This Sunday’s psalm reading is Psalm 20. It was one of the battle-psalms written by David, for protection as he led his people into battle.
Notice how David prayed. Firstly, he prayed to the “God of Jacob”. Clearly David remembered the God who revealed Himself to Jacob, how God has protected and blessed Jacob while he was with Laban, and how God had brought Jacob safely back to the Promised Land (Psalm 20:1). Secondly, he sought God’s help and blessing as he went to war (Psalm 20:2-3). He made his offerings as his worship to God and going to battle with God’s presence. Thirdly, he surrendered his battle plans to the Lord seeking His favour (Psalm 20:4-5). Fourthly, by faith, David could sense victory because he knew that God was willing to save (Psalm 20:6a), and God is able to save (Psalm 20:6b). God’s ability to save was not dependent on David’s army or armament. While men put their confidence in their weapons, their numbers, or their advantage; David chose to believe that if God was on his side, he would win at the end (Psalm 20:7-8).
Singing Psalm 20:
“Now may the God of power and grace”
by Isaac Watts (Tune: “And Can It Be?”)
Now may the God of power and grace; Attend his people’s humble cry!
Jehovah hears when Isr’el prays; And brings deliverance from on high.
The name of Jacob’s God defends, Better than shields or brazen walls.
He from his sanctuary sends, Succour and strength, when Zion calls.
In his salvation is our hope; And, in the name of Isr’el’s God,
Our troops shall lift their banners up; Our navies spread their flags abroad.
Some trust in horses trained for war; And some of chariots make their boasts.
Our surest expectations are, From thee, the Lord of heav’nly hosts.
Now save us, Lord, from slavish fear; Now let our hopes be firm and strong.
Till the salvation shall appear; And joy and triumph raise the song.
Rev. Dr Timothy Chong