Psalms 20:1. The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble. We read in Psalms 83. that nearly all the surrounding nations, after David was made king, entered into a league to demolish the Jewish nation, and put down their king. But this psalm is understood to refer to an expedition against the Ammonites. David composed it to assist the church in praying for his success, for it was indeed a day of trouble: and God, who inspired his people with sentiments of confidence, crowned all their hopes with the laurels of victory.
Psalms 20:9. Save Lord: let the king hear us when we call. This is an unsuccessful reading, for the address is to the Lord alone, and not jointly to God and the king. The LXX, Oh Lord, save the king, and hear us in the day that we call upon thee. The Latin reads as the LXX.
From the example of the Hebrew church, we learn the duty of calling upon the Lord in the day of trouble, as well as to make proper efforts to repel the danger. So Moses raised his hands to heaven while Joshua raised his sword against Amalek for hanging on the rear of the Hebrew camp, and slaying the aged and the sick. All nations have done the same in time of war and invasion.
In prayer, we may mention and plead the kindness and grace of God to our fathers. It was an augmentation of the plea to call on the God of Jacob, who, by the Angel of his presence, had redeemed him from all evil and mischief. So Elijah on mount Carmel, in the day of extremity, called on the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. We must not trust in horses and in arms, but in the name of the Lord.
Prayer inspires our efforts with confidence, and the joy of salvation, even before the day of conflict. Nay, it sees the enemy as already fallen and brought low.
In particular, we should pray for the king, and for leaders and commanders, who cover their country with defence; for human skill and courage fail when defence is denied from heaven. But above all, let us pray for the success of the Redeemer’s kingdom, that all enemies may fall down before him, and that the nations may serve him to the ends of the earth.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 20". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
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