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God Over All Nations - Psalm 9



If you have your Bible, please open to Psalm 9 as we study a message I have titled, “God Over All Nations”. This is a part of our Psalms of Life series, and the lesson will serve as a wake-up call to those people living on this earth that have never made their life right with God while making it a priority to honor Him throughout their days.


This is proclaimed as a Psalm of David and there is no reason to doubt his authorship. It is for the choir director on Muth-labben which could mean "death of the son", so many have concluded that David wrote these words at the death of his son Absalom that had pursued his life intending to kill him. One author said that since Jesus the Messiah was introduced in Psalm 2 and the scale of this psalm seems to have a wider reach into all nations, the death of the Son here could have reference to Jesus. The implications of this are certainly applicable considering the pending judgment throne on which Christ will be seated. In either case, the righteous can take comfort in knowing that God is in control. David showed us in our last study how the LORD is the Master of the Universe and LORD of all creation. This week, David focuses on how the LORD needs to be enthroned in every nation or there will be terrible consequences for the people that deny and reject Him. The LORD is still looking for worshippers and people who fear Him in every nation of this world. Unfortunately, we continue to see the moral decline and constant efforts made to push God out of the borders of our land. We need to rise as the people of God and exalt Him in praise and show reverence to Him through obedience to His will.


Let’s read Psalm 9:


1I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. 2 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. 3 When my enemies turn back, They stumble and perish before You. 4 For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously. 5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins, And You have uprooted the cities; The very memory of them has perished. 7 But the Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, 8 And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. 9 The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. 11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds. 12 For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted. 13 Be gracious to me, O Lord; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation. 15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught. 16 The Lord has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah. 17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God. 18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever. 19 Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You. 20 Put them in fear, O Lord; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.”

The righteous will reply to the God over all the nations (vs. 1-2)


Give thanks to the Lord with all my heart


“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. 2 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”


David doesn’t start this psalm by making any request of God, or with an outpouring of personal woes. God is so good that He has already done enough to receive our thanksgiving from the depths of our hearts. This is where David begins. This is where we must start.


We are instructed throughout the New Testament to be a thankful people as Christians. We are to always give thanks in all things, knowing that we serve a God who is good and is over all.


Tell of all His wonders


Last time we studied in the psalms we discussed the vastness of the creation of God and the ways that God leaves us standing in awe. David would fill His speech with a pronouncement of the wondrous things that God has done. Have you considered His wonders lately? When we proclaim to the world a reason for the hope that we hold in our faith, do we talk about the wonderful acts of God in our lives?


Be glad and exult in the LORD


Expressing joy seems to be a quality in the child of God that is dwindling today. There are glimmers of gladness from time to time, yet we are told to be beaming with excitement as we serve God. We are the light of the world and people that bring glad tiding of good things.


We have so many reasons to be happy and honor the Lord. While it is our calling to cheer the sad and lonely, to pick up the downhearted, to encourage the discouraged, most of the time we find it difficult to even stay positive ourselves. Rejoice always and glorify God.


Sing praises to the name of the Most High


The last of the replies that David offers to the LORD is to worship in song. David praised the name of the LORD frequently. Do you find yourself praising God throughout the day? Worship reminds us that God is over all things, but at the same time God is enthroned on the praises of His people. When we praise the name of the Most High, we acknowledge Him as God. We lift Him up and proclaim His excellencies.

The righteous judgment will bring an end to all enemies of the God over all the nations (vs. 3-8)


“3 When my enemies turn back, They stumble and perish before You. 4 For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously. 5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever. 6 The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins, And You have uprooted the cities; The very memory of them has perished. 7 But the Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, 8 And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.”


The enemy will stumble and perish before God


While the wicked attempt to get us to fall, they end up stumbling in their vain efforts to thwart our progress in walking with God. God, who is the righteous judge, will not allow the wicked to succeed in their plans but will cause them to perish.


The wicked are destroyed in judgment while my just cause is upheld by God


While the promoters of evil would like to see God’s name destroyed and His people come to ruin, God turns the tables on them, and they face destruction and the wrath of God to come.


God maintains our just cause while punishing the nations for their error. While men often rise up against the righteous, they need to recall that one day they will answer for their deeds. In Psalm 125:3 we learn,


“For the scepter of wickedness will not rest upon the land of the righteous, So that the righteous will not extend their hands to do wrong.”

The name of the wicked is blotted out forever and ever


One of the immediate consequences of living in sin and having an unrepentant spirit is that the names of those living in iniquity will be blotted out forever and ever. There are several mentions in the Bible of the book of life where the names of the saved are recorded and recalled on the final judgment day.


In the case of those in the error of their ways, their names are not only crossed off, but completely removed from the register. They will be lost for eternity.


