Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
We have here a prayer, put up by the whole church in faith, for Jehovah's prospering the cause of his glorious Messiah, the Church's king. And the Church, already taking for granted that what is asked in faith shall assuredly be obtained, in the close celebrates the victory, and sets up banners.
To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
It is a sad hindrance to our full enjoyment of divine and spiritual things, that our more frequent acquaintance and intercourse with things altogether earthly makes us overlook the grand object intended by the Holy Ghost, in leading the mind of the Church wholly to the Lord Jesus. Here is a prayer for no other purpose, but for the prosperity of Christ, as King in Zion, the glorious head and mediator of his Church. As such the prayer is directed to Jehovah; and the sole object of it is, that Jesus may, for his Church and people, subdue all his and her adversaries.
God the Father promised to be with his Christ through the whole of his undertaking. Psalms 89:22, etc. But observe how the church hath an eye to the merits of Jesus's obedience and sacrifice. And what the heart's desire of Jesus was, is read to us in every part of the Bible. The promises of God are also in covenant to the same. Psalms 21:2; Isaiah 53:10.
This is a blessed triumph of faith. And the people of God do already celebrate the victories of Jesus, and their victories in him, from their oneness with Christ, even in the wilderness below. Hence the Church is seen as coming up out of it, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. Song of Solomon 6:10.
I would beg the Reader not to overlook the change of person here made from we to I. The verse before evidently referred to the whole church of Christ. And who is this I, but the glorious Head himself? Doth not Jesus tell his people how sure he is of being heard, and being successful? See a beautiful instance of it in the days of his flesh, John 11:41-42.
Now again the Church breaks out in her confidences, because of her Redeemer's victory. And is it not so now? Do not some go down to the chariots of Egypt, and, trust the reeds there found, rather than the Rock of ages? Reader, doth not everyone do this, who is looking to an arm of flesh, instead of the Lord Jesus and his righteousness? See that solemn scripture, Jeremiah 17:5-8.
Beautiful and striking contrast! and which is manifested in the experience of the world every day, in the different characters: the faithful in their deliverances, and the ungodly in their false confidences. Hence the Psalm ends, as it begun, with faith in God's covenant love in Jesus. Save us, is like the Hosanna of the Gospel, and is indeed the same word. Matthew 21:9. Keeping a constant eye, through the whole of this beautiful Psalm, upon the person and victories of Jesus, will be the only way to enjoy by faith a blessed participation in what is here recorded. But after this, in a secondary and subordinate sense, it forms a very suitable prayer for kings, and for all that are in authority, that, as the apostle exhorts, prayers may be offered for them, so by the Lord's blessing, under their government, we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. 1 Timothy 2:1.
WHO can read this Psalm, and behold to whom it refers, and then call to mind the blessed victories of our King and Saviour, but must with heart-felt joy join in every part of it while celebrating the triumphs of the Redeemer? Yes! blessed Jesus! God the Father did hear thee in the day of trouble, when thou didst stand forth as our Surety for the salvation of thy people! God, even the mighty God of Jacob, did defend thee. An angel from heaven was sent to strengthen thee. And God did accept thy sacrifice, when thou by thyself didst make thy soul an offering for sin; and by virtue of it thou hast made all thy people accepted in thee, the beloved. Here, Lord, thy redeemed upon earth set up their banners, and thy redeemed in glory are clothed in white, and have the palms of victory in their hands.
And now, Lord, while we rejoice in thy strength, as becometh all thy redeemed, do thou make us more than conquerors, through thy grace helping us, in all the remaining conflicts we have to encounter. In thy name we will greatly rejoice all the day, and in thy righteousness make our boast. And surely, Lord, while thou art the glory of our strength, we shall not be like those who trust to chariots or horses: but we shall be made strong in thy power, and thou wilt finally bruise Satan and every foe under our feet. Save Lord! Jesus, hear us when we call upon thee!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 20 Overview". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-20.html. 1828.
the First Week of Advent