Psalm 20 is a congregational prayer for the success of the king in battle. A strong emphasis is placed on the name of the LORD, acknowledging that Israel’s protection comes from their covenant relationship with God. Just as the people of Israel prayed this psalm for their king, we can pray this psalm for those in spiritual leadership over us.
A contrast is made between those who trust in the name of the LORD and those who trust in themselves or their resources.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm. (v. 7-8)
In times of battle, some trust in the strength of their army.
David knows from experience, however, that victory is not determined by size or strategy. As a young man, David confronted the giant Goliath. David was no match in size or weapons to Goliath, but he was filled with trust in God.
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me…and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. 1 Samuel 17:45-47
David defeated the giant that day, not with his sling and stone, but with his trust in the name of the LORD. The giant Goliath had terrorized Israel’s army, but David stood firm in faith that God would give His people victory.
David eventually became king. It was still a temptation for his people to place their confidence in chariots and horses. David wrote Psalm 20 to show his people how to pray for him and to remind them that trust in God, not their army, was the key to victory.
O LORD, save the king!
Answer us when we call! (v. 9)
In our own battles, we must choose who to trust.
Will we trust our reasoning or resources?
Or will we trust in the name of the LORD?
Some trust in themselves and fall.
But we who trust in the name of the LORD our God rise up and stand firm.
Father, I pray for those in spiritual leadership today. Answer them in times of distress, protect them with your name, send them help from your sanctuary, give them the desire of their heart – You – and make all their plans succeed. Help them trust in you, not their resources or ideas. As they trust you, help them rise up and stand firm when they battle the enemy. With each victory, let the whole world know that You are God. Amen.