As Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, He encountered ten lepers who begged Him for healing. Jesus answered their request, and in accordance with Mosaic Law, instructed the men to show themselves to the priest who would declare them clean. Even so, only one man returned to give praise to God and thank Jesus for His healing touch (Luke 17:11–17).
Psalms 20 and 21 remind us to give thanks to the Lord. Today’s passage opens with David on the eve of battle. His people surrounded him, offering a plea on his behalf. They asked that God would “answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you” (v. 1). They asked God to remember the sacrifices and offerings the king had made (v. 3). Ultimately, they prayed for victory.
In the ancient world, it would be tempting to put your hope in war horses, chariots, or, even better, a mighty army. But Israel knew better. They declared, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (v. 7). They remembered the period of the Judges when God raised up deliverers who used weapons like ox goads, donkey jawbones, tent pegs, and clay pots and torches. Salvation did not depend upon military prowess, but upon the Lord’s power.
David was not slow in giving thanks to the Lord. Psalm 21 is a rousing hymn in which David declares, “Through the victories you gave, his glory is great; you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty” (21:5). He was able to achieve victory because the Lord showed up and delivered him (v. 9). This was reason enough for the nation to join David and declare, “Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing your praise and your might” (v. 13).
Lord, we pray for thankful hearts. We are grateful for your care and provision for your people. May our prayers, like King David’s, be hymns of praise for your glory, majesty, faithfulness, and love. Thank you for hearing our prayers!