Psalm 9: God of Past, Present and Future

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:10

Thanksgiving for God’s Justice

God has displayed His righteousness and sovereignty by judging Israel’s foreign enemies. Sure that God is known by His justice, David prays confidently for continuing relief from His enemies.

Past, present and future. The psalm weaves together these three elements. David experienced God’s vindication in the past. The Lord “rebuked,” “destroyed,” and ”blotted out” His enemies.  This has given David a present assurance that “the Lord reigns,” “will judge” and is a “refuge for the oppressed”. So assured, David cries out for future relief from those who now persecute him.  Although Psalm 9 and 10 are psalms of lament, they present a triumphant determination to praise God.

Judgment (Heb. Misphat)

Judgment (also translated “justice”) specifies what is right, not only as measured by a code of law, but also by what makes for right relationships as well as harmony and peace. The OT prophets were champions of social justice. God’s judgment is His just, fair, and impartial treatment of all people. His actions and decisions are true and right. His demands on individuals and nations to look after victims of oppression are just demands. As Lord and Judge, God brings justice to nations and “sets things right” in behalf of the poor, the oppressed, and the victims of injustice. For the wicked, the unjust, and the oppressor, God as supreme Judge of the earth is a dreaded force. But for all who are unjustly treated, God’s judgment is reason for hope.

9 1  To the Chief Musician. To the tune of ‘Death of the Son.’ A Psalm of David. I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous 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 shall fall and perish at Your presence. 4  For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness. 5  You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6  O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished. 7  But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. 8  He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness. 9  The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. 10  And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

11  Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people. 12  When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble. 13  Have mercy on me, O Lord! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, 14  That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation. 15  The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. 16  The Lord is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. 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. 19  Arise, O Lord, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight. 20  Put them in fear, O Lord, That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah