Saturday, September 21st, ‘13
The Septuagint links Psalms 9 and 10 together as a single psalm, which has merit because “nearly each stanza…begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet” (Bible Knowledge Com-mentary). Though the two works have much in common their dissimilarities warrant their standing alone. Psalm 9 is rich in praise and thanksgiving while Psalm 10 is saddened with complaint over wicked men’s oppression and refusal to believe God. So we interpret Psalm 9 as dealing with the wise, and Psalm 10, the fool.
It is introduced as being played “on Muthlabben (NAS) which does not, according to Dr. Scofield, designate any particular instrument but is rather the title of the song. NKJV and NIV translate the word as, “to the tune of “Death to the Son”. It is difficult to explain what connection the title has with the psalm, unless it somehow refers to the death of David and Bathsheba’s first child or perhaps the death of Egypt’s firstborn. All psalms are under the distant shadow of the cross, the death of the Son. This is the sixth composition referred to as a “Psalm of David”.
The psalm begins with adoration which commences from the will. Four times in the first two verses David involves “will” in worship – “I will praise”, “I will tell”, “I will be glad” and “I will sing”. If you desire to be happy you must will to be happy.
“I will praise you, O LORD…” The Hebrew word for praise here is yadah meaning, “to cast or throw up and out with the hands”. Praise may originate in the heart but it extends to the hands in the lifting of the hands, clapping the hands, playing a musical instrument with the hands or even ecstatic shaking of the hands. The Object of His praise is Jehovah, the covenant God, crying out, as he so often does, not just “Lord” but “O Lord!” His praise began in the will but it flowed from the heart – “with my whole heart”, a declaration he will make seven more times in the Psalms. Through the “Death of the Son” Jehovah held back nothing from us, so we should withhold nothing from Him. The “whole heart” depicts total surrender which is our “reasonable service” (Rom 12:2).
If we are going to “tell” or “show forth” (KJV) His “marvelous works” it must be done wholeheartedly. “Praise” is upward, “tell” is outward, and so the injunction to “be glad and rejoice”, or “exult” (NAS), is inward. We can choose how we want our lives to “be” – “be glad”, “be healed”, “be made whole”, etc. Out of an inner fullness we choose to “sing praise” for a happy heart automatically breaks forth into singing. The “most high” is worthy of our highest praise. Twenty-two times in the Psalms David lauds the name Elyon, the “most high”.
The remainder of the psalm is outlined by four truths concerning the Lord to which the wise in heart will concur:
1. HE WILL NOT FORFEIT HIS PURPOSE
Whatever God has planned and purposed for us He is determined to bring to pass. He will “perfect that which concerns me” (Psa 138:8). “He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). He won’t forfeit His purposes.
Victory is assumed before the battle begins – “When”, not if but when “my enemies turn back, they shall fall and perish at your presence”. The presence of God causes frail flesh to wilt, “they staggered and died when you appeared” (NLT). David reiterates this thought in a later psalm – “When I cry out to you, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me” (Psa 56:9). He is certain because of past experience, “For you have maintained my right and my cause…” “Right” gives legal claim for our rescue and “cause” gives a legitimate reason for our rescue. David stood up to Goliath, not because of strength or talent, but because he asked, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Sam 17:29) Heaven isn’t committed to rescuing directionless people but we can always expect intervention when we are engaged in fulfilling a cause or a divine purpose.
No one will remove Him from the throne – “You sat on the throne judging in righteousness”. No situation is so challenging that it stirs God to rise from His seat; He “sat” in judgment, relaxed and completely in control. He “rebuked the nations, destroyed the wicked” and “blotted out their name forever”. God doesn’t reprove the individual only, He can rebuke a whole nation at once, yea, even “nations” in the plural. When He judges He judges thoroughly. He holds the White Out bottle and can blot out anyone in rebellion – “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book” (Exo 33:23).
Because of his bold confidence in God’s faithful throne David talked tough – “O enemy, destructions are finished forever!” or, they have come to "a perpetual end” (KJV). This sounds like the pronouncement of a later prophet – “O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction!” (Hos 13:14) David can cry, “O enemy” because he first cried, “O Lord”. This isn’t cockiness or arrogance. It is the same anointing that came upon him as a teenager when he killed a lion and bear and knocked the giant off his feet. NLT says “the enemy is finished”. Because Jesus, from the cross, declared, “It is finished!” we can join in David’s chorus and say “the enemy is finished!”
The “cities” of the wicked are destroyed at the Master’s rebuke. NIV, NLT and NAS say they are “uprooted”. This likely foresees the coming time of great tribulation. What a display of might when skyscrapers, houses and shopping malls, “cities”, are torn from their footings; “even their memory is perished”. I can erase computer memory with the push of a button; God can erase the memory of whole cities with the flick of one finger. Pompeii is no more. Jericho fell flat in an instant. According to Isaiah Damascus will be a pile of rubble. Alas, Babylon too is soon to fall.
“But”, this contrasting conjunction is used so often to turn the tables on the enemy, “the Lord shall endure forever…” Man’s rule is short-lived. Earthly kingdoms are erected and erased but the Lord endures; He will not forfeit His purpose. The Lord will “judge the world in righteousness, and he shall administer judgment for the peoples…” KJV uses the verb to “minister”. Have you ever thought of judgment as a form of ministry? Those desiring the ministry of the Holy Spirit should be aware that He quite often ministers correction. The world He will “judge” but to His people He will “execute judgment…with equity” (NAS). God is fair. The divine paddling may hurt for the present but it will help at long last, working “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Heb 12:10).
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