October 29, 2017
The Sanctuary | Hazelwood, Missouri
By Daniel L. Segraves
One of the ways meaning was imputed in ancient literature was interpretation by attachment. By one piece of literature being attached to another, the pieces served to provide meaning to one another. The Hebrew word for this was samuk, which means to “lean, lay, rest,” or “support.” The idea was that one piece of literature leaned against another, or supported another. This is seen in three significant places in the Psalter. Psalms 1-2 are interpreted by their attachment to one another, as are Psalms 19-21 and Psalms 119-134. In each case, the first psalm in the group extols the Word of God, and the attached psalms extol the Messiah. The idea is that meditation on the Word leads to faith in the Messiah.
1-6 God’s revelation in creation, commonly referred to as general revelation (as opposed to special revelation, as in Scripture), is universal in scope. Creation reveals the invisible attributes of God, including His eternal power and Godhead (Romans 1:19-20). Rain and the produce of the earth witness to God (Acts 14:17). The moon is a faithful witness (Psalm 89:37).
7-14 As marvelous as the witness of creation is, written revelation was required for the fullest unveiling of the Messiah.
14 A link may be seen between this verse and Psalm 1:2. The idea here, as Psalm 19 is followed by Psalms 20-21, is the same as in Psalm 1 as it is followed by Psalm 2: Meditation in Scripture leads to faith in the Messiah.
Just as Psalm 2, a messianic psalm, follows Psalm 1, a Torah (law) psalm, so Psalms 20-21 are messianic psalms following a Torah psalm (Psalm 19).
1-5 In the context of the Psalter, these verses form a blessing on behalf of the anointed king of the house of David, with this king representing the ultimate King, the Messiah. This blessing anticipates a day of trouble when the Lord will answer and defend the Messiah (verse 1). He will send help “from the sanctuary” and strength from Zion (verse 2; compare with Psalm 18:6). The Lord would remember the Messiah’s offerings and sacrifice (verse 3). This verse would mean one thing as it pertained to David, but quite another when David was a symbol of the Messiah. Although there is no reason to think Jesus did not participate fully in Temple worship when He walked on this earth, His ultimate offering and sacrifice was the offering of Himself. (See Hebrews 10:1-10.) The Lord would grant the Messiah the desire of His heart, fulfilling all His purpose (verse 4). The Messiah joined His brethren in rejoicing in the Lord’s deliverance. (Compare this with Psalms 18:49; 22:22.)
6 A link may be seen between this verse and Psalm 2:2.
9 The words “save, Lord” capture the essence of the promise that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32; see also Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13). The words “let the king hear us when we call” are significant when applied to David, but even more significant when the king in view is the Messiah, the King of kings.
Psalm 21 contains direct links back to Psalm 20 and conceptual links to preceding psalms. Psalm 20 expresses the hope for deliverance; Psalm 21 expresses its fulfillment.
1 The king rejoices in the Lord’s deliverance, or salvation. This links Psalm 21 conceptually with Psalm 20:1-2, 5-9.
2 The words of this verse reflect the hope of Psalm 20:4.
3 The crown of pure gold vividly described this king as the only legitimate king. In his vision of Armageddon, John described the Son of Man, the Messiah, as having “on his head a golden crown” (Revelation 14:14). The word “preventest” would be better translated “meet.”