Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Our Common Prayerbook 21 – 2

posted by Scot McKnight

Psalm 21 celebrates in vv. 8-12 the future delivering acts of YHWH. It is not entirely clear at times whether the speaker is speaking of the King or of YHWH, but the two are clearly interwoven, something that is both true of the Psalms and a potential source of concern in our world today.

In effect, the task of YHWH/the King is to defeat the enemies in their opposition to the King. The psalmist celebrates victory:
   Your hand will find out all your enemies;
your right hand will find out those who hate you. 
You will make them like a fiery furnace
when you appear.
The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath,
and fire will consume them. 
10  You will destroy their offspring from the earth,
and their children from among humankind. 
11  If they plan evil against you,
if they devise mischief, they will not succeed. 
12  For you will put them to flight;
you will aim at their faces with your bows.

But the celebration is directed at YHWH, not the king. This is seen in v. 13. It is YHWH who is on high. This psalm is used on the Feast of the Ascension, and the enemies defeated are seen as the powers and authorities. It fits perfectly, then, with 1 Corinthians 15 and the early Christian gospel of celebrating the victory of Christ in his resurrection and of Christ’s exaltation to the right hand of the Father.

Psa. 21:0   To the leader. A Psalm of David. 
In your strength the king rejoices, O LORD,
and in your help how greatly he exults! 
You have given him his heart’s desire,
and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
you set a crown of fine gold on his head. 
He asked you for life; you gave it to him–
length of days forever and ever. 
His glory is great through your help;
splendor and majesty you bestow on him. 
You bestow on him blessings forever;
you make him glad with the joy of your presence. 
For the king trusts in the LORD,
and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
  
Psa. 21:8     Your hand will find out all your enemies;
your right hand will find out those who hate you. 
You will make them like a fiery furnace
when you appear.
The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath,
and fire will consume them. 
10  You will destroy their offspring from the earth,
and their children from among humankind. 
11  If they plan evil against you,
if they devise mischief, they will not succeed. 
12  For you will put them to flight;
you will aim at their faces with your bows.
  
Psa. 21:13     Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength!
We will sing and praise your power.


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