A Victory Song, and a History Lesson (Psalm 21; 1 Chronicles 1)

Scripture reading – Psalm 21; 1 Chronicles 1

We are continuing our chronological Scripture reading with two passages of the Bible. Our study of the Psalms resumes with today’s reading of Psalm 21, titled, “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.” For those who enjoy Bible history, we are beginning a study of the first of two books known as the “Chronicles.”

Psalm 21 – A Psalm of Thanksgiving and Praise

Psalm 21 is a song of rejoicing, that was penned by David as a psalm of thanksgiving for a victory the LORD had given him over his enemies (21:1). Though kings, rulers, and politicians are quick to boast of their successes, David humbly acknowledged his victory on the battlefield was from the LORD.

Psalm 21:1The king shall joy [rejoice; be glad] in thy [the LORD’s] strength [might; power], O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God]; and in thy salvation [victory] how greatly [exceeding; abundant] shall he [the king] rejoice [be glad; joyful; delight]!

The LORD had answered David’s prayer, and given the king his heart’s desire, and He had not held back one request (21:2).

Psalm 21:22  Thou [LORD] hast given [put; deliver] him [the king] his heart’s [mind; understanding]desire [delight; longing; satisfaction], and hast not withholden [kept back; denied] the request [desire] of his lips. Selah.

The king’s victory had not come because he was a brilliant strategist, or a great warrior (though we know David was both). The king had prayed, and God had answered prayer! The LORD had gone before the king into battle, and rewarded David with “blessings of goodness…[and] a crown of pure gold” (21:3). David had asked the LORD to spare his life, and He answered the prayer with a Messianic prophecy that will one day be fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The LORD promised the king, “length of days [lit. long life] for ever [perpetual; everlasting; eternal]  and ever [perpetuity; duration; continuing]” (21:4).

The King’s Enemies, and His Victory over Them (21:8-12)

Psalm 21:8-10 paints a picture of battle that was waged without the danger of political correctness. David understood his foe would not be overcome or defeated by elaborate speeches, peace initiatives, or verbal assaults on his rivals.  Having faith in their king and the LORD, the people called upon God to bless their army in battle, and unleash on their enemies His wrath (21:8-12). Israel’s adversaries would not be pacified, and God’s people realized the evil plot of their enemy (21:11).  The people called upon the LORD, and prayed He would turn the evil devices of the enemy against them (21:12). Psalm 21 concludes with a shout of victory (21:13).

Psalm 21:13 “Be thou exalted [high], LORD, in thine own strength [power; boldness; might]: so will we sing and praise [i.e. celebrate with music on an instrument] thy power [might; victory].”

An Introduction to History (1 Chronicles 1)

As reflected in its name, the Book of 1 Chronicles is a historical account of men, nations, and events. It contains not only a history of Israel as a people and nation, but the written record of humanity from the first man, Adam (1:1).

Though the human author of 1 Chronicles is unnamed (some scholars suggest it was written by Ezra after the Babylonian captivity), we can be certain it was inspired and preserved by God, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:21).

Many of the names recorded in 1 Chronicles 1 may be familiar. The famous and the infamous are named here. For students of Bible and human history, the record of names is rich, giving us greater insight into the passages.

You will find the following lineages in today’s reading: The Patriarchs from Adam to Noah and his sons (1:4). Following the Genesis flood, the genealogies of Noah’s sons (1:5-23): The sons of Japheth, whose ancestry settled in Europe (1:5-7).  The sons of Ham, whose lineage can be traced to Asia and Africa (1:8-16). Finally, the Sons of Shem (1:17-54), of whom were born Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael (1:27-28).

1 Chronicles 2 will give us the most important lineage, that of Jesus Christ, who was born of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s seed, the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

A closing thought: Though many of the names in 1 Chronicles are hard to pronounce, and unfamiliar, they were men who are part of the Biblical narrative. Every Bible student should be encouraged that modern archaeology has only proven the accuracy and preservation of the Word of God.

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith