This psalm opens with a reminder to place trust in God “in the day of trouble.” Days or seasons of trouble certainly come in this earthly life. Those who trust in the Lord boldly call out to God during difficult times.
The psalmist petitions God’s help on the king’s behalf, perhaps as the king considers a military move. The psalmist calls on the worshiping community and brings to mind the king’s offerings and sacrifices. What a great affirmation for the power of corporate worship! The psalmist closes this petition section by asking God to answer his prayers for salvation and success, knowing this dangerous situation is in the hands of God. Christians have the daily privilege of boldly praying to God in times of need.
The psalmist testifies to his experience of God’s faithfulness and deliverance. He is so certain of God’s help that he anticipates a joyful celebration of God’s triumph over all his enemies.
Psalm 20 spoke to me in January 2003 as my military unit finalized its preparations for the invasion of Iraq. As I listened to the various battle briefings describing the powerful arsenal we had at our disposal to engage the enemy, this scripture came to my mind, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Ps. 20:7, esv).
What is your source of trust when faced with life’s frequent challenges? Do you recall a time when your trust in the Lord proved to be your only source of salvation?
Gracious God, in whom we place our trust, may we look to you alone in our day of trouble as our only source of salvation, strength, and victory. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
From a human perspective, we tend to judge people by appearances: how attractive they are, how wealthy they seem to be. God’s standard, however, is not outward appearance but the attitude of the heart. David was the youngest brother in his family, yet God knew his mighty heart and chose him as the next king of Israel. The psalmist declares that God gives victory to those who put their trust in God, not in the outward appearance of might. Jesus reinforces this truth with the parable of the mustard seed. Though the seed appears small, it grows into a robust plant. Paul tells the Corinthians that we should no longer judge people by what we see on the outside, for God changes what really matters—what is on the inside.
• Read 1 Samuel 15:34–16:13. What clear guidance has the Lord given you regarding an area of obedience in your life?
• Read Psalm 20. How has the Lord answered you when you called out during a critical moment in time?
• Read Mark 4:26-34. What prevents you from trusting God to use your testimony to lead others to Jesus Christ?
• Read 2 Corinthians 5:6-17. How does your trust in and obedience to God affect your personal conduct and your attitude toward others?
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