“Thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head” (Psalm 21:3). At first glance, this verse by David is a bit puzzling. The word “prevent” is usually associated with hindrance, not with blessing. A modern translation here would be, “The Lord hindered David with the blessings of goodness.”
The biblical word for “prevent” signifies a completely different meaning. It means “to anticipate, to precede, to foresee and fulfill in advance, to pay a debt before it is due.” Furthermore, in almost every instance, it implies something of pleasure.
Isaiah gives us a glimpse of this kind of pleasure when he explains that God anticipates our need and fulfills it ahead of time. “It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
This verse provides us with an incredible picture of our Lord’s love for us. Evidently He is so anxious to bless us, so ready to fulfill His lovingkindness in our lives, that He cannot wait for us to tell Him our needs. He jumps in and performs acts of mercy, grace and love toward us before we even ask—and that is a supreme pleasure to Him.
So this is just what David was saying in Psalm 21: “Lord, You pour out blessings and lovingkindness on me before I can even ask. And You offer more than I could ever conceive of asking.”
David was referring to some awesome work that God performed for him in the spiritual realm. It was something that gave David answers to prayer, overcoming power, victory over his enemies, and unspeakable joy. And God did it all before David could go to prayer to unburden his heart or present his request. Once David finally did pour out his heart, he discovered that God had already made provision to defeat his enemies. David’s victory was assured before he could even get near the battlefield!
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon