Psalm 21: An exposition
This is a psalm full of praises to the Lord. The psalmist heart is captivated by the goodness of Yahweh, namely how God has blessed him and saved him.
David who penned this psalm begins with a thanksgiving; and the consequent verses all the way to vs. 5 details how God has blessed the psalter. Vs. 1 O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! Those who read the Psalm in their numerical order will notice that this psalm is a companion to the preceding psalm. The blessings asked for in the prior psalm are granted here, such as the granting of the king's heart's desire. David rejoices in God's great favour granted towards him; and what makes him marvel extremely, is the pleasure that God vs. 6 has made him most blessed forever. The means by which God makes glad forever the heart of David is with the joy of his presence. Is this not our inheritance my dear saints? Should not all our prayers end with this petition, namely for God to come and make us glad with the joy of his presence? What are you asking for to make you happy? If it is not God himself, then you have greatly erred. In his presence is fullness of joy. Only the divine face can infinitely chase away all your sorrows and make you glad ceaselessly.
After given thanks to God for such marvellous favour, David reassures his own soul of the benefits of his own trusts in the LORD, namely that vs. 7 through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved. As long as God's love abounds for the king, his boundaries shall not be overthrown. God will keep all opposing powers away, he shall never let them destroy his beloved. The steadfast love of the Most High is the saint's consolation. In the hours of despair and misery, the saint must make this love his dwelling; for his healing will arise quickly and overflow. God's steadfast love is an ever present opportunity to rejoice and mock at all of the enemy’s inflicting blows. Nothing at all can separate thee from God's infinite love. It is eternal. Death cannot rent it asunder, eternity will never diminish it, and time will never dispense with it. As long as God continues to exist, the saints have this surety, namely this unmovable ground in the steadfast love of the Most High God.
Vs. 9-12 groups the enemies of the saints in a pitiful condition. Although the psalmist is speaking of God's enemies, yet anyone who opposes God is automatically an enemy of the saints i.e. the devil. The devil is not so much against the redeemed congregation as he is against God. And because the ekklesia is the masterpiece of God's work, the devil concentrates all of his energy in destroying it as to thwart the plans and work of God. But what a silly devil. What folly drives this immoral spirit? Perhaps the decadent spirit knows of his own impending doom, thus he strives to continue in his wicked ways, not comprehending the ways of renunciation. His anger ambitions him, his loathing fuels him, but when all is said and done, God will appear the victor, therefore the saints have nothing to fear except him who has the power to cast both body and soul into hell . For all the tears of the saints, yea, all the tears inflicted upon them by that scrupulous beast and all his host will be wiped away. None shall remain in that jar where God contains the weeping’s of his beloved. God's hand will recompense his saints by finding out all their enemies and make them as a blazed oven, swallowing them up in his wrath, consuming them with fire. No child of the wicked shall remain, they shall have no opportunity to breed for God will speedily appoint them their eternal portion. It is an awful condition to be found an enemy of God, for he is Almighty. No plans will succeed against him, therefore o foolish soul, cease from devising mischief against the Lord and his anointed ones, lay down your evil plans.
The Psalm finishes where it began, namely declaring praises to God and offering him thanksgiving. This is a practice we must all ensue. When we come to the end of our prayers let us not forget to thank God and exalt him. Vs. 13 Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.