For the director of music. A psalm of David.
May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!
Do you pray before you go to battle? The king did. Psalm 20 is a royal psalm prayed by the people before the soldiers went to war. The king didn’t think of encountering the fight before he stopped at the sanctuary and had the congregation pray for him.
The congregation prayed for protection, help, and support. Battles are dangerous endeavors. They asked that God watch over their plans and give success in the heat of the confrontation. Then they anticipated the victory: May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
The king was in his battle array, flanked by his soldiers, and ready to enter the field. But he knew victory would not come by the strength of chariots and horses. God’s powerful right hand was the might behind every win. That’s why the king refused to put his trust in tangible things. His trust was “in the name of the Lord our God.” Trusting in God was the only means by which victory was achieved. It still is.
Father, I am always tempted to trust in chariots and horses—the things that represent strength in my life. Forgive me. My desire is to always trust in You. Help me when I lose my focus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.