Thine be the glory!

Psalm 21

This is a victory psalm, giving glory to God for what He has done and rejoicing at how He has answered the prayers of His people. The crisis is over – and He has brought them safely through. Once again He has shown Himself to be utterly worthy of our trust.

This psalm might have been written after any of David’s military successes; the ‘gold crown’ (verse 3) could be that of the Ammonite king (II Samuel 12:30). But this extravagant praise goes far beyond anything accomplished by David, and therefore hints at a greater King to come. David lived a long and full life, eventually dying of old age – but Christ really does live for ever, having conquered death altogether, and He now shares the glory of the Father (verses 4,5). “We see Jesus… now crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9) He is the ultimate example of how to overcome the enemy – through faith in the power and love of God (verse 7). “For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. “(Hebrews 12:2)

For God’s people, each small victory over their enemies is a foretaste of Christ’s ultimate triumph (verses 8-10). When He finally returns as King, those who oppose God will be destroyed for ever and the world will be purged of all that is evil (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son;
endless is the victory Thou o’er death hast won!”
(Edmond Budry, trans. Richard Hoyle)

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