Just like David, praise God when celebrating victory
By Clay Perkins
Saturday, March 16, 2019
“The King rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories your give! … Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might.” — Psalm 21:1 & 13 (The Bible, New International Version)
How do you celebrate victory? When life is good, whom do you give credit? If the agony you were facing is now gone, what’s next? If war is over and peace has begun, what are you supposed to do?
Psalm 21 is David’s prayer after God has granted him victory in war. This is a companion to Psalm 20. Some even think this was written the very morning after the battle. David was king of the nation of Israel, a hostile world with constant threats from within and without. War, like today, was far too common and peace far too elusive. Perhaps we can learn from David’s reaction to this moment of peace.
In this Psalm a man is simply thanking God for blessing him and his country with victory. God has affirmed David as king by giving him victory. God has placed Himself as the ultimate judge, the one who will stop evil. David acknowledged God’s sovereignty. We see that God is a god of grace and a god of judgment in this story. He is a god who tells us yes, and yet sometimes a god who tells us no.
So, as king, David rejoices with God’s saying yes in verses 1-7. Through God’s grace and strength, victory has been granted. The desire of David’s heart is now a reality. A crown of gold is on his head. And all he can think about or do is give God the credit.
Has God ever blessed you? Have you or your loved ones ever been granted the desires of your heart? If so, what did you do? Whom did you give the credit? Too many of us are naive enough to think that we achieved our victory by our own strength. Why think in such an immature way?
His love is so stubborn and so strong that it is never ending. With Him, you can trust that victory is yours. God has said yes.
Not only will God give you the desires of your heart, but also the confidence that your enemies will be defeated (verses 8-12). The very hand of God is so strong that no enemy is beyond Yahweh’s reach. When I was little, we had a four-door station wagon. Those were large vehicles. But no matter where I sat, I still was within the reach of Dad’s back hand.
When God fights your battles, the destruction is complete. Evil cannot be allowed to have the ultimate victory. Evil cannot win. God says no.
So the only reasonable response is to raise a victory shout to the King of Kings (verse 13). We serve a God of grace. One who loves you so much He tells you, “Yes!” We serve a God of judgment. One who loves you so much, He tells those around you who are evil, “No!”
How do you respond when you are in the midst of victory? Why not do as David, and raise a victory shout to the one true God?
Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of the university.