Thursday, February 28, 2008

Psalm 9 commentary and prayer

When I sent this as my weekly devotional (the prayer only) I titled it "For your struggle today" for seldom is there a day without some sort of struggle - some more difficult than others, to be sure - but as Glida is famous for saying, "It's always something!"

So also for any reader of this blog - in whatever struggle you find yourself today, may I recommend Psalm 9.

Since January 1, 2008, I've undertaken a study of the Psalms by doing 1 Psalm per week. (I know, I know... this is a minimum of a 3 year study - but hey, what else am I gonna do with my time!?)

Anyway, the study for this Psalm came during week 9, hence Psalm 9. As I began the week I noticed that there weren't many notes in my Bible on this one, indicating that I hadn't studied it much.

As I began the study, it was a little difficult to grasp, but I stuck with it. (Let me know if you'd like info on how I'm going about this, and what it's producing...)

An "issue" early in the week opened new insights into this Psalm. I learned that verses 9-10 became an "anchor" to hold on to in the midst of a storm.

Oh - one more thing... let me recommend a radio station (if you're in the East Tennessee area) 95.3fm or online at BBN Radio . This is good stuff - wonderful old hymns, and joyful praise. Don't fill your mind with the "garbage" of the world. Put good stuff in there!

It really spoke to my heart this morning with a beautiful version of "Great is Thy Faithfulness!"And now, Psalm 9...

Psalm 9: 1-20 NASB

Psa 9:1 For the choir director; on Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.
Psa 9:2 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psa 9:3 When my enemies turn back, They stumble and perish before You.
Psa 9:4 For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously.
Psa 9:5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
Psa 9:6 The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins, And You have uprooted the cities; The very memory of them has perished.
Psa 9:7 But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment,
Psa 9:8 And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.
Psa 9:9 The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble;
Psa 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Psa 9:11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds.
Psa 9:12 For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Psa 9:13 Be gracious to me, O LORD; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,
Psa 9:14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.
Psa 9:15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
Psa 9:16 The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah.
Psa 9:17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.
Psa 9:18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.
Psa 9:19 Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You.
Psa 9:20 Put them in fear, O LORD; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.


Verses 1-2 gives us a statement of faith in the face of trouble. It is obvious when we read further in the Psalm, that he is in the midst of a struggle, but he begins with what it is that keeps him going - “I will… I will… I will… I will…”

Verse 3 is also a statement of faith in what “will” happen, because of what “has” happened in verses 4-6. Verse 3 is future, verses 4-6 are the past. They are examples of what the Lord “has” done before. So, there is no reason to think that He will not so act in the future - in “this” situation.

Verse 7 is again, a statement of faith of God’s dependability - of God’s faithfulness. And that faithfulness is fulfilled in how God will act in verse 8 - that is, with righteousness, justice, and fairness for all peoples.

Then verses 9-10 are the anchor to which all is tied. “Those who “know” (intimately) Thy Name… You will not forsake…” This brings on the faithful cry of verses 11-14.

Again the technique of “recalling the past to give ground to the hope of the future” is used in verses 15-16, then 17-18.

And the Psalm ends with the cry of petition in verses 19-20.

It can be diagramed like this: 1-2 faith, 3 future, 4-6 past / 7 faith, 8-9 future, [9-10 the anchor and 11-14 faithful cry] 15-16 past, / 17-18 hope/future, 19-20 petition.

The Prayer of Psalm 9

Oh God! I will lift up thanks to You with all my heart; with all that I am and ever will be; I lift to You. I will tell always of Your wonderful works, of Your miracles - both “explainable” and not (as the “world” looks at them) but I know, they are from You. And every memory triggers yet another, as I think of Your presence and Your providence in my life.

I will rejoice and take great pleasure in lifting up Your Name, and I will sing - always be singing, praises to You, oh my Father. No matter what else is going on in my life…

Oh God, when this present “struggle” is over (and I know it will be, in time) I will be able to look back and see how You worked it through for me. You have always worked, always been faithful, always have been in control.

For all the “works” that I am thankful for, there are a thousand more that I’m sure I’ve forgotten. The memory of that particular struggle is just gone… You have erased it.

But You Lord! You are ALWAYS there. You will ALWAYS be the only One to Whom we can turn. You are always “right.” You are always “just.” You ARE my place of refuge. There is no other place; there is no other One to Whom I can turn.

You are my “cleft in the rock.” You are my “shelter in the storm”. You are my “life raft in the shipwreck.” You are my salvation - my only salvation. And I “know” You Lord, or better yet, I am “known” by You. I have cried out, seeking, searching, and You have not ever left me alone; not ever! I can sing, with affirmation and arms uplifted, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand… all other ground is sinking sand!”

I will call on the whole world to praise You. I will be a witness every where I go. You ARE GOD! And You will not forget, nor neglect the cry of Your children.

I cry in the midst of this struggle, Oh Lord. You know what I am facing, what I have faced. Please use this so that I may have even more stories to tell of Your faithfulness.

I know Lord, the “enemy” cannot prevail. Your Word teaches that “whatsoever we sow, we will reap.” And that goes for evil as well as good. “He” or “it” will not prevail… it will not always be like “this.” I cry to You, I hold to You, You will put the “enemy” in his place…

I pray with the assurance of Your Holy Word, and in His Name - Amen.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Betty, I came across your blog while doing research in preparation for teaching a Sunday School lesson on Psalm 9. I love seeing the internet used in this way - I love seeing everything and every believer being used for God's glory and I look forward to checking in periodically. Thanks for pointing our hearts and eyes toward the Lord.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Betty Newman said...

Thank you for your comment. As you may have read, I send a weekly (or thereabouts) e-mail devotional to an "opt-in" mailing list.

This week I sent one titled, "What's up with Psalm 9?" because for the last week, I bet more than 75% of the "hits" on my blog have been through searches using the words "Psalm 9".

I can't figure out why all of a sudden so many people are searching for Psalm 9. Anyway, thank you again, and let me know if you'd like to be added to my mailing list.

I'm also writing a study series right now on Paul's First Missionary Journey. I may post that later.


9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

found your blog while preparing for sermon series on the Psalms. Excellent scholarship and commentary. Thanks for taking your time to add to the body of information

8:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home