Day 9: Psalm 9

Psalm 9: count my blessings
Psalm 9
For the director music.
To the tune of “The Death of the Son.”
A psalm of David.

(1)I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
(2)I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

(3)My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you.
(4)For you have upheld my right and my cause,
sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
(5)You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
(6)Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.

(7)The LORD reigns forever;
He has established his throne for judgment.
(8)He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.
(9)The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, 
a stronghold in times of trouble.
(10)Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD,
have never forsaken those who seek you.

(11)Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(12)For he who avenges blood remembers;
he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

(13)LORD, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
(14)that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion,
and there rejoice in your salvation.

(15)The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
(16)The LORD is known by his acts of justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
(17)The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, 
all the nations that forget God.
(18)But God will never forget the needy; 
the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

(19)Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph; 
let the nations be judged in your presence.
(20)Strike them with terror, LORD; 
let the nations know they are only mortal.

Boy, this has taken me a while to write.

I am distracted. Are you distracted?

I can't focus on much of anything right now. And I am spending way too much time on social media. You?

Listen, my friends, God is calling us to seek Him with ALL of our hearts. Especially in the midst of this trial.

Will you join me? 

Today, let us vow together to make this a priority. To seek God first.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

A little background on this psalm: some old Bibles like the Septuagint and the Vulgate put psalms 9 and 10 as one long acrostic poem instead of two chapters. I won’t even try to explain more because that’s all I want to fill my head with.J

But that is pretty cool, right? Maybe an acrostic made it easier for Hebrew kids to learn the poem and to sing it! I can imagine this; it makes me smile.

I’m also not going to spend much time on the title, although I did spend a long time trying to figure it out (too much time actually). My NIV Bible says “to the tune of Death of a Son.” Most Bibles just use a Hebrew word: Muth-labben. But smart Bible people think the title refers to a tune (Muth-labban), maybe an older song that helps Hebrew kids to remember how the song goes! Maybe a cool song about how their beloved king David slew "the son" (Goliath) when he was a teenager himself!

Those cute little munchkins had a tune AND an acrostic!

And this is how this wonderful psalm begins:
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (ESV)

We could just be done right there! I wonder: how does one give thanks with a WHOLE HEART?

David tells us in this psalm…

By remembering all that God has done.

When our kids are complaining about how someone has a new phone or a new gaming system they want or whatever…what do we say?

Count your blessings.

My friends, are you feeling hopeless today? Fearful? Finding it hard to find peace in your heart? Are you struggling with letting go and letting God handle things?

Want to praise God but you can’t find the words?

Talk to God about all that He has done for you.

For us.

Throughout time.

Nothing reminds us all that we have to be thankful for better than recounting all of our blessings…right?

When you start to remember all that God has done and you SPEAK these things to Him, a peace will come through your heart. I know this. I’ve experienced this.

Although, not right at the moment...  

Hey friends, here’s another important thing to note. The Hebrew word for “wonderful deeds” or “marvelous works” in some translations is the same word found here:

When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles
Psalm 106:7

…and awesome deeds by the Red Sea
Psalm 106:22
Now THOSE were some miracles!!!

In his commentary on Psalm 9, Alexander Maclaren, a 19th century English preacher, said “today is as full of God to this man [David] as the sacred yesterdays of national history, and his deliverances as wonderful as those of old.” 

Seriously, God’s marvelous deeds throughout history are HUGE…He parted the Red Sea to save His children (Exodus 14), the sun stood still for Joshua (Joshua 10), the awesome resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 28), the feeding of the 5000 (which BTW would have been more like 15K with women and children!) with LOTS of leftovers (Mark 6), and don’t forget the creation of the universe, right? (Genesis 1).

Okay, those are amazing, and when we stop to remember them it is a reminder of God’s mighty strength and His plan throughout time. Right?

But what about the marvelous deeds He has done for you?

Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Psalm 71:17

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 
Psalm 119:18 

How has God shown His love to you? How has God delivered you?

Let’s remember to count our blessings today. And my friends, there are HUGE blessings to count. But there are also small ones, ones that happen every day.

David goes on in this psalm and the next to list some of the ways God had been faithful to him. He was good at singing God's praises.

David Guzik in his commentary of this psalm says, “this is simply choosing to rest in and celebrate the goodness, greatness, and kindness of God.”

When the world is in upheaval around us, when fear threatens to suffocate us, when it is hard to take a step forward…

I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

Father, sometimes we are afraid, especially now. Sometimes it's hard to remember to be thankful. We know You call us to put our trust in You, to give our burdens and worries to You, but that is hard to do sometimes. Sometimes it’s hard to just put one foot in front of the other right now. Help us not to live in fear, Father. Help us to sing praises to You with ALL of our hearts. Help us to speak of Your wonderful deeds throughout time and within our own lives. And let those be reminders of Your great faithfulness and Your great love. Help us to rest in Your goodness. Help us to sing Your praises. Please, Father, in Jesus great name heal our land. But even now, keep our eyes on You. Amen.

HExoxo

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