Their cities of the lost are uprooted and they come to an end in perpetual ruins


People take a lot of pride in their cities, houses, and goods on earth. They hoard wealth and live selfishly. They feel powerful when they are behind their fortified physical walls hoping that they will serve as a defense and give them a sense of security.


But there are no hiding places from the righteous judgment of God. God can destroy cities in a moment’s time if those cities are not filled with righteous God-fearing people. He is the Judge over all the nations. The only hope we have is to be in good standing with Him on judgement day.


The very memory of the evil man has perished


The memory of the wicked ceases, and they will be cut off to perish alone. God gives them up to their defiled passions and the remembrance of their existence will come to nothing because they didn’t care to remember God, their Creator.


Those who are spiritual seekers will find a stronghold in the God over all the nations (vs. 9-14)


“9 The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble; 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. 11 Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds. 12 For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted. 13 Be gracious to me, O Lord; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.”


A stronghold for the oppressed and those in trouble


When David felt the weight of the world bearing down on his soul, he was grateful for the reminder that God was a mighty fortress of protection. God is still a bulwark for His people who feel the oppression of this wicked world. The LORD is a rock in which we can hide and take shelter from troubles. Psalm 18:2 shows how David felt about the protection of God when he wrote,


“'I love You, Lord, my strength.’ The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my savior, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.” (See also Psalm 46:1)

A stronghold for those that trust in His name and seek Him

To trust in the name of the LORD is to recognize His sovereign rule over all things and since we know He reigns supreme; we diligently seek Him. The Hebrew writer points out that this is the definition of true faith (Hebrews 11:6). We believe that He is God over all things and that He will reward those that diligently seek after Him and His will for their life. We are told here to sing praises to God in Zion and to tell all the people around us of His deeds among men.


The LORD requires blood for blood (Gen. 9:4-6). He will punish the wicked and tread out the winepress with their blood. At the same time, just as the LORD heard the cry of the righteous blood of Abel that Cain spilled on the ground, the Lord will never forget the death of one of His godly ones who die in the Lord. He will give His people rest and there will be no rest for the wicked as they are punished for the afflictions that they brought on God’s people (See Psalm 5:6).

A stronghold for those who cry from affliction


Afflictions come to us in this life in all shapes and sizes. Some afflictions are from sickness, some are from unfortunate life events, while others are brought on from the direct attacks of an enemy. Here David expresses his own cry, “Be gracious to me, O LORD; See my affliction from those who hate me.” Then David shares how the Lord lifts him up from the gates of death so that he can live to praise the LORD. His specific words are, “That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.” He goes from the gates of death to the gates of Zion. He credits the LORD for this salvation and offers praise. Is that our response for deliverance?


The gates of hell cannot prevail against us and neither will death or the enemies of the cross. We enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 84:8-11,


“Lord God of armies, hear my prayer; Listen, God of Jacob! Selah See our shield, God, And look at the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courtyards is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than live in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; He withholds no good thing from those who walk with integrity.”

Whatever afflictions that we endure in this life, we just keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and put our trust in God. We have shelter in a time of storm. The storms will come, but will you take cover in the care of the LORD? Will you pray and cry out to Him in your times of need? He wants you to cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you (I Pet. 5:7).


We need to recognize our place as mere men before the God over all the nations (vs. 15-17)


“15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught. 16 The Lord has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah. 17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.”


Without God we will sink into the pit that we make for our own downfall


While the wicked will create pitfalls for us, they will eventually suffer in their own devices. Like Haman who ended up dying in the very contraption that he made for Mordecai, those who plot evil against the people of God, will eventually see a terrible end because of their evil scheming (See Psalm 7:15-16).

Without God we are caught in the net which we hid as a trap for others


We are living in uncertain times, that I would be confident to say are unable to be compared to any other time in the history of this nation. We are watching God be stripped from every part of life at alarming rates. People are celebrating sin that God strictly abhors. In the days of Noah, when the thoughts of men’s hearts were evil continually, remember that God sent a flood to destroy all living things only saving eight righteous souls in the ark, along with enough animals to repopulate the world after His judgment was completed. We are promised, by the rainbow that God placed in the sky that God would never flood the earth by water again to destroy it. But we are told that one day the Lord will send fire to destroy the present earth and its works and those who never obeyed the gospel will be burned up. Are you ready for that day?


Christians are on the brink of being persecuted for their faith in unimaginable ways and will eventually become the most discriminated people on earth simply because of our call for good morals and our demand for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We do not fear what men can do to us. We fear Him who can kill both body and soul in hell. If God be for us, who can be against us? No weapon formed against us will be able to stand. God will have the final say in our eternal destiny and the world will be begging for His mercy as they must drop to their knees before the Son of God while they confess with their tongues that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. It will happen! You can confess His name now and be saved, or you can wait until the judgment day and be lost for all eternity. It is completely up to you! But you will confess His name one day whether you want to or not!


