Psalm 20 reads as follows from the Oxford Annotated Bible:
The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you! My he send you help from the sanctuary, And give you support from Zion, May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices,
May he grant you your hearts desires, And fulfill all of your plans, May we shout for joy over your victory, And in the name of the Lord set up our banners, May the Lord fulfill all your petitions, Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed, He will answer from his holy heaven, With mighty victories by his right hand, Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God, They will collapse and fall, But we will rise and stand upright, Give v\ictory to the king, O Lord, Anser us when we call.
This psalm talks about the Lord fulfilling your plans, giving you the desires of your heart, and answering all your petitions.
Even while in the onging seeking of fulfillment, plans succeeding, finding your heart’s desires, you will still be in the situation of having petitions to brinng forth to the Lord, so no matter how great things have gone and are going, there is still the staying reality of being in the situation of needing to ask, and needing to get answers to what you are asking for, so the point of getting past this need into ongoing bliss isn’t going to happen, even if you have ongoing bliss, you still within that would still need to bring forth petitions.
David in verse 6 of this psalm says “now I know the Lord will help his anointed “and this relates to verse 2 which says” May he send you help from his sanctuary and give you support from Zion.” Here the idea of help is very much related to support. You might not know at the beginning of an endeavor, or at the beginning of plans that you are going to find the help and support you need to bring them to fruition. Support is closely related to the idea of help and we can petition the Lord for his support on our proposed plans. In many cases whether you are going to find the help you need or the support you need in something is a question mark and is dicey. People might try a lot more things if they felt they had the support to do them and the doubtfulness extends as the plans extend, so you could have up front confidence and faith but you are doubtfull about the further on aspects of your plans.
Here David finds he is being helped and now he knows that the Lord’s help does become present tense for him. He is being supported, he is being helped and he knows this is happening as stated in verse 6 so as he has gotten further along, he finds that the help he needed is actually there and the provisions are there.
For example, in the Old Testament God would show someone land and say that he would give this land, implying that whatever was involved with this aquistion and maintenance of this land in the future would supported.
In the first verse of this psalm, the day of trouble is cited.
Yet, the psalm goes into fulfillment of the hearts desires. When someone feels they are sinking, they just want to get to level ground and worry about plans being fulfilled later.
Here the Lord is showing someone the desires of their heart right from the midst of their troubles, while the usual reaction to trouble is if I can only get out this, and the thoughts aren’t upon great things. An example might be someone struggling at sea as a swimmer, they are just thinking of getting back to shore safely, rather than any other great wishes. Yet the Lord does bring someone right to the great things from positions of utter despair, deep turmoil and festering troubles.
In verse two is says, “ May he remember all your offerings.” This is a key verse in that, sometimes it could be that something you did as an offering for the Lord, maybe years prior, is now coming back and being remembered and this remembrance is resulting in blessings in the here and now, even though the offering was so long ago you probably don’t remember it. It could be something also along the lines of a prayer offering, a petition for others that was timely and powerful and now it is coming back to you.
Or it could be something you did for someone and the Lord regarded it and now this regard of the Lord is brought into remembrance in the here and now for you.
The later verses of this psalm talk about a collapse and fall in relation to pride. Here some separated from the Lord by putting trust only in chariots and horses and also boasting that they had either more or the better chariots and horses. While they could have had chariots and horses and not have done this, they boasted in this and their only boast should have been in the Lord. Anything else which is boasted upon and set aside from the Lord, is a danger in the spiritual realm and the Lord may withdraw support.
In the present day, it could be something else, it could be an economic pride and trust, that takes the form of separating from the gift of the Lord’s ongoing graces and this could precipitate a fall, as anything can fall all the way in one day. There is a healthy pride but it can result in an isolating view where it is separated from a Lord view into just a world view and as it says in the Bible, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul. Obviously no man is going to literally obtain the whole world, but this verse is more talking about a world view of pride in the world and how this can lead to dangerous paths where loss is found and even ultimate loss defined as loss of one’s soul.
Verse 6 where it talks about a collapse and fall is really talking about a freefall and an old testament example of this from the Old Testament might be the Tower of Babel situation.
In verse 6 it is saying, “ He will answer him from his holy heaven”, indicating that even though this person is on earth, the answers are actually coming from heaven and examples of this depicted in the Book of Daniel.
In verse 2, it stresses that, “He will send you from the sanctuary,” and this verse contains a helpful hint as to where to look for help, that is the sanctuary of the Lord, which is also seen from some other verses in the book of psalms as the secret relationship between the person and the Lord himself which is regarded as sanctuary.
But also, he will be sending something, just like someone might be sending you a letter. The Lord for example may be sending you an angel or angels, or an extra this or that.. Because he will be sending something, you will need to adjust and make new plans and this psalm does specifically mention plans in verse 4 and this plans may have to be new based on what the Lord will be sending you now and in the nearby future days.