Study Notes

Psalm 9:1-20

On Muth-Labben

Psalm 9 bears the heading, "on mooth lab-BANE." The word seems to mean, "the death of the son." It is possible that this psalm was written on the occasion of David's son Absalom's death. Another possibility is that this psalm was to be sung to the tune of another song that was entitled "Death of the Son."

9:1-2 Giving Thanks

David begins the psalm with glorious thanksgiving and appreciation for God. What is the purpose of thanksgiving? Is it merely to align our minds to a proper place? Is it simply to prepare ourselves for perfect peace? That alone would be selfish and self-centered.

Remember who we are giving thanks to. Recounting His wonders, being glad in who He is and what He's done. How many of us parents wouldn't appreciate our children recounting to us all the times we've come through for them? I remember right after I became a father, I suddenly got a perspective on what a blessing my father had been to me. I called him up and told him how thankful I was that he taught me how to hammer a nail and use power tools, and how to drive a car and hit a baseball.

1Ths. 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

How our heavenly Father longs for our thankfulness and remembrance of His great deeds!

9:3-8 Enemies Judged

No one can stand before the Lord when He decides to judge. When God smites our enemies, it is obvious. But sometimes our enemies don't seem to stumble and perish. Sometimes they seem to be having victory over us. We sometimes feel like God hasn't delivered us from our enemies - but there are many more variables to this equation:

Sometimes God is allowing trials to refine us and prove our character.

Rom. 5:3-4 ...We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character...

He may be allowing our enemies to continue because He is longsuffering and merciful to them just like He was merciful to us.

2Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Sometimes He's just waiting until they hit the full measure of their sin.

1Ths. 2:16 ...They always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.

Our timetable is not His. But we can trust that He will judge when He judges.

9:9-10 The Lord Is A Stronghold

As we've looked at the first eight psalms, we've seen many times the Lord described as our shield, as our stronghold, our strong tower, our rock, our refuge. How do we take shelter in the Lord from oppression and affliction? Simply by putting our trusting in Him. If we trust that He is in control, if we have faith that all things are working together for good, if we seek His face, we will know that He has not forsaken us.

Hebr. 13:5 ...He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"

No matter what things look like on the outside, the Lord has not forsaken us. Let us take shelter in that fact.

9:11-14 He Who Requires Blood

From the beginning, God has required blood for sin. In the garden when Adam and Eve tried to sew fig leaves together to cover themselves, God said, The works of your hands is insufficient to cover your sin." He covered them with the skins of slain animals.

Cain and Abel were also instructed in this.

Gen. 4:3-5 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. And Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard.

Then God gave Moses the plans for the tabernacle, including the brazen altar, where the people's sins would be covered by the blood of bulls and goats.

And now, we know that the blood of Jesus has completely fulfilled the requirement.

Hebr. 9:13-14 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Rom. 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath {of God} through Him.

The blood that God requires for sin has been completely poured out in Christ - cleansing us from the guilt of all our sin.

9:15-16 Caught In Their Own Net

Being a Christian is a lot like being the Roadrunner. We run along, trying to mind our own business. But although our enemies, or in this case, Wiley E. Coyote, are forever devising plans to catch and kill us, they always end up caught in their own traps. That's the way the Lord's sense of humor and His protection for His children is.

Prov. 26:27 He who digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

What a wonderful way that God watches out for us!

9:17 Return to Sheol

Jesus pointed out that the wicked are children of the devil.

John 8:42-44 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? {It is} because you cannot hear My word. You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father."

So when they die, they return to Sheol. It's just like they're going home to be with their father.

Take comfort that the wicked will not always be victorious. Their day is coming. And our day of glory is coming too.

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