the LORD,

This trust indicates confiding in Him.  David’s confidence was in the LORD.  He had given him the kingship, and David knew that He was the One Who could sustain him in it.  What further reason needed he to confide in Him?  And if a great king like David could confide in Him, cannot we as well in our own little positions in this life?

And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.

“Mercy” here indicates “grace.”  It was God’s grace that kept David on the throne in the past, and it is likewise His grace that will place him there in the future.

The word for “Most High” here is the name for God Elyon, which indicates the God Who owns the earth and gives blessings in it to whom He will.

8.  Your hand will find all Your enemies;

When God’s Kingdom comes to earth, none of His enemies will be able to hide from Him.  Where could they go to escape Him when He takes control of the whole earth?

Your right hand will find those who hate You.

We see many around us who express their hatred for God.  Yet their Creator has the right to punish them, and He will exercise that right someday as we see here.

9.  You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger;

This shows us how the LORD will dispose of these people who hate Him.  “Fire” is symbolic for judgment, and God’s judgment applied to these God-haters will result in their destruction.

The LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath,

This is, of course, figurative, and teaches us that the LORD’s enemies will be destroyed at that future time when He takes control and rules the earth.  He will not literally swallow them, but like food that is swallowed they will be consumed and never seen again.

And the fire shall devour them.

This refers perhaps to both the fire of the judgment that is against them, and the more literal fire of the lake into which they shall be cast to suffer the second death.

10.  Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth,

This does not speak so much of literal offspring, for we know that in the kingdom children will not suffer for the sins of their fathers.  Rather, this refers to the great offspring of those who hate God.  God-haters produce great works of wickedness and malice against God that are common around us today.  There are movies, books, television programs, and a host of other things that are the offspring of wicked men who hate God.  It is this offspring, the works of wickedness that they have produced, that will be destroyed from the earth along with the enemies of the LORD.

And their descendants from among the sons of men.

Those among the sons of Adam who in spirit are the descendants of God’s enemies will be cut off and no longer counted among Adam’s race in that future Day when the LORD takes control of the earth and makes it as He always wanted it to be.  In that Day there will be no enemies of God existing on the earth, at least for a time.

11.  For they intended evil against You;

Many are those who suppose to bring calamity against God’s people and His plan for the future.  One example that comes to mind is those who have blocked off the east gate of Jerusalem through which the Bible predicts Messiah will pass when He returns to earth.  They suppose that they can bring evil to God’s plan by piling rubble in a gate!  Yet all who intend evil against God will be among those cut off from the earth in the future God has prepared.

They devised a plot which they are not able to perform.

No one can accomplish a plot against the LORD when His Kingdom comes to earth.  Who could possibly stand against Him when He puts forth His power and reigns?  All such plots in that day will be in vain, for the LORD will know them and He will thwart them.

12.  Therefore You will make them turn their back;

This speaks of turning their backs to flee when their power is conquered and their hopes dashed.  David saw this happen to God’s enemies many times in his life in the past.  Yet this will be true, not just of some, but rather of all God’s enemies universally when the future Kingdom comes at last.

You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces.

Many times in the Psalms the power God sends forth to bring about His Kingdom on earth is symbolized by the shooting of arrows against His enemies.  When the LORD makes war against them, they will be doomed indeed.  How different from our day, when God’s grace allows the wicked to continue in their smug rebellion against Him and to imagine that they can win out against Him and rule their own lives as they see fit.

13.  Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength!

It is the LORD’s strength that will bring about His exaltation in the future.  Those who imagine that somehow the “church” will bring about God’s Kingdom imagine in vain.  It is not the power of men that will result in the LORD’s exaltation on the earth.  Rather it is only His Own power that can ever result in His ultimate exaltation.

We will sing and praise Your power.

This is the song and the praise of David and all those who with him receive new life on God’s future earth.  It is the LORD’s strength that wins the earth for them, and so they have great cause to praise His mighty power.  And if we know Him, we too will have cause to praise Him for our future blessings and glory.  May that day come quickly!

To the Chief Musician.

This psalm is dedicated to this man to be used for public worship.  Thus all can use this psalm to praise the LORD when their prayers for their hearts’ desires are answered.  And all God’s people can likewise use this psalm to praise the LORD when they receive their own place in His future Kingdom.

Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.”

This is another useless rendering of the Hebrew.  The Hebrew here is Aijeleth Shahar.  This should be translated, “Relating to the Day-dawn.”  This teaches us that this psalm relates to that future time when the great Day of Christ dawns at last and God’s Kingdom comes to earth.  We have seen all throughout the psalm how it refers to David’s future and God’s future plans for all the earth at that time.  Yet our translators fail to understand this because of the erroneous inclusion of this phrase in the superscript of Psalm 22 rather than the subscript of Psalm 21.  Psalm 22 has to do with Christ’s death on the cross, and has nothing to do with the dawning of the Kingdom.  Thus we can understand the translators’ confusion at this phrase, and why they must have decided that this is just the name of a tune that the psalm is set to.  Yet since we no longer know any of the tunes of that day, this makes this phrase altogether worthless, and I do not believe that any of God’s Word is worthless.  Once we understand that this phrase belongs to the previous psalm, we can see how it points us to the subject and the context of the psalm, which is the future dawning of God’s Kingdom on earth.  How wonderful it is that God has given us psalms like this to show us His plans for the future!