Psalm 9 - Wholehearted Praise

INTRODUCTION: The inscription identifies David as the author of this Psalm, and it was designated for the chief musician for worship at the tabernacle of God in Jerusalem. The content does not provide the time it was written, but it may have been composed by David while he was king in Jerusalem. He had many and varied experiences throughout his life that gave rise to the psalms he wrote, from the time Samuel anointed him while Saul was still king, until David had Solomon anointed to become his successor. David first reigned In Hebron as king of Judah for seven and a half years, then he was king in Jerusalem of a united Israel for thirty-three years. The temple was built during the reign of Solomon after David had died.

NOTE: Scripture passages are from the World English Bible.


A - PRAISE THE LORD WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART

Psalm 9 "1 {For the Chief Musician. Set to "The Death of the Son." A Psalm by David.} I will give thanks to Yahweh with my whole heart. I will tell of all your marvellous works. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in you. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. 3 When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish in your presence. 4 For you have maintained my just cause. You sit on the throne judging righteously. 5 You have rebuked the nations. You have destroyed the wicked. You have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy is overtaken by endless ruin. The very memory of the cities which you have overthrown has perished."

COMMENTS: David expressed his determination to give thanks to the LORD with full dedication from his heart, not in any way superficial, each time he recounted all the marvelous works of Yahweh. This thankful attitude caused David to be pleased, delighted, elated, and even thrilled as he rejoiced in singing praise to the name of the Most High God. Since Christ Jesus has defeated sin and destroyed the sting of death to those who trust in him, believers can now offer praise to the name of Jesus in the manner described by David.

David wrote that when enemies are turned away, they ultimately stumble and perish in the presence of the LORD, as the Lord maintains the just cause for those who believe in him. When Yahweh exercises his righteous judgment it will be final as David stated, "forever and ever" and the ruin of God's enemies is "endless." This is stated another way in the following passage.
Psalm 92 "5 How great are your works, Yahweh! Your thoughts are very deep. 6 A senseless man doesn't know, neither does a fool understand this: 7 though the wicked spring up as the grass, and all the evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever. 8 But you, Yahweh, are on high forevermore."


B - THE LORD DOES NOT FORSAKE THOSE WHO SEEK HIM

Psalm 9 "7 But Yahweh reigns forever. He has prepared his throne for judgment. 8 He will judge the world in righteousness. He will administer judgment to the people in uprightness. 9 Yahweh will also be a high tower for the oppressed; a high tower in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name will put their trust in you, for you, Yahweh, have not forsaken those who seek you."

COMMENTS: Yahweh reigns eternally, with his absolute authority existing before the beginning of time. He has prepared his throne for final everlasting judgment of all people, based upon his own sovereign righteousness. He will administer his judgment with completely incorruptible fairness. Yahweh will also always be like a high tower of secure refuge for the oppressed in times of trouble. Those who know the name of the Lord will put their trust in him, knowing God does not forsake those who seek him as described in other Old Testament scriptures.

Psalm 46 "1 [For the Chief Musician. By the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. {Alamoth is a musical term.}] God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Nahum 1 "6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the fierceness of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken apart by him. 7 Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knows those who take refuge in him."

The New Testament epistles reinforce the principals of punishment for the rebellious; and praise to God, and thanksgiving for eternal protection for those who has become believers through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 13 "5 Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, "I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you." 6 So that with good courage we say, "The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?""

The apostle Paul wrote this to his son in the faith.
2 Timothy 4 "8 From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing."
Peter gave encouragement to all who would read his letter.
2 Peter 2 "9 the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment."


C - I WILL REJOICE IN THE SALVATION OF THE LORD

Psalm 9 "11 Sing praises to Yahweh, who dwells in Zion, and declare among the people what he has done. 12 For he who avenges blood remembers them. He doesn't forget the cry of the afflicted. 13 Have mercy on me, Yahweh. See my affliction by those who hate me, and lift me up from the gates of death; 14 that I may show forth all your praise. In the gates of the daughter of Zion, I will rejoice in your salvation."

COMMENTS: It may be in the first part of this psalm David was reflecting on earlier times in his life, for it seems at this point in the psalm he is expressing a definite need to cry out to Yahweh for help. Again, though, he first encourages others to sing praises to Yahweh who dwelt in Zion, and to declare among the people what Yahweh had done. The one who has the final vengeance for blood does not forget the cry of the afflicted. Verse 13 seems to be the personal plea of David as he asked Yahweh to have mercy on him. He wanted the afflictions from those who hated him to again be seen, and then that he would be lifted up from the gates of death that seemed so imminent. It was still his fervent desire to display all praise to Yahweh. He wanted to rejoice in the salvation of his God, and to do that in public at the gates of "the daughter of Zion," the chosen city of Jerusalem.

