Psalms 9




Psalms 9:1-2 says, “I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” Psalm 9 is a Psalm about praising God. What does it mean to “praise”? In the Old Testament there are many different words which are translated praise. The word used here in Psalms chapter 9 to mean “praise” is an emphasis on the things that you say. You are not praising God unless you are saying the right things.


In many places in the Old Testament this word “praise” is translated as confession. Of course, when we hear the word confession we often think of confession of sin. But the idea is much more than just that. To confess means to admit the truth. Admitting the truth is not just admitting the sins you have done. But it is also acknowledging what God does. In fact Psalms 9 verse 1 even explains itself when it says, “I will shew forth all thy marvelous works


Of course, we should not just praise God, but we should do so with the whole heart. God always looks at the heart. In other words even though the word “praise” here in Psalms chapter 9 is emphasizing the things we say, it is important what is in our hearts because God looks at the heart. How can man who is sinful praise God with his whole heart, for even in his utmost effort he will fail because of his own sinfulness? There is only one way to succeed in praising God with the whole heart and that is to fulfill the commandment which Jesus said in Mark 12:30 is the greatest commandment, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandmentIf you can fulfill this commandment, then and only then will you succeed in praising God with all your heart.


As we read verses 1 and 2 of Psalms 9 we can learn why it is important to “praise” God. Praising God results in gladness and rejoicing. Jesus said the very hairs of our head are numbered (Luke 12:7). The apostle Paul said “in him we live and breathe and have our being.” God is everywhere, even the most desolate places of the earth where the wind blows and no living man stands there to feel it. But God is there doing his mysterious work to the good pleasure of His will. There is so much to “praise” God for. Perhaps it is impossible for us as men to ever succeed in praising God with all our hearts all the time: at least until we get to heaven. But knowing the infinite amount of things there are to praise God for, if a man succeeded in only praising Him each day for 1 thing with all his heart, how much that would accomplish in this world and how much gladness and rejoicing would that man find in measure purer and sweeter than most men ever know.


God created speech.  So listen to those in the world around you and listen to the things you yourself say. How often do you hear God praised in the words that men say? There is much darkness and sorrow in the world and it is no wonder that so few among men ever praise God with their whole heart.


The “praise” here in Psalms 9 verse 1 is also translated in the Old Testament to mean the casting of a stone. Of course, many people are familiar with the words of Jesus when he said to those whom would have slain the woman taken in adultery, “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone.” We know that a stone when cast, even the smallest pebble cast into water, sends out ripples which will cover all the surface thereof. If only more men and women would cast the stones of praise upon the waters of the world and upon the sea of men, the unfathomable effect such praise to God will have in the hearts of men so that they might give their confession to Jesus can only be measured at the great White throne of Judgment.


King David said he would “praise” God. And in Psalms chapter 9 he lists for us things for which to praise God. What are some examples of things we should praise God for? If we said to God, “For what things should I praise you?” God has answered that question and listed for us some of those things in the rest of Psalms 9. Psalms 9:3-6 says, “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. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.”


The first thing that David gave God praise for is the certainty of judgment upon his enemies. David faced a lot of dangers and “enemies” in his life time. In his experiences with God this would no doubt be one of the forefront things on his mind. Even before David was king, when he was a simple shepherd boy, the leader of David’s country sought to slay David.  What if the leader of your country came after you to kill you? Could you do as David and praise God?       


The word “enemy” means an adversary. The word enemy carries with it the idea of strong opposition. We often think of such strong opposition as motivated by extreme and unreasonable anger, hatred, and an opposition unto the point of complete destruction of something.


King David’s life may be an extreme example but we all have enemies. Even though it seems sometimes that our fellow man is our enemy because of strong opposition and hatred, the true enemy is the force of evil in this world whose hatred toward the truth and hell-bound opposition towards the will of God influences men to do the evil they do. 


One of the hardest things to do in life is perhaps what Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” Certainly it will be much more easy to love your enemies if you remember and if you praise God for verses 3-6 of Psalms chapter 9. Then perhaps instead of hating your enemies you will pray for them that they might repent and turn to Jesus and escape the certain destiny that awaits all those who oppose Christ and reject Him.


The Bible says in Psalms 34:19, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Deliverance from our enemies may not always come in the physical sense, but you can be sure spiritually there is always victory in Jesus. The final physical deliverance will come after the great tribulation when Christ returns. Christ has not returned yet. Even so, be thankful, praise God, and shew forth His marvelous works.  The end of all opposition to the truth and to the will of God is coming.


Perhaps the reason this is the first thing listed in Psalms 9 as something to praise God for is because in the world there is indeed such a vast opposition to the truth and to the will of God both in the hearts of men and from the forces of evil. The message is this: the end of all opposition to the truth and Jesus is coming, even the enemy of our own sinful self. Psalms 5-6 says, “Thou hast put out their name for ever and ever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end.


Sometimes people take the words of God and distort their meaning. The message that God will eliminate your enemies if you trust in him should not be compared to the false teachings of other religions. Notice that verse 3 says they will turn back and shall fall and perish at God’s presence. Self defense is good. Fighting for freedom is good. But those who trust in Jesus do not need to plot and manipulate and seek revenge and use violence the way the world and the governments of the world do, thinking that is the way to eliminate one’s enemies. God is going to do it. It is a good message. It is not a message of hate to say the words of Psalms 9, but it is the justice of God in action.


