Study Guide – Psalm 21

1 The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give!

With what mood does David begin this psalm? What sort of circumstance led to this "song" being written? 

In order to not take the context of this psalm for granted, imagine having been involved in hand-to-hand battles with an enemy army. Consider the events, emotions, efforts and extremes of the fighting. Then imagine how you feel, especially as the king, when the battles were over. Continue reading the rest of the psalm with this in mind:

2 You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.
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 splendor 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.

As he looks back on his experiences, for what specific things is David grateful in verses 2-6?

Study verse 7. What outcome does David's gratitude produce in his faith? What might this look like in David's life?

8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
    your right hand will seize your foes.
9 When you appear for battle,
    you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and his fire will consume them.
10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    their posterity from mankind.
11 Though they plot evil against you
    and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
12 You will make them turn their backs
    when you aim at them with drawn bow.

Describe the scene that David envisions in verses 8-12. How are these details a practical outworking of verse 1-7?

Is it possible to have this sort of confidence going into a battle or a challenge that you face? Why or Why not?

13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
    we will sing and praise your might. NIV

In the end (as in the beginning), what priority does David express in this battle-cry psalm? In the horror of war, or in the face of violent adversity, how does a follower of God keep this priority?


::::: Equipping Challenge :::::

Measure your opinions about fighting against the conviction and the priorities of Psalm 21. Take time to pray that in all you think and do, in all you befriend and battle, that your actions and attitude exalt the Lord.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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