Bible Book List
Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 6–9
Verses 6–9

Here is, I. Holy David himself triumphing in the interest he had in the prayers of good people (Ps. 20:6): “Now know I (I that pen the psalm know it) that the Lord saveth his anointed, because he hath stirred up the hearts of the seed of Jacob to pray for him.” Note, It bodes well to any prince and people, and may justly be taken as a happy presage, when God pours upon them a spirit of prayer. If he see us seeking him, he will be found of us; if he cause us to hope in his word, he will establish his word to us. Now that so many who have an interest in heaven are praying for him he doubts not but that God will hear him, and grant him an answer of peace, which will, 1. Take its rise from above: He will hear him from his holy heaven, of which the sanctuary was a type (Heb. 9:23), from the throne he hath prepared in heaven, of which the mercy-seat was a type. 2. It shall take its effect here below: He will hear him with the saving strength of his right hand; he will give a real answer to his prayers, and the prayers of his friends for him, not by letter, nor by word of mouth, but, which is much better, by his right hand, by the saving strength of his right hand. He will make it to appear that he hears him by what he does for him.

II. His people triumphing in God and their relation to him, and his revelation of himself to them, by which they distinguish themselves from those that live without God in the world. 1. See the difference between worldly people and godly people, in their confidences, Ps. 20:7. The children of this world trust in second causes, and think all is well if those do but smile upon them; they trust in chariots and in horses, and the more of them they can bring into the field the more sure they are of success in their wars; probably David has here an eye to the Syrians, whose forces consisted much of chariots and horsemen, as we find in the history of David’s victories over them, 2 Sam. 8:4; 10:18. “But,” say the Israelites, “we neither have chariots and horses to trust to nor do we want them, nor, if we had them, would we build our hopes of success upon that; but we will remember, and rely upon, the name of the Lord our God, upon the relation we stand in to him as the Lord our God and the knowledge we have of him by his name,” that is, all that whereby he makes himself known; this we will remember and upon every remembrance of it will be encouraged. Note, those who make God and his name their praise may make God and his name their trust. 2. See the difference in the issue of their confidences and by that we are to judge of the wisdom of the choice; things are as they prove; see who will be ashamed of their confidence and who not, Ps. 20:8. “Those that trusted in their chariots and horses are brought down and fallen, and their chariots and horses were so far from saving them that they helped to sink them, and made them the easier and the richer prey to the conqueror, 2 Sam. 8:4. But we that trust in the name of the Lord our God not only stand upright, and keep our ground, but have risen, and have got ground against the enemy, and have triumphed over them.” Note, A believing obedient trust in God and his name is the surest way both to preferment and to establishment, to rise and to stand upright, and this will stand us in stead when creature-confidences fail those that depend upon them.

III. They conclude their prayer for the king with a Hosanna, “Save, now, we beseech thee, O Lord!” Ps. 20:9. As we read this verse, it may be taken as a prayer that God would not only bless the king, “Save, Lord, give him success,” but that he would make him a blessing to them, “Let the king hear us when we call to him for justice and mercy.” Those that would have good of their magistrates must thus pray for them, for they, as all other creatures, are that to us (and no more) which God makes them to be. Or it may refer to the Messiah, that King, that King of kings; let him hear us when we call; let him come to us according to the promise, in the time appointed; let him, as the great Master of requests, receive all our petitions and present them to the Father. But many interpreters give another reading of this verse, by altering the pause, Lord, save the king, and hear us when we call; and so it is a summary of the whole psalm and is taken into our English Liturgy; O Lord! save the king, and mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.

In singing Ps. 20:6-9 we should encourage ourselves to trust in God, and stir up ourselves to pray earnestly, as we are in duty bound, for those in authority over us, that under them we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.