PSALM 20 - Messiah the King: Whose Prayer is Always Heard.
Read through this short Psalm, before starting the study below.
Ask yourself: Who is the One referred to as "Thee" and "Thy," whose prayers are always heard?
20:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
The LORD hear
{HB='anah, to answer, to respond} thee...
Actually, His prayers are not only heard, but also they are always answered!
Believers are assured that our prayers will be granted, if we know that we ask according to His Will (1Joh 5:14,15). But we don't always know His will... and often, we ask amiss with fleshly motivations (Jam 4:3).
The assurance that the LORD will answer "Thee" is more than a hopeful encouragement.
It is repeated so often as to become a statement of fact. The petitions of this One cannot fail. Yet, from our own experience, you and I know that there is no guarantee that all our prayers will be answered in the way we intended.
Who is this, whose prayers are always answered.? He is identified in v.6.
"...the LORD will hear... His anointed..." {HB=mashiach, the Messiah} the day of trouble {ie., narrowness, straights, distress; cp. Mat 26:38.39; Heb 5:7},
the name of the God of Jacob defend thee.
'Defend,' here, means to set on high, to exalt above troubles.
Jacob's God lifted him out of his troubles, and changed his name to Israel. Gen 32:28
The LORD, the God of Israel, lifted His people out of their affliction in Egypt. Ex 3:13-17
20:2 Send {ie., extend to} thee help from the sanctuary,
and strengthen thee out of Zion.
Zion is Jerusalem, especially the Temple Mount, the place where God chose to place His Name.
Zion refers specifically to the place of God's abode (Psa 9:11; 14:7; 53:6).
the sanctuary - Help comes from 'the Holy Place' (cp. 2Kin 19:15; Psa 80:1; Psa 63:2).
20:3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept they burnt-offerings; Selah.
Not all offerings are acceptable before God, because many are offered with impure motives (Isa 1:12-16).
But the offerings of this One were all, every one of them, acceptable before God.
The various types of OT sacrifices (eg., burnt offering, sin offering, peace offering, thank offering, etc.) depict the various aspects of Christ's life, wholly given to the Father's will, and wholly offered for our sins. Heb 10:4-f
20:4 Grant thee according to thine own heart,
and fulfil all thy counsel.
God cannot grant every desire of my deceitful heart... or yours (Jer 17:9,10).
Our hearts often harbor ungodly counsel, which the Lord cannot bless (Psa 1:1).
Our Lord's heart desire and counsel will be fulfilled. Psa 21:2; Joh 11:41,42
Those whose hearts are transformed into His likeness, also seek the things which He desires. Joh 16:23; 1Joh 5:14,15
20:5 We will rejoice {cry out with a shout of victory} in thy salvation {HB=yeshuah},
This will occur in the future ("will rejoice").
The victory, in which believers rejoice, is that of Yeshuah. Isa 25:9; 61:10,11
Today, we "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory."
Yet, until the day that He comes for us, we cannot know the full measure of the joy that we will know in His Presence (1Pet 1:6-9).
and in the name of our God we will set up our banners:
An army is identified in battle by its banner (or, standard).
The people who are identified with the LORD will overcome all foes.
Therefore, this banner signifies victory, for it is the flag that still flies after the battle.
  • After the victory over Amalek, Moses worshipped at the altar, which he called "Jehovah-nissi" {ie., the LORD is my banner, Ex 17:15}.
  • The future Messianic Kingdom will be ushered in by the Messiah, who is the "standard" (or, banner, ensign) around whom His people will rally, and with whom they will be identified. Isa 11:10,12 (re: 'the root of Jesse,' David's father, see Rev 22:16.)
the LORD fulfil {ie., satisfy, make full} all thy petitions.
The petitions of the Messiah will be fulfilled perfectly.
How little we are aware of the details of what He asks of the Father, though He "ever lives to make intercession" for His own. Yet, through His fulfilled petitions, we are saved completely (Heb 7:25). His petitions rise from the altar where He offered Himself, completely, and satisfactorily, to God and for us (Heb 7:26,27).
20:6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed {HB= mashiach};
he will hear him from his holy heaven
{ie., the heaven of his holiness; cp. Isa 57:15; 63:15}
with the saving strength of his right hand.
The anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ, was saved {HB=yasha, delivered, liberated},
out of "the day of trouble" which He endured for us,
when He was raised from death by the hand of God. Acts 2:32-36; 5:30,31
Now know I...- What assurance Christ's resurrection gives to those who trust in Him.
The anointed One, is the King whose throne will be established upon the holy hill of Zion, though all the rulers and powers of earth join together against Him (Psa 2:6). Even death will not prevail against Him.
Psalms 20-24 provide a vivid picture of this King.
A common theme through these five Psalms is the resurrection of Messiah.
  • Psa 20 - resurrection anticipated, in answer to the prayer of the King.
  • Psa 21 - resurrection anticipated, in the King's joy in salvation, yet to be accomplished.
  • Psa 22 - the death and resurrection of the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep.
  • Psa 23 - the death and resurrection of the Great Shepherd who leads His sheep.
  • Psa 24 - the resurrection and exaltation of the Chief Shepherd, who ascends in victory as the Lord of Hosts and the King of Glory.
20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:
but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Trust in man and in human devices, brings a curse and sure failure. Isa 31:1-3; Jer 17:5-8
The arm of flesh cannot prevail against the LORD our God. 2Chr 32:8
20:8 They are brought down {ie., humbled, caused to bow; as in Isa 45:23,24} and fallen:
but we are risen
{ie., 'we are caused to stand'}, and stand upright {or, 'and bear witness'}.
20:9 Save, LORD:
Let the king hear us when we call.
...hear us when we call... -
To whom is our petition directed?
To the LORD, the King, the Anointed One, whose prayer the Father always hears.
It is because of Him, that our prayers are heard. Joh 14:13,14; 16:23-27

This Concludes the study in Psalm 20.
Click here to begin the study in Psalm 21.
Click here to view Brief Notes on several other Messianic Psalms.

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