Help From The God of Jacob

Many of us know what it feels like to be in a time of distress. Maybe you would say you are in a time like that now. Psalm 20 reminds us that it matters who you look to for your help. Verse 1 begins: “May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high.”

The word “LORD” in Hebrew is not “Adonai”, the typical word for “lord”, but rather “Yahweh”, the personal name of the God of Israel. Thus David was saying that it was not just “any” God that he hoped would answer them, but THIS particular God, HIS God, the God of the Bible.

That should be our hope too. It is not just that we hope for help from “someone”; from “luck” or “circumstance” or “the government”, or “karma”, or any number of other sources. We are to look for our help from Yahweh, the God of the Bible, the God and Father of The Lord Jesus Christ.

The second phrase of Psalm 20:1 re-emphasizes that, when it says “May the name of THE GOD OF JACBOB set you securely on high.” Why “the God of Jacob”? In the Book of Genesis we find that the patriarch Jacob continually experienced times of distress and difficulty. But early in his adult life, he had encountered God, and made a commitment to Him as his own personal God. Yahweh was now HIS God. And as we read Jacob’s story, we see how the Lord continually delivered him from his troubles. Psalm 20 reminds us that the same God who constantly helped Jacob can also help us!

So let us look in the right direction for our help, and for our loved ones in their times of distress. Let us remind ourselves and them that our prayer should be: “May YAHWEH answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the GOD OF JACOB set you securely on high!”

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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