Psalm 21 vs 1 - 7 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
How great is his joy in the victories you give!
2 You have granted him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips.[b]
3 You came to greet him with rich blessings
and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him –
length of days, for ever and ever.
5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
you have bestowed on him splendour and majesty.
6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings
and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord;
through the unfailing love of the Most High
he will not be shaken.
For most of us Psalm 21 is not a go to psalm, not like its near neighbour in the Psalter but it’s one of which I have fond memories. I became familiar with it through an old cassette tape on which the Scottish singer Ian White set the NIV text of the psalms to his own music. When the tape wore out or the technology moved on I replaced it a double disk CD Psalms Vols 1-3. As years went on the CD was forgotten and lay hidden in the unit in the “good room” until one day I found it and listened again. As I listened to the words of Ps 21 and applied them unconsciously, if that’s the right word, to my own life I was overcome with thankfulness for the Lord’s blessing, and eventually became aware of tears trickling down my face.
It’s believed that Ps21 is paired with Psalm 20 and writers tell us the background is either a coronation song, one for a royal anniversary or perhaps a victory. Not much clarity there except it’s clear that it is a song of celebration and thanksgiving. The psalm is longer but it is verses 1-7 that Ian White set to his music and it’s these I hope we can look at over the next few days. In these the king’s faith is seen and his thanksgiving for the Lord’s goodness is heard.
I wonder do we ever sufficiently take time to reflect on the goodness of God to us, and track his hand on the course of our life? When I’m complaining about this, that or the other not going right, which let’s be honest and I’m not alone in this, can be quite often, this psalm is the antidote and spur I need to give me a realistic view of life in a broken world. I hope it will mean as much to you as it does to me.
Thank you Lord for the grace you pour out on me daily which often I do not even notice. For this receive my thanks today. “Be exalted Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.” Amen