Psalm 9

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This is a crazy and complex world that we live in, and it is difficult at times for the church to retain the fact that as the embodiment of the Kingdom of God here on earth, there are only two kingdoms and we are on the winning side. Simply stated, if you are a member of the Kingdom of God, the warranted behavior is praise, not fear. This is the simple truth that we see King David exhibit in this Psalm.
David had fought Goliath and the Philistines, as well as many other opponents of God’s kingdom, and won. He was not confused with the complexities of nation against nation. He understood that God established his kingdom at creation (), and while humanity failed to be the kingly subjects as designed (), God set forth a kingdom restoration plan (, ) that involved God’s people. In fact, that Kingdom restoration plan is still in motion and was inaugurated in Christ and will be consummated upon his return (). David knew that he was the earthly king of God’s kingdom at that time and that his descendant (Jesus) would one day be the ultimate king, and he relied upon God to save and shelter them.
As we navigate this Psalm and note the kingdom on kingdom conflict, we will learn from David that we must realize two things:
I. Personal Praise: God Saves (1-8)
God’s saving work in this context is a reference to temporal salvation, but David is also praising a future salvation from the King.
In four statements, David declares that he “will” praise the Lord completely, thankfully, and publicly, which as we will see in v.3, is well deserved since God had delivered him during their battle with the enemies of the Kingdom of God. David’s praise of God is always deliberate, in spite of his current circumstances, and his based upon saving experience with God. You and I have experienced salvation from God through faith in the person and work of King Jesus, but how often do we look back at that moment in our lives and praise him? We are to praise God in present expectation in light of our past experience.
David states that “when” (lit. “Because”) God saved him, he is praising him. David knows that God’s praise is deserved because he has done four things to the enemies of the Kingdom: rebuked, destroyed, blotted, and judged them. There is a biblical record of God taking such action. For example, he blotted out the names of the wicked in Noah’s day (c.f., ), after 400 years of patience he snuffed out Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites (). While this sounds awful, God did this to protect his people from sin and destruction.
ILLUSTRATION: The question for us today is “How can I personally praise God for saving me and adding me to the Kingdom of God?” records how the apostle Paul answered that question in his day. Arriving in Athens, he perceived the darkness that pervaded the culture of varied acceptable religions of the day, and he referred alluded to this part of as he addressed the people with the Gospel. He wanted the people to know that while they perceived that they knew God, they, in fact, did not know the God that saves an was in great danger of being judged by a righteous God if they did not repent. This was Paul’s entire life of personal praise: sharing the message of a God that saves. He viewed his entire life as a drink offering being poured out on praise of God.
APPLICATION: Likewise, our lives are to be poured out in praise of the God who saves us. When was the last time you stopped and shared the message of a saving God? I challenge each person in this room to share that message this week.
II. National Praise: God Shelters (9-20)
While David has been personally praising a God that saves his people for his Kingdom causes, he now shifts to focus on the needs of the people in the Kingdom as he recognizes God as the one who shelters his people. David notes three aspects of God as a shelter:
God is your stronghold “in times of trouble,” not just at a later time such as when you “get to Heaven.” In other words, you do not have to wait until later to experience God has your stronghold. A prime example would be that when you are “in trouble” and are facing oppressive issues like depression and addiction, you need not put up a façade of trusting in God when you are actually trusting in your façade to protect you from being discovered by others. Is your stronghold in God or your façade? Praise God because he will not forsake you!
In the early days of Israel God established the “avenger of blood” and “city of refuge” system (), as there was no police force needed in a theocracy (i.e., a nation “under God”). This allowed for a member of each tribe to be named as the avenger in the event of the family member being killed unjustly (c.f., ), but if the alleged perpetrator was not guilty he could flee to a city of refuge and have his case heard before the elders, which allowed time for the avenger to cool off and not make emotional and irrational decisions. David is praising God for being Israel’s avenger, indication that by his actions he has not failed his people. While this “affliction to the point of death” that David describes may not be an every day occurrence for the kingdom citizen in our country (yet!), it occurs every day in certain parts of the world and though the perpetrators may be living in the city of refuge of our day, God will not fail to avenge his people. You can praise God now that he is your avenger!
David indicates that while the needy and poor appear to be forgotten at the moment, they will not “always be forgotten.” David is praising God that he is the conqueror that one day he will show the nations that they are “but men,” and reminds us that God does not forget how you are treated. If people of the kingdom of darkness are oppressing you and forcing you into helpless circumstances, you can praise the fact that God will not forget and will conquer those who oppress the citizens of his kingdom.
ILLUSTRATION: Power corrupts people, and these people oppress, afflict, and exploit the meek in this world. It’s that simple. Those in power – whether it be Democrats or Republicans, the UN, the EU, the USA, or the ISIS – the church is the embodiment of the Kingdom of God here on earth, and there is nothing that these people can do to you that our King will not handle. Jesus will not forsake, fail, or forget you. The Kingdom of God is the only place to be!
APPLICATION: Are you under the control of the fear mongering media, or are you under the care of King Jesus? Turn off the news and praise God Most High that he is your shelter from these types of people! He is you’re your stronghold, avenger, and conqueror.
While this world seems so overwhelmingly oppressive, we can praise God that he not only saves his people but also shelters them from the works of the kingdom of darkness. While we are living in the initial days of this reality, we must look forward to the time when Christ’s return will usher in the comprehensive rule and reign of his kingdom. We must also look forward to the reality that at that time there will be no more opportunity for repentance and admittance into the Kingdom of God. There is only one way into the Kingdom, and it is through Jesus (c.f., ). Are you a citizen of the Kingdom?
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