Psalm 21 (Psalms on the Trail)

For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold on his head. He asked you for life; you gave it to him---" Psalm 21:3-4

“For you meet him with rich blessing;

you set a crown of fine gold on his head.  

He asked you for life; you gave it to him—length of days forever.”

Psalm 21:3-4

Reflection:  This psalm is written for the coronation of a king (the “him” in the psalm), so I try to imagine these words with music and pomp while some kind of crown is being placed on an ancient monarch’s head.  I’m not royalty, and chances are those who read this post aren’t either, but I believe that God’s rich blessing spoken of here is a heritage for every human—starting with life itself.  Life can be both beautiful and devastating, but it certainly is never perfect.  Even on the trail the poison ivy is mixed in with the Black-eyed Susans.  (Can you find it?)  But if, before I fall asleep tonight, God were to ask me if I want life again tomorrow, I would surely say “yes,” poison ivy and all!  I’m aware, however, that some would despairingly hesitate and answer “no.”  That doesn’t change the truth that God desires life in abundance for them and for everyone.  That’s why I believe in something else: that grounding all life are the deeper threads of faith, hope, and love. They are our rich heritage carrying us through devastating times and calling us to look out for one another on this earth.  In fact in our baptismal call to follow Christ we become messengers of these very blessings in order that one day all can answer “yes” to God’s life.


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  Is there someone discouraged by life who could use your encouragement today?

2. Or read all of Psalm 21 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse:  Psalm 22:1

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.