Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yahweh Makes Himself Known By The Justice He Makes – Psalm 9

Many consider Psalm 9 and 10 to be one Psalm, or at least a two parter. Both, at least, have similar themes and verbiage, and perhaps a loose acrostic structure. However, the focus in 9 is thanking God for righteous judgement, whereas 10 is a prayer against wicked rulers.

So onto Psalm 9. It sort of picks up where 7 left off. Once again, God is the judge of the world who will vindicate his people by punishing evil. And we see here how David speaks of past judgements made to show the basis of his trust for future judgements. As opposed to many of David’s psalms, this one focuses more on Israel’s national enemies, it seems, than David’s personal ones. And any attempt to drive Israel from their land was an attack on God’s plan, and therefore an attack against God. This Psalm reminds me of the end of Moses’ song in Deuteronomy 32:40-43, or Romans 12:19 and Revelation 19:2. Revenge or repayment from a just and fair God is not evil. In fact, it reflects his holiness because he can’t leave sin unpunished.

So this Psalm makes a fitting prayer today for those in the Church who are enduring severe and brutal persecution. The Lord of the world has not forgotten them or abandoned them, because he has already declared them “not guilty” through trust in Jesus as their Savior because Jesus suffered the full punishment of the world’s sin and guilt, and his Spirit is with them and he is working everything together in the end for the good of his people. And this is why they can thank and praise God, and endure to the end.

On a technical note, נוֹקֵ֣שׁ is an unsure form. It could be the niphal participle of יקש for “ensnared,” which is a common word and has the support of the LXX, Syriac, and Targum. However, the form that would fit the parallelism of 9:17 (Hebrew verse division) better would be the Masoretic form as given, and would also mirror the thought of Jesus’ statement in Luke 21:34-35.

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Reformation True

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