Between chapters 20-29, we see the climax of Christ’s work on the cross. As Paul Blackham states in his Book by Book study on Psalms:
From Psalm 20 we are approaching the death of the Messiah, set out so powerfully in Psalm 22. We are taken through the resurrection of Christ in Psalm 23 and the ascension of Christ in Psalm 24. Psalm 25 expresses the sinner’s confidence in the ascended Messiah, then from Psalm 26-31 we listen in to Christ’s great prayers in His suffering. It is striking that in these psalms there are several constantly occuring themes:
– ‘Vindicate me’
– ‘I am surrounded by enemies’
– ‘Save me from the grave’
They are precious psalms because we are listening to the only One who can really teach us to pray.
So chapter 20 begins as we look to the LORD who saves His Christ and we are but outsiders of this magnificent promise first laid down in Genesis 3:15. As Spurgeon once said, “it needs but a moment’s reflection to perceive that this hymn of prayer is prophetical of our Lord Jesus, and is the cry of the ancient church on behalf of her Lord, as she sees Him in vision enduring a great fight of affliction on her behalf.“
May the Father answer Jesus in the day of trouble (v.1), and may the Father send you help from the holy sanctuary and give you support from Zion! May Jesus’ offerings with his life, his obedience, his sacrifice, his blood be remembered – the works of the Promised One, the Messiah, be acknowledged by the Father as He looks favourably on His beloved One (v.3-4, 6). Because of what the Christ has done, because the Father has saved Him (v.5), we can shout for joy! I know that my Redeemer lives because the Father saves His Anointed (v.6), answering him from the third heaven. Do we trust in the gospel plan of the Father and the Son (c.f. Psalm 2)? O Father, save Jesus, so that He may answer us when he has won! (v.9), for His victory is our victory, where we partake in Christ’s victory on the Cross!
Yet, do we still pray for the victory of Christ when he is already exalted? Spurgeon states thus:
It may now be said that He is out of the reach of trouble, He is highly exalted, He does not (need) our sympathies or our prayers. True: yet still we may prayer for Him – see Matthew 25:40 – ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’. We can pray for Him in His members. And thus is fulfilled what is written of Him in Psalm 72:15, ‘May people ever pray for Him (that is, in His suffering Church) and bless Him all day long.'”
Let us therefore pray for all of us who suffer in His church, that they may also call on the Name above all Names and claim His victory which David – whose title of king is but pale in comparison to the work of the Anointed One here – looked forward to in this chapter.