Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Our Common Prayerbook 20 – 2

posted by Scot McKnight

Yesterday we began to look at Psalm 20. We observed the prayer was more of a blessing said in the presence of God about the King. The context seems to be the King going to war or to battle. Those who are saying these things (vv. 1-5) are either a priest on behalf of the People or the People or the military band around the King.

In v. 6 the King responds:
Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with mighty victories by his right hand. 

Then we are back to the People’s voice in vv 7-9. (Yes, some think the voice of vv. 1-5 is the same in v. 6.) And these words are powerful ones: instead of trusting in military might, as others do, this People trusts in YHWH our God (v. 7). Those who trust in military might will fall; those who trust in YHWH will gain the victory.

How to respond to all of this? We learn what it is like to bless leaders and to wish upon them the blessing of God for the work God has given them to do. War, so I believe, has come to its end in the Battle of the Cross, and we are called to peace today, so this blessing can be re-routed in the direction of peace and for peaceful means of bringing peace.

Psa. 20:0   To the leader. A Psalm of David. 
The LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
The name of the God of Jacob protect you! 
May he send you help from the sanctuary,
and give you support from Zion. 
May he remember all your offerings,
and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah
  
Psa. 20:4     May he grant you your heart’s desire,
and fulfill all your plans. 
May we shout for joy over your victory,
and in the name of our God set up our banners.
May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.
  
Psa. 20:6     Now I know that the LORD will help his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with mighty victories by his right hand. 
Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses,
but our pride is in the name of the LORD our God. 
They will collapse and fall,
but we shall rise and stand upright.
  
Psa. 20:9     Give victory to the king, O LORD;
answer us when we call.


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