Reflections on Psalm 9.
If any writing is to fortify the spirit of resilience within you, consider this prayer from the embattled victor.
If any writing resounds with the qualities of faith, hope and love in the Old Testament, listen to David as he pours out his heart to God!
I think what draws me to this psalm is David’s integrity of life. What you see is what you get.
Like him or hate him, he is consistent. Here’s what I mean.
1. He is committed to God with his whole heart. He has faith. There is no wavering in his commitment to God. He is, as they say, all in. No compromise.( verse 1)
Rule Number 1: Have faith in God.
2. He knows he loves God. He makes the choice: “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart. I will tell of your wonders.”(verse 1)
Rule Number 2: Love God.
3. He places his hope in God. He declares, ”The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”(verse 9)
Rule Number 3: Place your hope in God.
Now what makes David a man of integrity? What helps him to persevere when evil men are persecuting him? How can he praise God when his life is literally in danger?
Here is what I discovered about what he believes about God.
4. David has a big view of God. God is on his throne, judging righteously. This is true regardless of his unfavourable circumstances. And circumstances don’t get much direr than people wanting to kill you.
Rule Number 4: Know that God is on His throne.
5. God does valiant things. After all he has delivered him in battle (verse 5). His deeds are wonderful. (verse 1)
Rule Number 5: Know that God does wonderful things!
6. He worships God as a God of Judgement. This God, far from being a figment of David’s imagination, is God Almighty. Is he pondering Scripture here, recalling the deliverance of God’s people from the mighty hand of Pharaoh’s armies of Egypt? Is he marveling at the works of Joshua, who was granted victory over foreign tribes when he captured the Promised Land of Canaan for the people of God? Or is he glad to be delivered from his enemies one more time?
Rule Number 6: Remember that God is a God of Judgement.
7. David’s God is Sovereign. He is in control of earth’s affairs. He will judge the world in righteousness. (verses 8–9) David knows that the right does not prevail — for a time. But, and it’s a big but, it is only for a time. Righteousness is the cornerstone of God’s kingdom, because the Lord is righteous.
Rule Number 7: Remember God is Sovereign. He controls all things, and will bring everyone to account.
8. The Lord reigns forever (verse 7) David’s God is eternal. David’s God cannot be dethroned. In all the changes and vastitudes of earthly affairs, God remains God.
Rule Number 8: God is eternal. Know that He remains, even while we die.
9. The Lord is faithful. “You Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”(verse 10) David can rest in the protection of his God.
Rule Number 9: Remembering God is faithful will help you persevere when you are suffering.
10. He trusts God, despite the suffering of his present circumstances. In the present, wicked people are a reality. Where there is evil, the righteous will suffer. Suffering is to be expected, and endured.
Rule Number 10: Remember the season of suffering is for the present only. Be prepared to endure and persevere.
11. David prays. He doesn’t pray because he is weak. He prays because he acknowledges two primary and essential things: God is ruling (verse 7) and he needs God’s mercy and protection.(verse 13)
Rule Number 11: Use Prayer as your secret weapon.
12. David’s attitude is humility before God. He prays, recognizing that the wicked man’s strength is finite (verses 17,20). Like him, they will return to the grave.
Rule Number 12: Stay humble before The Lord.
13. David understands that life is about reaping and sowing. Twice in these 20 verses he mentions the wicked will reap as they have sown. “They have fallen into the pit that they have dug.” (verse 15) “The wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.” (verse 16)
Rule 13: Remember sowing and reaping is built into the intricate workings of the universe.
How Can I Be Encouraged by David’s Song?
As I go out to live my day in this country town, I need to remember two equal but opposing truths. You are a God who is righteous, but for a time You allow evil to have its way. You are Lord. Your throne is established on high, but all do not give you homage and submission and obedience.
You are Lord, and you help the oppressed and the afflicted who seek You and trust You. There is a time to deliver your people. (verse 18)
David can pray,” Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” in words that sound jarring to modern believer’s ears -“Let the nations be judged in your presence. Strike them with terror O Lord.”(verses 19–20.)
The truth is righteousness and evil are at war with one another. I believe we forget this to our peril!
David has sung in the previous psalm:
“O Lord our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth.” (Psalm 8:1,9 NIV)
May we as His people have that same prayer on our lips and in our hearts, regardless of our circumstances.