Sermon – October 8, 2017
In this Psalm, King David beautifully records heartfelt words regarding his trust in the strength and power of the almighty God. Throughout history, God has faithfully delivered his people, he has relentlessly defeated his enemies, and has called mankind to trust in his mighty power.
1. God saves his people (vv. 1-6)
David bookends the Psalm by speaking about God’s strength in both verse 1 and verse 13. In verses 2 through 6, he unpacks the glorious salvation and blessing he has received from the Lord. Something that should jump off the page at you is this simple fact; God does the work. All of it.
The king rightly rejoices in his salvation, and he humbly recognizes that it is through the work of God that his is possible. He does not exalt himself, but he points to the one that deserves all the worship and praise for all that has happened. He stands with a long line of saints that rightly recognize that throughout history, God delivers his people.
2. God condemns his enemies (vv. 8-12)
Starting in verse eight, we get the flipside to God’s deliverance of his people. Here we see God’s victory over his enemies. Again, the first thing we must recognize is that God does the work.
Even as the harsh nature of this text is sinking in, we need to recognize what it is we are talking about here. Sin is horrific, and our God is good and holy and just. God is infinitely holy, and all who have sinned against him have broken his law. They are guilty before him, and have earned this as the wages of sin. Enemies of God stand condemned. When we read harsh verses like this, where God is destroying the wicked, we need to take pause. This was me. This was you. We do not deserve any of the grace that we have been given. This is not an us versus them mentality. This is a call for repentance and faith in the one who is the glorious and righteous judge.
3. Trust in God’s mighty strength (vv. 7, 13)
As we read the words of the king, we see that he is firmly planted on a solid foundation. He trusts fully in the mighty power of God. This is because, first of all, he sees God’s strength displayed through God’s actions. Secondly, he recognizes that he serves a steadfast and merciful God. God is trustworthy because he is our creator, he is the covenant keeping God, and he has shown himself to be merciful and faithful throughout history. He is firmly planted, finally, because he recognizes that those that stand against him (and by proxy stand against the Lord) will ultimately fall under God’s mighty hand of judgment. God protected the king as he promised, and God judged the rebellious nations that opposed him.
We see the king trusting in the Lord here, and this was very meaningful as it was written to Old Testament Israel standing against the pagan foes surrounding them. However, we cannot and must not simply read this as an Old Covenant Israelite. We have been given a fuller, richer revelation and we read this in light of the cross. David is writing this from the perspective of the king, and this is true. But we see in David’s greater son the true and better king. David is a type of the one that is to come.
So, what about us? What does this demand from us? It is no different than we see here in the text. What is the king’s response. The king rightly recognizes God’s strength and power. He extols the glorious salvation found in the mighty Lord, and he also recognizes God’s power over his enemies. But he is firmly planted on God’s side? Why is this?
We see the answer at the apex of this Psalm, verse 7. “For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved” (Ps 21:7) It is because of his trust in the steadfast love of the Most High. It is no less true for us. It is no different for us today than it was for the king.