PSALM 21 - Messiah the King: Looks beyond His Rejection.

At the beginning of the week of His crucifixion, Jesus presented Himself to Israel as their King. He came meek and lowly, riding upon a colt the foal of an ass (Zech 9:9; Mat 21:5). He was the promised Messiah, the King. Yet, His people rejected Him. Rather than being elevated to the throne, He was lifted up on the cross, where He offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of His people. During the Passover week, the rejected King was continually before His people for their examination, for they needed to see that He, the Lamb of God, was truly without blemish.

In their ignorance of scripture, and dullness of sensitivity to the Spirit, they did not know who He was, nor did they understand what He was doing. But He knew. He wept over the unreceptive hearts of His people and in anticipation of the judgments that would come upon them.

During that last week, Psalm 21 must have brought great comfort to Him. Its placement, immediately before "the Psalm of the Crucifixion" (Psa 22), is more than coincidental.

Notice that Psalm 21 divides into two sections.
  1. Verses 1-7 address the LORD, about the King, who, in His meekness, is
    • completely dependent upon, and
    • absolutely confident in the strength of the LORD.
  2. Verses 8-13 address the King, as the LORD, who, in the greatness of His own power,
    has complete victory over His enemies.
 
21:1. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
...shall joy... shall... rejoice.-
The King's rejoicing is in the future, for in the week immediately before Him, He would know many sorrows.
The LORD is the basis of the King's joy...
- in thy strength - Psa 20:6
- in thy salvation - Psa 20:5
21:2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire,
and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
This King is the One whose prayer the Father always hears. Psa 20:1-4; Heb 5:7-9
21:3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness:
thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
Thou preventest him {ie., go before him}...- cp. English pre- (before); venture (to go forth)
...with the blessings of goodness.- ie., You have anticipated His coming,
with rich and appropriate gifts, not only for Himself, but for all peoples (cp. Gen 12:2,3).
...thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.-
  • The One rejected, by Jew and Gentile alike, is still the King.
    "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion" (Psa 2:6).
  • The LORD Himself has established His throne and crown.
    Because of death, David could not continue on his throne.
    But his Son will reign for ever. 1Chr 17:11-15
  • The crown of pure gold speaks also of His deity.
    This son of David is also God the Son. Luk 1:32
21:4 He asked life of thee, [and] thou gavest [it] him,
[even] length of days for ever and ever.
The King, though He would be crucified, would live for ever, in answer to His prayer. (cp. Psa 61:5,6)
21:5 His glory [is] great in thy salvation:
honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
His glory is great in thy salvation...-
The praise which the saved have for the Lord Jesus Christ is centered in the salvation which the King accomplished for them through his death and resurrection. eg., Isa 49:5-7; Php 2:9-11; Rev 5:8-13
Honor and majesty hast Thou laid upon him...-
But the King’s glory is not merely from the praise of men.
The LORD Himself has clothed Him with surpassing glory. eg. Eph 1:20-23
21:6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever:
thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
...Thou hast made...-
In v.1, the King’s joy was seen as future.
In v.2-6, the LORD’s promises, though yet to be fulfilled, are stated in the past tense, emphasizing that they are sure. see Heb 12:2; Psa 16:11
21:7 For the King trusteth in the LORD, {present tense}
and through the mercy
{ie., grace} of the most High he shall not be moved. {future tense}
The King’s faith is unshakeable. Psa 16:8; 1Pet 2:23
The King will never be displaced from His throne. Luk 1:33
 
21:8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies:
thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
21:9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger:
the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
21:10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth,
and their seed from among the children of men.
The actions of the King against His enemies...
demonstrate His power, which is the power of the LORD (v.9).
  • When the King became a man, for the suffering of death, He had laid aside His power. But after purging our sins by the sacrifice of Himself, He has taken this power to Himself again.
  • Once, in the weakness of His humanity, He was dependent upon the strength of the LORD (v.1).
  • Now, He Himself destroys His enemies ("Thine hand... thy right hand... thou shalt...") for to Him, all power has been given (Mat 28:18; Rev 11:17)
21:11 For they intended evil against thee:
they imagined a mischievous device, [which] they are not able [to perform].
For...- This is the just cause for their judgment. Rev 16:5-7
21:12 Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back,
[when] thou shalt make ready [thine arrows] upon thy strings against the face of them.
Therefore...- Here is the consequence of their judgment.
No enemy can stand against the Great King, who is the LORD.
When...- There is a specific time for their judgment. see Zech 14:2,3; Rev 11:17,18
21:13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength:
[so] will we sing and praise thy power.
The King is high above all others, due to the strength of who He is {ie., the inherent greatness of His Person, Purposes, and Power}.
Eventually, every living being will acknowledge His pre-eminence...
  • some, with regret, under His righteous judgment.
  • others, with joy, for His powerful salvation. Rom 1:16
    "So will we sing and praise thy power."

This Concludes the study in Psalm 21.
Click here to begin the study in Psalm 22.
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