As we look ahead to 2023, with all of its uncertainties, it is most fitting for us to begin the new year in the house of the Lord, worshiping Him and seeking His face in prayer; and Psalm 20 is peculiarly applicable for us to consider as we begin the year. David is about to go to war, and he comes to the house of the Lord to worship and seek His favor and help in battle. In the first five verses, we have the priests and the people praying for their king. They pray for the Lord to protect him in times of trouble, to give him the help and support he needs in battle, to accept his offering, and to prosper his plans. As the Lord does this, they will have cause to rejoice and give Him praise (v.5). They pray in earnest, knowing that the king’s victory would mean their victory. Their fate, and that of the nation, depended on the Lord hearing their prayers on behalf of their king for deliverance. Even though the Lord had promised to “cut off (David’s) enemies” and to “establish his throne forever” (2 Samuel 7:9-17), yet both David and the people knew that, in order for him to gain the victory, he must first seek God’s face in prayer.
In verse 6, we have a confident proclamation by the king himself that the Lord will hear and deliver His anointed one; and in verses 7-8, the people confidently proclaim victory in the Lord. The reason they give for this confidence is the fact that they do not trust in chariots or horses, as do other nations, but in Yahweh himself.
In the same way, as we face the new year, there are many unknowns. We too need to raise these same prayers for protection, support, and God’s blessing on our endeavors. We should not automatically assume God’s blessing without us seeking his face in prayer and worship. Secondly, we can be confident of our victory, because our king Jesus was victorious. He conquered every foe. He gained the victory over sin, death, and Satan, and so shall we. His victory assures us of our victory!
Therefore we can confidently say with the Apostle Paul:
“35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?.. 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35,37)