There is nothing in this Psalm to provide a definite reason for his plea to God, so I have listed one reference that could potentially be related. David grew faint in battle in his latter years as king, after the death of Absalom.
2 Samuel 21 "15 The Philistines had war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. David grew faint; 16 and Ishbibenob, who was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being armed with a new sword, thought to have slain David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, "You shall go no more out with us to battle, that you don't quench the lamp of Israel.""


D - YAHWEH HAS MADE HIMSELF KNOWN AND HAS EXECUTED JUDGMENT

Psalm 9 "15 The nations have sunk down in the pit that they made. In the net which they hid, their own foot is taken. 16 Yahweh has made himself known. He has executed judgment. The wicked is snared by the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah."

COMMENTS: In the opening of Psalm 57 King Saul is identified, and The excerpt from that Psalm illustrate David's response to Saul's death threat even though David had served him faithfully. And the wording is very similar between 57 and 9. .
Psalm 57 "5 Be exalted, God, above the heavens! Let your glory be above all the earth! 6 They have prepared a net for my steps. My soul is bowed down. They dig a pit before me. They fall into its midst themselves. Selah. 7 My heart is steadfast, God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing, yes, I will sing praises."
David was not at all hesitant to give praise to the LORD for any escape from threats, or victories over his enemies. David in Psalm 9 also says that Yahweh has made himself known as the wicked are caught in their own devices. This is an appropriate place as the text indicates, to pause and reflect on our need to always praise our God for his manifold provisions.


E - UNBELIEVERS WILL NOT ESCAPE THE JUST JUDGMENT OF YAHWEH

Psalm 9 "17 The wicked shall be turned back to Sheol, even all the nations that forget God. 18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever. 19 Arise, Yahweh! Don't let man prevail. Let the nations be judged in your sight. 20 Put them in fear, Yahweh. Let the nations know that they are only men. Selah."

COMMENTS: There is a final judgment coming which will separate all believers from all who have rejected the LORD God. Therefore with everyone who has by faith accepted the eternal promise of blessing in the presence of God, it is not a strange thing to praise Yahweh regardless of circumstances throughout our life. Other examples from scripture echo the mind set of David, and as much as possible this should be common to all believers.

Psalm 118 "4 Now let those who fear Yahweh say that his loving kindness endures forever. 5 Out of my distress, I called on Yah. Yah answered me with freedom. 6 Yahweh is on my side. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 7 Yahweh is on my side among those who help me. Therefore I will look in triumph at those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh, than to put confidence in man."
And here is another passage of assurance.
Psalm 119 "132 Turn to me, and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. 133 Establish my footsteps in your word. Don't let any iniquity have dominion over me."

Yahweh does not limit his eternal salvation exclusively to the believers among the people of Israel, nor does he allow any unbelievers of any nations to escape judgment and eternal punishment.
Isaiah 45 "21 Declare and present it. Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has shown this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Haven't I, Yahweh? There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Saviour; There is no one besides me. 22 "Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and will not return, that to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. 24 They will say of me, 'There is righteousness and strength only in Yahweh.'" Even to him shall men come; and all those who were incensed against him shall be disappointed."

Everyone who does not come to the LORD God in faith is reserved for everlasting punishment in separation from him. Christ Jesus arose from the dead to give everlasting hope to the poor and needy who trust him alone for salvation.
2 Thessalonians 1 "7 Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay affliction to those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted with us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 giving vengeance to those who don't know God, and to those who don't obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus, 9 who will pay the penalty: eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired among all those who have believed (because our testimony to you was believed) in that day."

The instructions of Paul to Christians at Philippi are just as applicable today as when first written.
Philippians 2 "1 If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, 2 make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 3 doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; 4 each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. 5 Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name; 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

LORD, I want to be like David as I give you praise with my whole heart for all the marvelous works in your creation. You are the only true and living God, and you will rescue those who have placed their trust in you rather than in men. Though there may be many trials in this present life for me, I believe that the sure hope of eternal life with you far outweighs all the temporal pleasures enjoyed by those who reject the LORD God. Help me to trust you as I endure any trials that I may face even while it seems the wicked around me have great pleasures without trouble. LORD, I believe that you will never forsake those who seek you in this life, and the judgment of separation from you forever awaits those who scorn your name. When they awake in Sheol with no escape, they will know that they were only men. Hallelujah to my Savior! Amen.

Published 22 March 2017