327 – Psalm 20 – May YHWH
Let’s spend some time in the nine verses of Psalm twenty. The title of the Psalm tells us David authored the Psalm. However, there’s a simple two-letter word that indicates David’s inspiration for putting pen to parchment here. The word is the word, “we”. This powerful little pronoun shows up three times in this Psalm. Two times in verse five and once in verse seven.
Psalm 20:5 (LEB)
5 May we shout for joy over your victory,
and in the name of our God may we set up banners.
May Yahweh fulfill all your requests.
If you consider the previous four verses you will notice there is no indication the speaker has changed. It’s as if this people group represented by the word “we” authored these words. But from a practical sense, it’s likely that David indeed did pen this Psalm and was simply recounting what he was told by this group.
Who is this group? Likely David’s kingdom subjects as indicated in verse five. They will shout for David’s ensuing military victory. Furthermore who but David’s subjects would raise banners in celebration? They are praying to Yahweh and encouraging David before a battle.
One of the steps in our OIA (Observation, Interpretation, Application) study method is to take note of repeating words or phrases paying particular attention to how they influence meaning. One such repeating phrase shows up initially in the first two words of this Psalm “May Yahweh”. The phrase is represented three different ways but it is still referring to Yahweh. You’ll see it as “may Yahweh”, “may He”, and “may the name of Jacob’s God (Elohim)”. David’s subjects are prayerful that Yahweh will do some things for the King. What things?
- Answer David in the day of trouble (vs 1)
- Protect David (vs 1)
- Send help to David (vs 2)
- Sustain David (vs 2)
- Remember David’s offerings (vs 3)
- Regard David’s burnt offerings favorably (vs 3)
- Give David his heart’s desire (vs 4)
- Fulfill David’s every plan (vs 4)
- Fulfill all of David’s requests (vs 4)
Notice the effect knowing his people are praying for him has on David in verses six through nine.
Psalm 20:6-9 (LEB)
6 Now I know that Yahweh will help his anointed.
He will answer him from his holy heaven
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some boast in chariots and others in horses⌋,
but we boast in the name of Yahweh, our God.
8 They will collapse and fall,
and we will rise and stand firm.
9 Rescue, O Yahweh.
Let the king answer us when we call.
David is assured that Yahweh will answer the prayers of the Israelites on his behalf, he is encouraged!
How might we apply the truth presented in this short Psalm? Well first of all we can recognize the importance of prayer. We are frail human beings who desperately need Yahweh’s intervention regularly. It’s a reminder to us that Yahweh has good things to bestow upon those who walk with Him. Praying to Yahweh on behalf of our leaders can be a wonderful encouragement to them.
It occurs to me that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. What would happen if we were to pray for our Pastors the same prayer that David’s people prayed for him? I recognize that our Pastors are not kings, but I do believe they are “anointed” servants of Yahweh. Even though they don’t go to physical battle, they are engaged in daily spiritual battles. They stand in opposition to the enemy’s attacks to declare the word of Yahweh to all who will listen.
I love my Pastors and can’t begin to tell you how they have positively impacted me and my family over the years. Every time they stand up to declare the word of God in the pulpit or some other setting they make themselves targets of criticism, harsh and hurtful words, and even persecution. They need our prayers! They need Yahweh’s intervention, encouragement, and sustainment!
Let me encourage you to pray for your Pastors. It’s easier than you think. You can start by praying like they did in Psalm twenty, then get personal with Yahweh about your Pastor and his family. Then let them know how you’ve been praying for them and sit back and watch Yahweh work!
Yahweh truly is Worthy of all Praise, Worship, Adoration, Obedience, and Service! Come on in, the water is great!