Psalms Chapter 9.

Psalm 9 #Praises #GodIsSovereign #Protector #RighteosJudge

Historical Background

A. In Hebrew, the title is “Songs of Praise” or Praises” (Tehillim, cf. Psalm 145). This is surprising because so many of the psalms are laments or complaints. B. In the Septuagint (LXX) the title is psalmos which means “to pluck.” This Greek term is used of the Psalms in Luke 20:42; 24:44 and Acts 1:20. Not all the psalms were meant to be sung with musical accompaniment, but this came to be the title of the whole book in the LXX. (Harrison).

Context

At one point both Psalms 9 and 10 were one Psalm (Ibid). Proofs:

  1. The Septuagint treated Psalm 9 and Psalm 10 as one psalm.
  2. An acrostic pattern connects the two psalms. According to Lawson and Longman, the verses of Psalm 9 demonstrate a pattern that shows the first eleven letters of the Hebrew alphabet “omitting daleth D” ( Lawson, 72 and Longman 2014, 84.
  3. Psalm 10 does not have a “superscription.” [A specified author.] Only two other psalms have this distinction( Lawson, 72). For the purpose of this study we will not combine the psalms.

Unless otherwise noted the Scriptures cited in this devotional are from the King James Version.)

(To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.) I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

David opens this psalm with his heartfelt thanks to Yahweh. He does not identify the reason for the praise. Hebrews 13:15  reminds us that today Christians have this same responsibility in their relationship with Yahweh. We do not just come before Him when we want something. We communicate with Him in the same way that we communicate with our friends. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Heartfelt Praise is a sacrifice offered to Yahweh. Psalm 7:17 I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high. Lawson explained that most high is interpreted from the “(Heb. Elyon ), a name that reveals him to be exalted over all, reigning in sovereignty, enthroned in the heavens, and working wonders” (Lawson 73).

David Proclaims The Sovereignty of God Over All Nations

When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. WHY? For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right. Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name forever and ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

Likewise, we can proclaim Yahweh’s rulership over our lives. David states “mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.” Let’s look at the five areas of divine intervention that initiates David praises to God.

  1. “For thou hast maintained my right and my cause” [God fought on his behalf. “thou satest in the throne judging right.” He carried out his righteous judgment against David’s enemies.] Have you experienced this in your life? How many times have your enemies surrounded you? How many times have you felt as if you just could not breathe because of the wild accusations that we made against you? What happened when you cried out to God in submission, in praise, in agony, or even in thankfulness for this trial that has brought you closer to Him?
  2. “Thou hast rebuked the heathen,” The term “heathen” refers to nations (Longman 85).
  3. “thou hast destroyed the wicked,” They are totally defeated. There is no coming back from this defeat. Their names are blotted out from the records of the ANE. They will not produce offspring.
  4. “thou hast put out their name forever and ever.” See verse point # 3.
  5. “and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial [perishes] with them.”

There are times when I wonder if we have the same level of faith that David shows over and over again in the books of  Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Psalms. David Relied on God to deliver His people. Why do Christian nations today believe that they have to spend billions of dollars on arms? Do we not serve the same God? Do we believe that He is dead or incapable of winning wars for us today? To make this even more personal, when we are hurt by someone do we wait on the Lord to resolve it or do we do everything we can to “get our pound of flesh” and make the person suffer? we are called to be people who forgive. We are also called to forget! Hard huh?

But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

David may appear to be restating the obvious “But the LORD shall endure for ever:”  We know that there is one final time of judgment for humanity. The throne of judgment is already prepared. “he hath prepared his throne for judgment.” Acts 17:31 “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” See 1 Kings 8:32  “Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.”

Often times, I have considered my own life and how I am walking the talk. I ask myself “Am I living a life that is righteous and honors my Heavenly Father? Do I have thoughts, if not actions, that could very well be considered unrighteous? Am I glorifying Him in what I say and do, or am I glorifying myself? On the day of final judgment, there will be no flexibility in the sentencing of humanity. We have no excuse anymore. The Gospel is being proclaimed all over the world.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalms 46:1 “God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The Hebrew word used here is “misgob.”  It means a place that is so high that the person is unreachable. “they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Only those who have a personal relationship with Yahweh will be protected by Him. See Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” We have this same promise of protection from our Heavenly Father. John 14 “1Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” We have that promise today.

11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion [Zion represents the church or the people/kingdom of God]: declare among the people[nations] his doings. 12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

Sing praises to the nations. Testify of what God has done for you. When He begins to punish the ungodly He remembers his people. He is our protector. When the punishment of the wicked begins He remembers His humble people. Psalm 12:5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.and Psalm 140:12  I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.” The unbeliever should be acutely aware of why God’s people are singing His praises. How often do we declare to the world why we are blessed? How often do we tell of His mercy and grace in social media? It is our most public confession of who we are in Him.

David makes a Petition to God: Verses 13-18

13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: 14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.

David was consistently surrounded by people who were attempting to “do away” with him. “consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:” Can you imagine living under the threat of war and destruction all the time? David was! However, his plea for help was not one of unbelief. He continued “ 14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.” He wanted to be delivered so he could lift up Gods name in praise. Where? In gates – the gates are the most public place in Jerusalem. And what was he going to do? “Rejoice in the salvation” afforded him by God! Now here is a question. When God gives us victory over our enemies do we rejoice in the victory and praise Him for it or do we rejoice in the defeat of our enemies and the destruction that they have experienced? It is something that is worth thinking about, isn’t it?

So what happens to the heathen/wicked?

15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. 18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.

The “ heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made:” They are reaping what they have sown. No amount of warning stopped them from digging that pit that they designed for others.  “in the net which they hid is their own foot taken” This sounds like the traps that the hunters used to use to trap animals. In other words, they were trapped by the traps that they laid for other people. Defeat comes to “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” All of the nations who have forgotten God will perish. If we were to take this literally, we can look back on what has been happening to prominent nations all over the world. Within the time span that they have forgotten that Yahweh is their God they have experienced nothing but defeat.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.” Is it possible that the nations forgot about the needy, and or the poor? Well, God never forgot about them and the oppression that the may have experienced. They prayed and He heard their voice. Maybe they had to wait. See Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” We live at a time when folks want things to happen instantly. Our timing is not God’s timing. He has never forgotten His people. He is willing to wait until the great harvest of souls is gathered in.

19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.  20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

Lawson has a perfect concluding statement about this Psalm.

The righteous should never seek personal vengeance, but instead be reminded that the battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chr. 20:15). In their day of trouble, they should humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. He, and he alone, is working all things according to the counsel of his eternal will (Eph. 1:11). Let all God’s people bow before him, never relying upon the arm of the flesh, but trusting in the Lord. He alone is an unassailable refuge whose sovereign plans and eternal purposes cannot be thwarted “Lawson 75). The battle is not ours. It is the Lord’s.

References

Harrison, R. K.  An Introduction To the Old Testament, pp. 976-1003

Lawson, Steven. 2004. Holman Old Testament Commentary – Psalms. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group. Accessed August 14, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

LaSor, Hubbard, and Bush, Old Testament Survey, pp 510-532.

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