Psalm 9: The Lord Your Stronghold

Psalm 9 English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David.

Look back: Recount the faithfulness of God in past rescues

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
When my enemies turn back,
    they stumble and perish before your presence.
For you have maintained my just cause;
    you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgement.
You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
    you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.

David’s confidence in God’s future rescue is rooted in the knowledge of God’s faithfulness in the past. As Christians, we are able to look back on even greater rescues. In particular, we can look to Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension as the ultimate triumph of God over the enemies of his people. It more important than ever, when we are going through difficult times in the Christian life, to take the time to meditate on all that God has done in order to give us hope to endure.

Look up: Consider the throne of God in present trials

The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
    their cities you rooted out;
    the very memory of them has perished.
But the Lord sits enthroned for ever;
    he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
    he judges the peoples with uprightness.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
11 Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
    Tell among the peoples his deeds!
12 For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
    he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

David not only reflects on the actions of God but also on his character. God is the king and judge of all the earth. This is easy to lose sight of in times of difficulty, but again, it is precisely during these times that we need this the most. God’s grace towards his people and his hatred of evil ensures God’s future judgement and salvation because He does not change. It is the character of God himself that guarantees consistency between his past and future rescues.

Look forward: Trust in the unchanging rule of God 

13 Be gracious to me, O Lord!
    See my affliction from those who hate me,
    O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
14 that I may recount all your praises,
    that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
    I may rejoice in your salvation.
15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
    in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
16 The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgement;
    the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah
17 The wicked shall return to Sheol,
    all the nations that forget God.
18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
    and the hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.
19 Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
    let the nations be judged before you!
20 Put them in fear, O Lord!
    Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah

We too live between God’s past and future rescues. And so we too can renew our confidence and praise in light of God’s sovereignty and character. Jesus has come, and he will come again. He is our stronghold.

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