The notes in my HCSB study Bible say Psalm 20 is an enthronement psalm. This can mean:
- an emphasis on divine kingship and sovereignty
- the celebration of significant events in the life of a king (e.g. – his enthronement, a military victory, or a wedding)
- then overall praise of Yahweh as King.
This particular passage appears to be written as preparation for a battle and then later celebration at its completion.
The beginning of the psalm appears to be a blessing prayed over the king, presumably David, despite David being named as the author. Perhaps David is recording the blessing another prayed over him? Verses 1-3 seek the help of Yahweh for protection and sustenance, and a hope that God will remember the king’s faithfulness in offerings and sacrifices in times past.
It is the petitioners hope that the king’s desires and purpose will be fulfilled and that the king will return from battle victorious.
The closing verses seem to be written at a later time, after the battle was complete. Verse 6 reads,
Now I know that the Lord gives victory to His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with mighty victories from His right hand.
This indicates that the previous verses were hopeful prayers and the last a confirmation of God’s answer. Of course, it could also be an expression of faith prior to the battle as well, as could be indicated by the request in verse 9:
May He answer us on the day that we call.
This post is Day 20 of the 31 Days of Journaling through the Psalms series. If you would like to read the first post, Psalm 1: The Wise and the Wicked, click here. The introduction to the series can be found here.