When do most people pray to the Lord? Usually people pray when they are facing some crisis or problem. There is nothing wrong with this. After all, our Father wants us to trust Him, and place our petitions before Him in prayer. However, times of crisis are not the only times in which we are supposed to be Involved in prayer.
In Psalm 9, David’s prayer is not a prayer of need. Rather, his is a psalm, or song, of triumph to the Lord. We don’t know the circumstances behind the psalm, but it is obvious that David has overcome a dangerous opponent. As David experiences the sweet taste of victory, what does he say? Does he pat himself on the back? Unfortunately, too many people do just that. In despair they cry out, “0 Lord, help me!” Then, when the Lord answers their prayer, the next thought is, “Boy, I was sure lucky I”, or “I did a good job of handling that situation!”
David knew where the source of his victory came from. In the first two verses, David’s dominant phrase is, “I will”. “I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you? I will sing praise to your name, O Most High”.
David’s song of triumph pictured God in two ways. First, he shows God as the righteous Judge. Read verses 3 through 8 again. Carefully consider the words that were used to describe God’s actions as a judge. Without Jesus Christ, this is what the world will ultimately face. “Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.” Power, wealth, fame, and all the other values that are held so dear by the world, will fall and disappear before the Lord. None were more powerful than the Pharaohs of Egypt, or the Caesars of Rome. Yet, how many of these men do we know today? How important are they today? “…even the memory of them has perished.” Too often we think of this life as being real, and the spiritual things of God as being “unreal”. However, the true reality IS the spiritual life we have In the Lord.
From God as the Judge, David’s thoughts then turned to God as a refuge. Since the history of humanity began, there has existed oppression of the weak. Today is certainly no exception. Very few countries practice any sort of observance of protecting their citizen’s “civil rights”. On every hand, we can see oppression, tragedy, death, war, and countless other things that are clearly against the will of God. Many wonder, “Where is the fairness – the justice in all this? When will the good be rewarded and the bad judged? When will the accounts be settled?” These are good questions that need to be answered. One answer is that “the Lord is a refuge for the oppressed…” God knows and watches over his people.
Now, this does not mean that His people are free from pain and troubles. Rather, the Lord is “a stronghold in times of trouble.” The Lord will give us strength to overcome the problems we will face. Remember, our true reality is not this world or life. The true reality is God the Father. As long as we are joined to Him, we have already won. Long after the power of the oppressor has vanished, long after this world is gone, we will still be with our Father through Jesus Christ. “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you. Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” God’s justice will be carried out against those that will not accept the Lord. Sometimes the wicked are caught up in their own traps and schemes. At others times, the accounting will take place before the judgment seat of God.
One thought for Christians today. What should we do about all this? Should we draw up a list of the evil and wicked people that we know and pray that they “get what they deserve”? The answer is no. The world is full of people that will not accept the will of God. Our job is to try to reach as many as possible, and save them from the fate of the world. Throughout the centuries worldly and evil people have been brought to the Lord, and their lives have been transformed. Think how much more effective such a person could be for the Lord!
Judgment is the Lord’s work. Our work is to reach out to those that need Jesus Christ. Will we always succeed? No. All we can do is plant and water. The LORD takes care of the increase.