Psalm 20

Intercession is our duty and our privilege. Trust in God secures success. May we be encouraged to pray and not to faint!

1, 2. "May the Lord hear you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you. May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion."

David desires entreaties for himself, and suggests petitions for his praying people. He was tossed on the waves of ever-swelling trouble. At home and abroad, there was the incessant noise of war. He knew the only source of true success. He excites others to besiege heaven for him.

In his kingly office he was a clear type of Christ. In this type David's great Lord and Son stoops to solicit prayer. He stands before us as one in need; troubles grow thick around Him; the whole artillery of hell assails; He looked to heaven, and asks others to desire audience for Him. We can look back and see how answers came. All the perfections of God which constitute His name came forth in His behalf. The God of Jacob was His shield. The heavens opened. A ministering angel hastened to uphold the prostrate God-man.

3. "Remember all Your offerings, and accept Your burnt sacrifice."

In this petition faith looks onward to the great redeemer. Jesus indeed made offering to God. He offered Himself the victim upon the altar. He laid down His life a whole burnt-sacrifice. He fulfilled all which every blazing altar and every bleeding victim had prefigured; He was not spared. Avenging wrath descended, and fullest penalty was inflicted. Justice presented scales, and they received their whole demands.

It is our joy to know that the shed blood prevailed. Each faithful suppliant can remind our God that full atonement has been made for every sin; that all due wrath has been expended on our surety; that His death is our death; His sufferings are our sufferings; His payment is our payment; the curse inflicted upon Him is our redemption. We may kneel joyfully before the throne, and with assurance cry, "remember the offering of the dying Jesus; accept the burnt-sacrifice of the atoning Lamb."

4. "Grant according to Your own heart, and fulfill all Your counsel."

The heart of Christ is fixed on God's glory. He cries, "Your law is within My heart." His burning desire was that all God's attributes should receive honor from His work. This glory is secured when mercy and truth meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. All His desire shall be accomplished. He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. Success shall gloriously crown His work. The Gospel-scheme shall triumph.

5. "We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners; the Lord fulfill all your petitions."

The Church beholds salvation won and all desires of Christ fulfilled. It is a wondrous, precious, glorious sight. God is honored; Christ is magnified; sinners are saved. What is the feeling which breaks forth? It is joy—joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let every heart be glad, let every lip sing praise. In knowledge of this manifested glory let us unfold the banner; let us press to the ranks of the redeemed; let us march in happy fellowship to Immanuel's land.

6. "Now know I that the Lord saves His anointed; He will hear him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand."

The life in the believer's soul, his clear perception of redemption's truth, his realizing views of deep interest in Christ, leave no doubt that Christ was heard in all His prayers, and that God put forth all the strength of His right hand to bring Him through His work. Oh! blessed knowledge of all precious truth!

7, 8. "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They were brought down and fell; but we have risen, and stand upright."

The folly of carnal confidence is next portrayed. Except the Lord be on our side, the multitude of warlike equipment are as the chaff before the wind. The Lord speaks, and Pharaoh and his hosts fall an easy prey to the unsparing sea, while Israel, relying on their God, stand conquerors on the shore, and sing the song of triumph.

Holy Spirit! open our eyes to see our nothingness in ourselves! Our best is worthless. May we shun all fancied righteousness, and fix adoring thoughts on the great name and saving work of Jesus!

9. "Save, Lord! let the King hear us when we call."

Salvation should be the first and foremost, the sum and substance, of our every desire. What will all earth, and all earth's treasures, and all earth's pleasures profit, except our souls be saved! For salvation let our cry besiege heaven's gates. Happy the thought that on the throne a King is seated who never casts out prayer! Let us come boldly, and pray diligently. Calling in Christ's name, we cannot fail. We have a motto for this day and evermore—"Save, Lord! let the King hear us when we call."