Psalm 9

Note:
• This is an individual lament psalm.
• Psalms 9 and 10 may originally have been a single acrostic poem using Hebrew alphabet.
• Psalms 9 and 10 constitute one psalm in the Septuagint.

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.


A. Individual Praise
9:1 [note five expressions of praise that tell of the psalmist’s intense love for God…] [1] I will give thanks [gratitude is good therapy when we are troubled] to you, Lord, with all [without reservation] my heart; [2] I will tell [we should talk about and tell others about God’s goodness; cf. parable of the lost coin in Lk. 15:8-10; “If we are willing to talk of His deeds, He will give us enough to talk about.” (PB Power)] of all [“Gratitude for one mercy refreshes the memory as to thousands of others.” (Spurgeon)] your wonderful deeds [these include God’s acts of redemption, deliverance, judgment].

9:2 [3] I will be glad and [4] rejoice in you [“God loveth a cheerful giver, whether it be the gold of his purse or the gold of his mouth which he presents upon His altar.” (Spurgeon)]; [5] I will sing the praises [“Praise involves the ‘self,‘ the story of God’s acts, and the community of God’s people.” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 116)] of your name, O Most High [Heb., El Elyon].

B. Judgment on the Wicked

9:3 My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you [or “from your presence,” because of your presence,” or “in your presence”].

9:4 For you have upheld my right [his case against the wicked] and my cause [a synonym of “right”], sitting enthroned as the righteous judge [God is both Advocate and Judge].

9:5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name [making it seem they never existed] for ever and ever.

9:6 Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.

C. Hope in God’s Just Rule
9:7 The Lord reigns [this is the basis of our hope in times of difficulty and duress] forever [in contrast to the reigns of earthly rulers, God rules in perpetuity]; he has established his throne for judgment.

9:8 He rules the world in righteousness [a characteristic of God’s reign] and judges the peoples with equity [a characteristic of God’s reign].

9:9 [note the things that are possible because the Lord reigns…] The Lord is [1] a refuge [a high place] for the oppressed, [2] a stronghold [cf. “refuge”] in times of trouble [we can depend on the Lord in our hour of need].

9:10 Those who know your name [a reference to the godly] trust in you [unlike the nations that forget God], for you, Lord, have never forsaken [cf. Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5] those who seek you.

D. Communal Praise and Individual Prayer
9:11 Sing the praises of the Lord [“The praise of the godly rises out of their conviction that God cares.” (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 120)], enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.

9:12 For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries [“Prayer is a haven to the ship-wrecked man, an anchor to them that are sinking in the waves, a staff to the limbs that totter, a mine of jewels to the poor, a healer of diseases, and a guardian of health.” (Chrysostom)] of the afflicted [those who are overwhelmed and who feel completely inadequate to do anything about their troubles].

9:13 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death [indicates the intensity of the suffering or affliction that David felt],

9:14 that I may declare [to tell or proclaim the wonders of God] your praises [praiseworthy acts] in the gates of Daughter Zion [a metaphor for God’s people (Mic. 4:8) or for Jerusalem], and there rejoice in your salvation.

E. Judgment on the Wicked
9:15 [The next four verses are the hymn of praise referenced in verse 14…] The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.

9:16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands [sin promises one thing but pays another; cf. Haman in the OT book of Esther].

9:17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget [“Forgetfulness seems a small sin, but it brings eternal wrath upon the man who lives and dies in it.” (Spurgeon)] God.

9:18 [this conviction forms a solid foundation for trusting in God] But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

F. Hope in God’s Just Rule
9:19 Arise [a cry for immediate deliverance], Lord, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence.

9:20 Strike them with terror [an act of God that will lead them to fear God and know that “they are only mortal”], Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal.

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