Let praise be the blossom of prayer.
Though we cannot sing a note in honor of our own strength,
we can always rejoice in our omnipotent God,
if we have trusted all to Him.
1 The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
2 Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
3 For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head.
4 He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
5 His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
6 For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.
7 For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
8 Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee.
9 Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
10 Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
11 For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
12 Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them.
13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 21 – Rejoicing in the Strength of Jehovah
This is a companion to the psalm preceding. The blessings there asked for are here gladly acknowledged to have been granted; and bright anticipations are entertained for the future. How much of this psalm is true only of the ideal King—our Lord! Let us read it with special reference to Him as He rides forth on His white horse, Revelation 19:11-16.
That which the heart desires, the lips at times find difficulty in expressing. God’s help always prevents us, that is, “goes before” us, anticipates our needs. The only life that can satisfy is the eternal, but that is ours already if we only knew it. Our beloved dead are more blessed forever, because they see Him “face to face;” but we also may share their joy. Trust in Christ is the secret of immovability. God has exalted Christ to be a Prince and a Savior, and we shall never be at peace until we have done the same, Acts 5:31. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 21:3—Thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness.
God is always beforehand with us. The word “prevent” is not as familiar to our modern English as it was when the Bible was translated. Then it meant “that which comes or goes before.” And the idea is that God goes before us, preparing our way, and laying up supplies of grace to anticipate our need. This is the meaning of the prayer: “Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings.”
Go into the chamber where the mother is preparing for the advent of a little babe. You have no difficulty in telling what the wants of the child will be by all the articles which her tender forethought is providing; and when presently the little one opens its eyes in this strange, new world, it finds that it has been prevented with the blessings of goodness.
For ages prior to the appearance of man on the earth, the great heart of God was exercised in preparing for him. To please his ear, Music tuned her lyre; to satisfy his eye, the Great Artist wrought variety of colour and form; to warm him, seams of coal were laid down; to give him drink, rivers poured from crystal urns of snow-clad peaks; and Adam might have adored God’s prevenient grace. Think, for instance, of the color, the light and scent and driving-power in rock-oils!
Still more is this the case in the kingdom of redemption. God has stored all the blessings of goodness in Jesus. In eternal ages, in the incarnation, the cross, incarnation, the cross, the ascension, He has prepared beforehand for every possible need of our spiritual life. Whenever you pray, remember that you are not to procure unthought-of help; but to avail yourself of the blessings of goodness with which God has anticipated your coming. —Our Daily Homily