Thursday, April 7, 2016

Overcoming Despair

Psalm 9:1-20

 “To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.”

Muthlabben means “to die for the son.”  After Absalom was killed, David wished he could have died in Abaslom’s place.  While David was grieving, Sheba the son of Bichri attempted to take over the kingdom and David was forced to cut his grieving short and deal with Sheba’s revolt.  With God’s help Sheba was eliminated and David was restored fully to power.   

“I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works.  I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” (Psalm 9:1-2)

Despite all his trials and difficulties, David was committed to continuing to praise God.   He was committed to rejoicing and being happy and to letting people know what God was doing.  The best way to avoid depression is  to focus on the good things God gives us, and David’s choice was a good one.  Ephesians 5:18-20 Advises, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;”

“When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.  For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.  Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.” (Psalm 9:3-5)

We can confidently trust God to not only stop our enemies, but to make them no longer a threat, destroying them.  He will judge fairly and rebuke those who don’t know better and completely destroying those who knowingly do wrong. 

“O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.  But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.  And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” (Psalm 9:6-8)

In their pride, the wicked always think they can avoid judgment, but God is eternal, and there wickedness in destroying others will one day end forever.  God will be there forever, and he will provide real justice for those who have done what is right. 

“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.  Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.  When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.” Psalm 9:9-12)

Even before he judges the world, God will take care of his people, protecting them from the wicked.  They can trust him keep his promise because he has not forgotten them.  He goes back and looks into who has hurt them. 
“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: That I may show forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.” (Psalm 9:13-14)

Absalom’s and Sheba’s rebellions had brought David’s enemies into the open, and they threatened his very life.  He asks that God have mercy on him, considering the their hatred and lifting him up so that Israel and Jerusalem can see God’s power.   David would rejoice in that God had saved him. 
“The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.  “The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.  The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.  For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. “ (Psalm 9:15-18)

Though they don’t realize it, those who don’t know the Lord are caught in a trap of their own making.  God cannot bear to look upon evil, and he will not ignore injustice.  The wicked and those who refuse to acknowledge God will be cast into hell.  God will not always allow the poor and powerless to be oppressed and their hopes destroyed. 

“Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.  Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.” (Psalm 9:19-20)

David asks that judgment fall soon so that people will realize they are just people like everyone else and must answer to God.  

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