Reading through the Bible together

Friday, August 16, 2013

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In Psalm 9, David covers a range of emotional territory.  He offers praises to God for delivering him from death (vs. 1–4, 9–12), but also celebrates God’s judgment on pagans (vs. 5–8, 15–20), while later prays for vengeance on his enemies, and, at the same time, pleads for relief from the persecution he receives at the hand of his unnamed enemies (vs. 13–14; 15–18).

I am impressed by the first 4 verses of his words of praise as translated in the NIV.

1 "I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.

2  "I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.      

3  "When my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence.

4  "For You have maintained my right and my cause;  You sat on the throne judging in righteousness."

What I find interesting in the first section of this Psalm is that David is as certain of the existence of mortal enemies as he is of the goodness of God.  Do you have an enemy from whom you need God's relief?  Would you pray for God's grace on that person or persons?  Which Bible promises would you pray for that person?

The last part of the Psalm 9 covers one of my favorite Old Testament perspectives of God--Sovereign Judge of evil activity and Vindicator of His people.  Listen to the final words of Psalm 9, but this time in the KJV:

7 "But the Lord sits enthroned for ever, He has established His throne for judgment;

8 "and He judges the world with righteousness, He judges the peoples with equity.

9 "The Lord is a Stronghold for the oppressed, a Stronghold in times of trouble.

10 "And those who know Thy name put their trust in Thee, for Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken those who seek Thee.”

Psalm 9 highlights the fact that God's government is founded on justice (vs. 7).  Satan's original lie was that God's government was founded on selfishness--God's selfishness. 

Notice what Ellen White wrote:

          "In the banishment of Satan from heaven, God declared His justice and maintained the honor of His throne. But when man had sinned through yielding to the deceptions of this apostate spirit, God gave an evidence of His love by yielding up His only-begotten Son to die for the fallen race. In the atonement the character of God is revealed. The mighty argument of the cross demonstrates to the whole universe that the course of sin which Lucifer had chosen was in no wise chargeable upon the government of God."  The Great Controversy, page 500.     

Psalm 9 asserts that God's throne is not founded on selfishness, but on justice and ultimately love.  And it is this love that promises He will vindicate His children when falsely accused and persecuted.  He will be their Stronghold and Defense.

What can we pray for today that will reinforce our trust of God's love, justice, and power?  Why not write your prayer down and read it three (3) times today.  Be blessed!

 

Leslie N. Pollard
President, Oakwood University