CHRISTMAS SONGS

Best Wishes For The New Year

Psalm 20

Jerry Collins

12/31/00

SCC

As we approach the beginning of a new year, there is one thought that ought to consume every hour of your life during this new year. That thought: You can confidently trust God to meet your need when you pray to Him. You are going to need that this year. We have no way of knowing what the future holds but we can know with assurance and confidence who it is that holds the future. This Psalm teaches us how we can trust God, by knowing who He is, and why we can trust Him, because of what He does. If we are to cultivate this kind of confident praying, just how are we to do that? Psalm 20 enables us to see not only that such faith is possible but how it can be developed in our lives?

(1) A Psalm of prayer in time of distress vs 1. It ends by anticipating praise to God for deliverance from this distress, convinced of deliverance even though it has not happened yet.

(2) A Psalm of King David stopping to pray confidently for deliverance in the war he is about to enter. He is joined by the congregation of the faithful in the sanctuary who interceded for him.

(3) A Psalm written and delivered to the chief musician, deposited in the sanctuary for the Levitical choirs to perform and used to encourage the people at similar times of distress for the nation.

1. WE CAN CONFIDENTLY PRAY THAT GOD MEET THE NEEDS OF ONE ANOTHER 1-5

Once again it was time for David to lead his people into battle. With this heavy burden he realized this struggle would be disastrous without divine intervention. The enemy boasting of superior advantage, David, limited to footmen in Israel, was compelled to depend upon God alone as he learned ever since he faced Goliath in Gods name (1 Sam 17:45-47). Now at the altar with his sacrifices he is petitioning God for victory. The faithful gathered near intercede for him.

A. Their prayer introduced vs 1. Both phrases express same thot; LORD is the name of the God of Jacob who can deliver David. The contrast between is between Ďtroubleí meaning to bind. Israel was in a bind their enemies pressing tightly around them. Yet the people pray specifically that David would be placed out of reach of his enemies, inaccessible to them.

B. Their request specified vs 2. These two thots, the sanctuary and Zion, refer to that dwelling place as the source of help meaning that the LORD was the source. If David was going to be sustained on this day only LORD could guarantee it.

C. Their request for intervention vs 3. They invoke Gods help for David because he is faithfully bringing offering and sacrifice, an act of faith. It signified humble submission and recognition of LORD. The Burnt offering represented acceptance, to find as fat, blood & fat the Law said was the possession of LORD (Lev 3:16), meaning fat considered best, blood equated with life, acceptance with God on basis of the blood of the substitution. The meal offering signified that all he possessed belonged to LORD by offering a part for the whole. This spoke of dedication and served to bring to Gods memory the one for whom it was made. In NT as in OT, it is the inner condition of the heart and not the outward form of religion that determines true acceptable worship. If Davidís heart was right before LORD his sacrifice would be accepted. So their prayer in light of Davidís act of faith here is that on the battlefield LORD will remember and intervene.

D. Their request submitting Davidís strategy to Gods power vs 4. The desire and counsel is the battle strategy of the king. Here faith and works are joined together. !00% God and 100% me. Though the confidence is not in the strategy but upon God.

E. Their anticipation of Gods answer vs 5. Their thots carried them to the triumphant return where waving banners will testify of the faithfulness and power of the name of their God. They will share in the praise for they have shared in the burden by praying for David. So they reiterate their prayer for Davidís victory since his prayers are in the their bests interests too. 1) Here is man admitted his need of God and in faith petitioned that help. 2) Who understood Gods stipulations for true worship and faithfully observed them. 3) Who recognized the inadequacy of his own strategy and by faith submitted it to God. 4) Of others confidently praying for him, convince that God would answer as they observed Davidís sincere faith.

2. GOD ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ONE ANOTHER 6-8

An undetermined period of time followed when Godís Spirit speaks to Davidís heart assuring answer.

A. True faith in God expressed in strong expressions of confidence 6. (1) David says Now I know as affirmation cp. to (2 Tim 1:12). Seldom do we emerge from praying with such. We usually wonder whether or not God has heard and satisfied to wait and see if it works out. (2) From heaven and saving strength means God will deliver him overcoming the distress. Triumphant! Davidís faith enabled him to expect a staggering display of the power of God. Prayer should continue to this point. Brevity in praying destroys persistent praying, since we barely have time to pray let alone persevere in it.

B. True faith based on proper concept of proper object of faith 7. The improper object is human power. History filled with weak things confounding mighty. Proper object is the name of God. Horses (Deut 17:14-17) not to be multiplied, nor alliances or treaties but only to have God ever before his thinking. Pondering, meditating on His name. His name identical to his attributes representing all he was known to be, reputation. David knew of Gods abilities, perfectionís from His past dealings with His people. Faced with distress he prays to God and the time is spent meditating on glorious character of LORD and no doubt after such holy meditation the prayer is answered.

C. True faith vividly anticipates outcome of answer 8. From prayer to praise, from praise to prophecy describes complete conquest. No doubt that what he prayed was going to happen.

LESSON: Assurance that prayer has been answered-true faith-is developed and strengthened by meditation on Gods attributes. Hindrance here is that we do not really know God. Ignorance of knowing God also ignorance of His power in our lives. So we rehearse and expand obstacles. Instead the procedure developing great confidence in praying is discovering what God has done and capable of doing so that in hour of need those attributes outweigh the problems. If no confidence present in prayer xian needs to evaluate just how well he knows and understands the name of the Lord.