Psa. 9:0 ¶ To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.
Some think that David is instructing that this psalm be sung to the melody of a song by that name.
Psa. 9:1 ¶ I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
Psa. 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
This song begins with David’s declaration that he is praising the LORD with his whole heart—his feelings, his will and his intellect. His words are thoughtful and meaningful; he is not just going through a ritual. His praise will declare to others the wonderful things God has done for him; it’s a personal testimony. His heart is full of joy; and as a musician, it was natural for him to express his joy in song.
Music is an expression of the heart, and praise music provides a great way to express our joy in the Lord.
Psa. 9:3 When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.
Psa. 9:4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.
Psa. 9:5 Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
David is praising God for protecting him from his enemies. David knows that God will act on his behalf because he is acting according to what is right. He understands that it is only in God’s power that he can be victorious over his enemies, who he identifies as ungodly Gentiles.
It’s interesting to me that the wording implies that David expects to defeat his enemy with God’s help, then goes on to describe his enemy as already defeated. This is a powerful example of the attitude that every Christian should have when they pray. We can know that when we pray with the right motives and in accordance with God’s will, we will receive.
1 John 3:22 “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Psa. 9:6 O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.
Psa. 9:7 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
Psa. 9:8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
The fate of David’s enemy, described in the previous verse as ungodly, is destruction. They will be forgotten to history. The LORD, however, is eternal and will judge every person in righteousness.
These verses recognize the fact that the wicked will establish strongholds and will seem to prosper in this life, but we must understand that God is still on the throne. The time is coming when the wicked will be destroyed, and the LORD will rule on earth in righteousness.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Spurgeon describes God’s righteous judgment as follows in The Treasury of David: “In this judgment tears will not prevail, prayers will not be heard, promises will not be admitted, repentance will be too late; and as for riches, honourable titles, sceptres, and diadems, these will profit much less…. Oh, how many which now sin with great delight, yea, even with greediness (as if we served a god of wood or of stone, which seeth nothing, or can do nothing), will be then astonished, ashamed, and silent!”
Psa. 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Psa. 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
A refuge is a place of strength and security that protects one from danger. David had personally experienced taking refuge in the LORD when Saul treated him unjustly and posed a danger to his life. In context, to “know” God’s name is to understand the character, power and authority behind that name. One who has that understanding will confidently be able to put their trust in Him. He knows that the LORD never forsakes those that worship (from the Hebrew for seek) Him.
Psa. 9:11 ¶ Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.
David took great comfort in knowing that the LORD’s earthly dwelling place was in the temple on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. He wants all the nations of the world to know the mighty works of God on behalf of His people.
1 Kings 9:1–3 “And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD… That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.”
Psalms 132:13–14 “For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.”
Psa. 9:12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.
God is the only one invested with the authority to exact vengeance for the shedding of innocent blood. Though it may seem to us sometimes that murderers are getting away with their foul deeds, God is keeping an account. He does not forget, and He declares that vengeance is His.
Deuteronomy 32:35 “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence….”
I like the way the NLT presents the truth in Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Romans 12:19 “Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord.”
Psa. 9:13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:
Psa. 9:14 That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.
David is very humble before the LORD. He is pleading with God to take note of those that are intent on harming him. He knows that God has the power and authority to rescue him from death. He declares his motive to be to God’s glory; he wants to continue to sing God’s praises and publicly proclaim His mighty deliverance.
The Old Testament saints knew that God took pleasure in the honor of His name.
Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Isaiah 48:11 “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.”
They also knew that God honored true humility. Israel was spared God’s wrath during Josiah’s lifetime because he humbled himself before God.
2 Chronicles 34:27–28 “Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD. Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same.”
Scripture everywhere affirms that God is ready to give grace to the humble.
Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
Matthew 18:4 “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Psa. 9:15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.
Psa. 9:16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
These two verses are basically a restatement of the law of sowing and reaping. Those who do not acknowledge the one true God will reap the results of their evil lives.
Job 4:8 “Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”
Proverbs 22:8 “He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.”
Galatians 6:7–8 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”
The LORD is known for righteous judgment.
Psalms 19:9 “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
Psalms 98:9 “Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.”
Jeremiah 9:24 “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
“Selah” = a pause--Stop and think about this.
Psa. 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Psa. 9:18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Though we may not always understand why God seems to allow the wicked to prosper; we can trust in the truth that He is Sovereign and working out His plan for His people according to His will. The lives of the wicked will end up in the grave only to face God’s righteous judgment. This judgment is described in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 20:12–15 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Verse 18 is basically restating the principle declared in verse 12.
Psa. 9:19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.
Psa. 9:20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.
David closes this psalm with a prayer for the LORD to hold the wicked accountable and pronounce judgment upon them. They act with such pride and arrogance, and David is ready for them to be put in their place. He wants them to recognize their insignificance before Almighty God, the God of Israel.
Again—think about this.