Written by David, Psalm 9 opens with four “I will” statements, declaring an intent to praise God and inviting all who sing this Psalm to join in praise (v. 1-2).
1. I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart.
2. I will tell of all your wonders.
3. I will be glad and rejoice in you.
4. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
The remainder of the Psalm recounts the wonders of who God is and what He has done for His people.
- You are the righteous judge (v. 3-8).
- You are a refuge for the oppressed (v. 9).
- You are trustworthy (v.10).
- You are listening for the cry of the afflicted (v. 11-12).
- You are a God of mercy and justice (v. 13-17). David asks for mercy and deliverance for himself and describes the justice that waits for the wicked. Psalm 7 painted the picture of a man falling into the very pit he dug to trap others. Here, nations fall into the pit they have dug, get caught in their own hidden nets, and are ensnared by the work of their hands.
- You are hope for the needy (v. 18).
- You are God over the nations (v. 19-20).
The heart of this Psalm is found in verses 9-11.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, O LORD, have ever forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
David and the people of Israel knew what it was like to be oppressed. From centuries of slavery in Egypt to the physical and psychological attacks from nations surrounding the kingdom David ruled, God’s chosen people were familiar with times of trouble and pain.
We, too, will know such times. We will be attacked by the enemy, or find ourselves crushed by the weight of suffering or grief. Pain will find us on this journey home.
David writes to remind us that the LORD, the covenant God, is a refuge for those oppressed by pain and suffering. In the times of trouble that inevitably come, God is our stronghold, a place to hide in safety from the enemy, a place of security where we can find rest.
David says God can be trusted in these times of trouble because we know His name – His character and His promise to us. The word “know” here means to know by experience. Because we have God’s Word, we know how God has acted on behalf of His people in the past to provide for them and protect them. In addition to the testimony of the past, we can experience God’s loving care for ourselves.
David also reminds us that God can be trusted because He has never forsaken those who seek Him. The word “seek” here means to study, practice, or follow with care. It conveys the idea of walking in a direction so often you wear a path with your feet. God will never forsake, or leave behind, those who pursue Him like this, those who study and practice walking in His ways.
God is our stronghold and will not ignore us when we seek shelter in Him. We can trust Him and take refuge in Him during times of trouble.
What should our response be?
David gives us two: praise and proclamation.
Praise: “Sing praises to the LORD…”
Oppressed? Running to God to find refuge? Praise Him. Like David did in Psalm 9, make a list of who God is and what He has done in the past for His people and for you personally. Sing songs of praise that celebrate God’s name and describe His character.
Proclamation: “Proclaim among the nations what He has done.”
Tell others what God has done for you. Your rescue from suffering and trial is not just for you. You are part of God’s redemption story for the whole world. Tell your part of it! Proclaim God’s name to people from every nation. Give them the good news that they are not forgotten by God, that He has heard their cries. Share the gospel, the good news that God sent His only Son, Jesus, to suffer on the cross to pay for our sins so that we can know and experience God’s salvation.
Trouble will find us. But when it does, we find out who God really is.
Know His name. Trust Him. Seek Him.
He will never forsake you.
Father, I will praise you with all of my heart. I want to seek you and know you more. I will tell of all your wonders. You are a God of mercy and justice. You hear the cries of the suffering and act on their behalf. I will be glad and rejoice in you. You are my refuge, my security, my stronghold, my safety in times of trouble. I put my trust in you. I will sing praises to your name. I want to be a part of taking your name to the nations. Thank you for your great salvation. Amen.