For the director of music. A psalm of David.
A. The King’s Gratitude for Answered Prayer and God’s Blessings
21:1 The king rejoices [verses 2-7 explain why the king rejoices; “Our joy should have some sort of inexpressibleness in it.” CH Spurgeon] in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories [these victories are not the result of trusting in chariots and horses but rather of trusting in the Lord (cf. Ps. 20:7)] you [God is the source of victories] give!
21:2 You have granted him his heart’s desire [cf. Ps. 20:4; the king prayed for victory over enemies] and have not withheld the request of his lips [“What is in the well of the heart is sure to come up in the bucket of the lips…” CH Spurgeon; the king’s plans were in alignment with God’s plans].
21:3 You came [to precede or to go before; cf. the father of the prodigal running to embrace his son (Lk. 15:20)] to greet him [like a victorious hero] with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
21:4 He asked you for life, and you gave it to him — length of days, for ever and ever [this promise applies to the dynasty and ultimately to the Messiah].
21:5 Through the victories you gave, his glory is great; you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
21:6 Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
21:7 For the king trusts [an expression of loyalty] in the Lord; through the unfailing love [covenant love; an expression of God’s loyalty to the king] of the Most High he will not be shaken.
B. God’s Overthrow of the Enemy
21:8 Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies; your right hand will seize your foes.
21:9 When you appear for battle, you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace [possibly a reference to a besieged city set ablaze]. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and his fire will consume them.
21:10 You will destroy their descendants [those who would enjoy their fathers’ ill-gotten wealth and those who might rise up against them in the future] from the earth, their posterity from mankind.
21:11 Though they [the nation’s enemies] plot evil against you [the nation’s enemies were God’s enemies as well] and devise wicked schemes [God sees the intentions of His enemies], they cannot succeed.
21:12 You will make them turn their backs when you aim at them with drawn bow.
21:13 Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we [those who worship and honor God] will sing and praise your might.