May 31, 2021
Psalm 20:1-9 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 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.
6 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.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!
Psalm 20 was likely used in a worship service before a battle. The King and battle leaders would have gathered their chariots, horses, and soldiers in preparation for the battle, but they knew their ultimate trust was in God. They were not going into battle without God’s presence, and they called on God for victory, protection, and support.
How do we prepare for the battles of this life – whether the daily, more common stressors or the less frequent tragedies that might occur? Having plans and being prepared for the future underlie many of our activities. Some of us make lists for each day, especially when there are a lot of “battles” or daily tasks to accomplish. If we are preparing a special meal, we look at our recipes, make a grocery list, and plan our food preparation timetable. On a long-term basis, we may have special savings accounts or we may purchase health and life insurance “just in case”.
There is nothing wrong with making plans or writing lists or buying insurance, but do we need to also ask ourselves where trust in God fits into our ultimate life plans? Do our daily lists, written or not, include time for meditation and prayer, study time with scripture and devotional materials, or quiet time to listen for God’s guidance? Do our long-term plans include individual, family, and corporate worship to help us draw closer and closer to God on our faith walk? Are we willing to change our plans when God’s will directs us to a different path than the one we planned and to trust God on that path?
What are the “chariots and horses” we trust to help us through daily routines and the unexpected events that will occur on life’s journey? As the psalmist proclaimed, we trust in God and we rise and stand firm (v. 7-8). Preparation is a necessary part of life, but our priority must be our trust in God.
God of our lives, open our hearts and minds to always listen to you and discern your will as we make our life plans. May our trust be ever in you. Amen