Psalms 9:7-8 says, “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.” The enemies of righteousness and of God will not last, neither sin nor destruction. The world itself will not last. But Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. He will endure forever. And His righteous judgment upon the world will endure forever. This is a marvelous work of God which we can praise Him for. Of course judgment has already come. Judgment was made on the cross of Calvary when Jesus died for your sins and mine. These verses say that the Lord shall make judgment in righteousness and uprightness. The world is filled with injustice but one day God is going to put all injustice to an end. God sent His only begotten Son Jesus to die for your sins. He was punished for all you have done wrong and all you ever will do. We can praise God because we know that God has judgment and it is righteousness. Notice also that these verses say His throne is prepared for judgment. This implies that it is going to happen. If God’s Word says it, then we know it is true. Judgment is coming on all the world and it will be in righteousness because it will be God judging man and not man judging man.


Psalms 9:9-12 says, “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.”  God will defeat your enemies. God will also be your refuge. A refuge is a place of safety, a high tower, a defense. A refuge is a place where there is peace and no danger, no sorrow, no destruction, and where the enemy cannot reach you. There is no greater refuge from any of the calamities of this world nor from the sin which does so easily beset us than Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Rock. Jesus is our shelter in a storm. Jesus is our refuge. It is easy to praise in the good times. But God is a God of refuge not just in the good times but in times of trouble, so says Psalms 9:9.


If God is your refuge, then that means you trust in Him. What is one of the key factors which often results in a person trusting in God or not? Sometimes such decisions in the heart of weak and sinful man are made one way or the other based on whether or not that person knows God. Psalms 9 says, “They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.”


Why don’t more people praise God? Why don’t more people find refuge in Him? Those that know his name do. A name is like a banner or an emblem which gathers all about something and represents it. When you buy a product at the store you have the name brand and the off brand. When you hear the name Adolf Hitler, what does it mean to you? When you hear the name Abraham Lincoln, what does it mean to you? When you hear the name Jesus Christ what does it mean to you?


It is no wonder the Bible says in Psalms 138:2, “…for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” How can you know the name of God unless you know His Word? And how can you praise God or trust in Him unless you know His name? Did you know that Jesus is a refuge to the oppressed? Did you know that Jesus has not forsaken them that seek Him?


These are things you can praise God for: Jesus will destroy the enemy. Jesus will endure forever. God is forever: therefore, so too is His Word and His promises, so too is His judgment and the good which comes from them. Jesus will be a refuge for the oppressed, and Jesus will not forsake those that seek Him. This phrase from Psalms 9 certainly reveals to us how wonderful is the love of God indeed. You might forsake God 999 times out of a thousand but that one time that you turn to Him He will not forsake you.


Psalms 9:13-14 says, “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 shew forth all the praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in Thy salvation.” David’s life had such danger in it at times, and He faced such evil from his enemies at times he was near death. Of course, everyone must face death one day: that is the destiny of man. Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment:” But sometimes the hatred of man and especially the hatred of man towards those who trust in Jesus is such that some, just like David, will find their life near death. In such situations the best thing to do is to cry unto the Almighty, “Have mercy upon me.” God is merciful. And God always gives mercy to those who ask Him for it. It’s the same principle already mentioned here in Psalms 9 also mentioned in Zechariah 1:3 “…Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” And where Jesus said in John 16:24, “…ask, and ye shall receive..” Because God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world, He can always hand out mercy freely and readily and eagerly to anyone who asks him for it at any time.


Of course, God’s mercy does not just apply to spiritual things it also can apply to the physical things of this life. Sometimes when you have enemies and sometimes when those that hate you and seek to oppose and destroy your life have brought you to the gates of death all you need to do is to turn to God and ask Him for mercy. Life has trouble. There is sickness, disease, and death. And then there is the trouble that men cause other men because of their hatreds. 


In Psalms 9 verse 13 David asked God to, “…consider my trouble...” The word “consider” is used many places in the Old Testament and it is elsewhere translated as: “saw,” “appear,” and “looked.” Consider these verses: Genesis 1:4, “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:9, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was soAnd Genesis 6:12, “And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” A thought can be a powerful thing. The mind is a powerful thing. God made it this way. Man has often imagined what he could do with just the power of thought. God can. God’s thoughts are like this. With just a thought things happen.


All God has to do is “consider.” God considers, and the world comes into being. God considers, and the world is judged for sin. Imagine what can happen in your life if the Almighty God of the universe was to have mercy upon you and to consider your trouble. It is no wonder that in this Psalm of praise such a thing is listed as something to praise God for.


The hands of God are not idle, neither is the mind of God. There is nowhere in this world where the marvelous works of God are not being brought to pass. What things should we praise God for when there is so much to praise Him for? God will defeat our enemies.  God will bring righteous judgment. God is a refuge. God does not forsake those that seek Him. God has mercy. And God will consider.


It may be that the worst torment of hell is not the pain of unquenchable fire, neither the gnawing of a guilty conscience, but it may be that God does not consider those anymore. Such men are damned to exist for eternity and never again will God think about them. There is nothing more wonderful than to have Jesus consider you in His thoughts. Seek Him, turn to Him, and He will turn to you. 




Copyright; 2011 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved