Sermon: The Joyful Victory of King Jesus Psalm 21

The Joyful Victory of King Jesus

Psalm 21

Truth Taught- King Jesus has Defeated His Enemies Through God’s Great Power and His People are Joyful

Introduction

When we pray we often pray that the Lord would do something that we cannot do ourselves. In dependence upon Him and His power we pray. We pray for spiritual victory, we pray for victory over perhaps a certain sin, we pray for healing or care in some area where we need care. No matter what we pray there is a common denominator and that is that God in His great power can do what we ask.

Psalm 21 is a Psalm of King David as he has gained victory over his enemies. The historical context of Psalm 21 is the general history of war during David’s reign as King of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah. God’s people during the time of King David lived in a very dangerous era. David was a warrior king and war was part of the beginning of his kingdom.

When King David was victorious there was great celebration as the people would come and greet their great king as he returned from battle. They praised God for saving their king because as the king goes so goes the people.

David rejoices in the Lord’s power and further acknowledges his trust in Him. As David knows, his victories have not been gained through military might and superior strength of arms but through faith in God and dependence on Him. God has the power to defeat all David’s enemies not David.

This Psalm is God’s response to King David’s prayer in Psalm 2. While David prayed that God would give him the nations there would be a future fulfillment that would be much greater than anything that God would give King David. So, this Psalm points forward to the Greater Future King, namely, Jesus Christ also a Warrior King. Who also was victorious over His enemies and will be ultimately victorious as the Warrior King at His second coming. David’s Kingdom had a beginning but God promised David that it would not have an ending. The Davidic Throne would endure forever. This is why the Psalms are shadows in David’s day and realities in Jesus’ day.

2 Samuel 7:12–13 (ESV)

12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

While David is the author and the one who prayed, his kingdom is but a shadow of the True King and His future eternal kingdom.

We know that ultimately Psalm 2 is focused upon God’s eternal King because all the earthly kings fight against Him, plotting in vain and setting themselves up against God’s anointed eternal King. In Psalm 2 the other thing we notice is that this anointed eternal King is also God’s Son in a very real sense. So, the King in the Psalms is ultimately Jesus Christ with David as the lesser king or the shadow of the One to come. David is truly writing not about himself but about another King greater than he. Many ancient Jewish commentaries went along with the Hebrew original when they spoke of the King in Psalm 2 as King Messiah and so also pointed forward to the True King whom we know as Jesus Himself.

Psalm 2:1–12 (ESV)

Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

   The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,

   “Let us burst their bonds apart

and cast away their cords from us.”

   He who sits in the heavens laughs;

the Lord holds them in derision.

   Then he will speak to them in his wrath,

and terrify them in his fury, saying,

   “As for me, I have set my King

on Zion, my holy hill.”

   I will tell of the decree:

       The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;

today I have begotten you.

   Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,

and the ends of the earth your possession.

   You shall break them with a rod of iron

and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

10    Now therefore, O kings, be wise;

be warned, O rulers of the earth.

11    Serve the Lord with fear,

and rejoice with trembling.

12    Kiss the Son,

lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,

for his wrath is quickly kindled.

       Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

As we work our way through some of the Psalms in the next few weeks we will really get a feel for the fact that while these Psalms focus on the King and His battles, victories, and kingdom they are pointing us on to a greater King, Someone whose throne is higher than David’s, Someone whose kingdom is longer lasting than David’s. We read about a King that David really doesn’t match or line up with and so, we will get a glimpse of the power and majesty of King Jesus.

Hebrews 10:1 (ESV)

10 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

Prayer

  1. The Joy of the King

   O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices,

and in your salvation how greatly he exults!

   You have given him his heart’s desire

and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

   For you meet him with rich blessings;

you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.

   He asked life of you; you gave it to him,

length of days forever and ever.

   His glory is great through your salvation;

splendor and majesty you bestow on him.

   For you make him most blessed forever;

you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

   For the king trusts in the Lord,

and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

Psalm 21 and Psalm 20 really are like two bookends or we might say part one and part two. In Psalm 20 David prays that the King would have victory over his enemies. Again, even in his prayer it’s as if he’s praying a bigger prayer than just for himself. We know the other Person being prayed for is our Lord Jesus. So, David prays for victory over his enemies but notice how it is very evident that he’s praying a bigger prayer for the Greater King in Psalm 20…

Psalm 20:1,4,5 (ESV)

   May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble!

May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!

   May he grant you your heart’s desire

and fulfill all your plans!

   May we shout for joy over your salvation,

and in the name of our God set up our banners!

       May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!

David prays for victory over his enemies but also that the Greater King would have victory over His enemies. What’s amazing is that David’s prayers echoed through the centuries, as it were, to the day of Jesus. God answered David for himself and for his Lord. Both were victorious.

Now in Psalm 21 God has given David victory over His enemies and David is joyful…

   You have given him his heart’s desire

and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

In Psalm 20 David prays that God would give him his heart’s desire and in Psalm 21 we see God has answered his prayer exactly as he prayed it.  This prayer for victory would extend through the entire Davidic kingdom and find Jesus.

In the Book of Acts we see Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost. The bulk of his preaching has to do with how it is that David’s Psalms are really fulfilled in Jesus. He even calls David a prophet.

Peter shows how the Psalms should be interpreted and they are to be read and understood in light of Jesus Christ. Here is an example of David writing something that seems to be about himself in Psalm 16 but he is actually acting as a prophet writing about Jesus’ resurrection.

Peter captures this very well…

Acts 2:22–32 (ESV)

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him,

       “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me,

for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken;

26    therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;

my flesh also will dwell in hope.

27    For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,

or let your Holy One see corruption.

28    You have made known to me the paths of life;

you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

Did you notice in this short quote from Psalm 16 how about half the time David seems to be speaking about himself and the other half seems to be speaking about Someone else?

Luke 24:27 (ESV)

27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44 (ESV)

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

So, we see very clearly that while David prays and writes his prayers the Psalms are bigger than David. A proper interpretation must point us to Jesus.

Now, in verse 2 of our text we see why David and Jesus rejoice…

King David and King Jesus are joyful Kings. Jesus’ reign brings joy to all His people.

Why is the King joyful?

   You have given him his heart’s desire

and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

   For you meet him with rich blessings;

you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.

   He asked life of you; you gave it to him,

length of days forever and ever.

   His glory is great through your salvation;

splendor and majesty you bestow on him.

   For you make him most blessed forever;

you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

God promised David that his kingdom would never end.

2 Samuel 7:12–13 (ESV)

12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

What God the Father did for David and His Greater King He will also do for us.   That’s the second half of Psalm 21…

  1. The Joy of the King’s People

   Your hand will find out all your enemies;

your right hand will find out those who hate you.

   You will make them as a blazing oven

when you appear.

       The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,

and fire will consume them.

10    You will destroy their descendants from the earth,

and their offspring from among the children of man.

11    Though they plan evil against you,

though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.

12    For you will put them to flight;

you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13    Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength!

We will sing and praise your power.

Eternal joy comes to us much like the joy that came to Jesus. In order for Jesus to have victory over His enemies God has to destroy them. The same thing is true for us. One day God will destroy all enemies of Jesus. God searches out and destroys Jesus’ enemies. This is the only way for complete joy for God’s people.
God takes the way people treat His Son seriously. Whoever are the enemies of Jesus are God’s enemies as well. All of God’s enemies will be defeated. God’s power fights for His anointed King. In both cases in David’s case and in Jesus’ case God gives victory through His power. When all God’s enemies are crushed under His power will there be complete victory and eternal joy.

Again we turn to Psalm 2…

Psalm 2:1–3 (ESV)

Why do the nations rage

and the peoples plot in vain?

   The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers take counsel together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,

   “Let us burst their bonds apart

and cast away their cords from us.”

Notice the steps God takes to defeat His enemies…
He first searches them out…

   Your hand will find out all your enemies;

your right hand will find out those who hate you.

Then in verse 9 we see their destruction…

   You will make them as a blazing oven

when you appear.

       The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,

and fire will consume them.

All their plans will be defeated and come to nothing…

11    Though they plan evil against you,

though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.

12    For you will put them to flight;

you will aim at their faces with your bows.

You see this is a war. David knew it and saw all the bows being bent. He knew the bitter reality of wartime casualties. He knew what was at stake in the battle. His people also knew what was at stake. Would they be overtaken and be either killed or taken into slavery? These were the realities of war.

So, when they see their king returning in victory they knew that the enemy had been defeated and they were ecstatic with joy.

The same is true for Jesus. His victory was over His enemies and someday at His return all enemies will be defeated and there will joy.

 

 

 

 

 

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