Read: Psalm 9; 2 Samuel 12:14 – 23; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Colossians 1:22
The Hebrew title for Psalm 9 is al meth-leben, or “Death to the Son.” Another reading of the title interprets the consonants l – b – n with a soft “b” and the vowels as “a” – lavan – meaning “to whiten.” One rabbinical commentator asserts that the Hebrew title suggests a double meaning, referring to the death of a son that has a purifying effect. The double idea of the title fits the topics of the psalm, which include man’s injustice and God’s judgment, and also God’s deliverance of the righteous.
Think About It: How did David experience “death to the son” as a purifying experience? How can we experience “death to the Son” as a purifying experience?
Prayer: Praise God for the atoning death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Read: Psalm 9:4 – 6
Psalm 9 contains a pattern for the prayer of the righteous who are surrounded by hostile nations and cultures. That pattern begins with a remembrance of God’s actions in the past. David had personally experienced God’s maintaining his just cause by repeatedly delivering him from wicked people: He delivered him from the threats of Goliath (1 Samuel 17:44); He delivered him from the dangers in the court of Achish of Gath (1 Samuel 21:12 – 14); He delivered him from the hands of Saul (1 Samuel 23:14); He delivered him from the bitterness of his own followers (1 Samuel 30:6); He delivered him from the betrayal of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 16:23; 17:23); He delivered him from the rebellion of Absalom (2 Samuel 18:32).
Think About It: What has God done for me in the past? How have I experienced His discipline? How has He maintained my just cause? How have I experienced His forgiveness?
Prayer: Praise God for my salvation history.
Read: Psalm 9:3, 7 – 9; 15 – 16
The prayer of the righteous surrounded by hostile people continues with reassurance that God is active in the present. Psalm 9:3 asserts that God causes David’s enemies to stumble and fall (2 Samuel 8:6). Psalm 9:7 affirms that God’s sovereignty continues unchanged (Psalm 102:12; Lamentations 5:19). Psalm 9:8 asserts that God’s judgment is not reserved only for some future time, but is active in the present, as David himself experienced in regarding his adultery and act of murder (2 Samuel 12:13 – 15) and in the incident of the census (2 Samuel 24:10 – 14). Psalm 9:9 affirms that God is a stronghold now for those in trouble (Psalm 46:1), which David experienced many times, “in the nick of time” (1 Samuel 23:25 – 28).
Think About It: What is God doing in my life right now? How is He actively at work to save me, sanctify me, care for me, and provide for me? What helps me stay aware of how God is active in my life and in the world around me?
Prayer: Lord, open my spiritual eyes.
Read: Psalm 9:17 – 18; Psalm 12:5; Proverbs 23:18; 24:14
The prayer of the righteous person surrounded by hostile people concludes with the request for God’s intervention in the future. That request is based on an affirmation that what God has not judged already He will in the future judge in righteousness.
Think About It: What will happen to those who forget God? God’s future judgment is not only one of condemnation, it includes deliverance. Who will God deliver? How might Psalm 9:18 relate to Matthew 5:3 – 12?
Prayer: Lord, please grant a reminder to those who have forgotten You, and may I never forget You.
Read: Psalm 9:19 – 20; Psalm 82:8; Psalm 110:6; Matthew 25:32.
The prayer of the righteous for the future includes a request for the Lord to arise and do what He has promised to do. God has promised to judge the nations and to make the nations fear him.
Think About It: What happens to a nation when its people do not fear the Lord? What happens when a nation begins to think it is god-like? How should I pray for those who have forgotten God and do not fear Him?
Prayer: Lord, please fulfill Your promises for me!
Read: Psalm 9:1; Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Luke 1:37; Matthew 19:26; Romans 4:20 – 21
In addition to an example of prayer that looks to the past and present, and makes a request for the future, Psalm 9 also continues an important example and exhortation. The example, in v. 1, is the giving of thanks and testimony to God for all of His wonderful deeds. The Hebrew word for “wonderful” is also sometimes translated as surpassing, extraordinary, difficult, or miraculous.
Think About It: How have I experienced God’s wonderful deeds? What should my attitude be as I thank the Lord, according to Psalm 9:1?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for Your wonderful deeds!
Read: Psalm 9:11; 1 Chronicles 16:8; Psalm 105:1; Psalm 107:22
The exhortation included in Psalm 9 is to “tell among the peoples His deeds.” Ammim, “the peoples,” means, “the throng, the public, the citizens, the crowd, the troops.” Giving testimony to God should not be limited to special church services. Born-again believers need to go public and talk about the wonderful deeds God has done and is doing for them.
Think About It: Can I talk coherently about how I came to faith in Jesus Christ? Am I paying attention to what He is doing in my life right now? Can I tell that story? Who are some of “the troops” with whom I can share the story of my walk with Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, give me the boldness necessary to share my story with the throng.