Psalm 21

The Word Made Fresh

(For the worship leader. A psalm of David.)

1The king rejoices in your strength, LORD,
and happily delights in your help.
2For you have given him what he desires
and have not withheld his requests.
3You have given him great rewards,
and have placed on his brow a crown of fine gold.
4He asked you for the gift of life, and you have offered him
days and days forever and ever.
5His glory is a result of your assistance,
for you have given him grandeur and nobility.
6You have given him countless blessings.
You fill him with joy at signs of your presence.
7The king trusts the LORD.
Through the LORD’s steadfast love, his throne is established.
8Your hand seeks out your enemies.
Yes, your right hand will find those who hate you.
9You will appear to them as a red-hot furnace
and burn them up in the fire of your anger.
10You will wipe their children off the face of the earth
and remove them from among us.
11They may plan their evil deeds against your authority,
but when they do, they will fail.
12You will send them packing
when you draw your bow and target their faces.
13Your strength is exalted, LORD!
We will sing and praise your power!


Superscription: the 18th “Psalm of David.”

1-7: Psalm 20 was a prayer for victory; Psalm 21 is a prayer of thanksgiving that victory has been gained. Psalm 20 asked, “May the LORD grant your heart’s desire” (20:4). Here it is affirmed that “you have given him what he desires” (verse 2). The king rules at God’s pleasure (verse 3) and succeeds only through God’s help (verse 5). The king therefore must place his trust in God (verse 7) and not in chariots and horses.

8-13: He trusts that God will confront his enemies, and “burn them up in the fire of your anger.” Their plans will not succeed, and their children for generations to come will have no power against the LORD’s king.


David’s relationship with God was complicated, but he was deeply bound to the LORD. Notice that he not only puts his future in God’s hands when enemies attack him, he also does not forget to thank God when his prayers are answered. This is a lesson we should remember: when God answers our prayers, how do we respond? With a prayer of thanksgiving? With an offering of gratitude? Give that some thought the next time God blesses you.