Without God we are snared by the work of our own hands


Just like the Pharisees during the ministry of Jesus, it is possible that people will set you up and question you to try and catch you up in your own words. Some will try to draw you in to losing your self-control and acting in ways that are out of character for a child of God. We need to take a few lessons from Jesus and learn to answer questions with another question. Sometimes we just need to be silent and still, knowing that God is God, Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings and that you have the gift of the Holy Spirit which seals you for the day of redemption. When it is time to speak, we do it with grace and we let our speech be that which will edify the hearers, even if it demands change or repentance from sin.


Right in the middle of this teaching we see instructions for the chief musician, “Higgaion” (meditation sometimes set to the tones of the harp) and then this is followed by “Selah” meaning to pause and reflect. We need to reflect on such things in our life. Do we find our hands working for the Lord or against Him?


Without God we are destined for hell because we forgot God


To think that the grave would be the end of your physical life and that a burning hell would be where your soul will spend eternity, should make us pause to think about why we would try to do life without God. While Sheol was first thought of only as the grave or place of the dead, it eventually was understood to be a place where the wicked dead will make their final stop in torment which becomes a personal hell (Luke 16:23; See also Job 10:21-22)


As I watch the nation where we live, I am fearful for its end because the leaders are allowing history to repeat itself. Look back at Sodom and Gomorrah. They were destroyed because they allowed the sin of rampant homosexuality to run free in their streets. God warned Lot and His family to escape with the help of angels just before God dropped fire and brimstone on those two cities and they were destroyed. Why do we think we will escape if we call evil practices good and good, evil?


If we forget about God and all that He has done to redeem us through His Son, Jesus, we will be cast into the lake of fire (Rom. 1:21, 28). We need to confess the name of the Lord and be saved, for Him to be willing to confess our names before the heavenly Father and His angels. The ones that the Lord didn’t recognize in the judgment, they were told to depart from the Lord into outer darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Death is only a transition for the child of God into life eternal, but for the wicked it is described as a second death which is eternal separation from God in a devil’s hell. Don’t neglect the great salvation being extended to you!


The godly will be remembered and not perish before the God over all the nations (vs 18-20)


“18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever. 19 Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You. 20 Put them in fear, O Lord; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.”


The needy will not be forgotten


Sometimes we shake our heads in disgust when we watch the wicked prosper in material things. There are many Christians that are rich toward God, but like Paul they have spent many of the years in service to Christ learning to be content in the way of material blessings. Listen, God will not forget the sacrifices that you make and your gratitude and contentment in the face of these lean years.


We are told to lay up treasures in heaven. We have a place being prepared for us. We have eternal life before us. Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard what God has in store for those who love Him. We must remember that this life on earth is not our purpose. We are destined for heaven and the riches that God wants to bestow upon us in His Son, Jesus.


Those without hope will not perish forever


Often, we find ourselves getting the wind knocked out of our sails. The last few years have been challenging as people have been deflated by the events that transpired. As Christians our assemblies have been disrupted by sickness, our spiritual fellowship limited due to the new norm and our growth on many levels, unless we have put in the hours alone, has been stunted. We look around us and it appears that no one is even interested in studying the Bible, learning about Jesus or serving God. The pandemic, the political front and its new policies have forced people to become more isolated and worried about interacting with other people. The media has caused mass hysteria and people are still buying their fake news. While we were given a mission to administer hope, the world can feel quite hopeless at times.


"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness" (the old hymn says). "We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll; fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviors love." These thoughts must flood our minds as we encounter the bombardment of the world to cause us to lose heart.


Those who fear God will not be condemned by His judgment


Even if the world came to a sudden end and your life was no more, we do not fear the moments that follow. We know that it is appointed to each one to die and after this comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).


We don’t fear the wrath of God because we revere Him while we live and move and have our being on this earth. He promises that we have no condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). We are going to be declared righteous because of the blood shed by Jesus and our willingness to be washed in it.


We must remain humble as a people before God


Never forget that you are simply human. You are a created being. The Creator God over all the world will always be exalted above everything else. We cannot think too highly of ourselves, but we must give glory and honor to our Maker and Sustainer.


Humility is a modest or low view of one’s own importance. We are not important because we think we are. Our value is found in what God thinks of us. If we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He will exalt us at the proper time. If we pridefully exalt ourselves and live with a haughty, arrogant spirit, we will be brought low and humiliated. If we recognize our place, and give God the praise due to His name, we will one day share in His glory. Those that never give God first place, will miss the eternal glory of heaven.


The text ends with the word, “Selah” so that we get one final moment to pause and reflect on all that we have studied today and perhaps there is a change that needs to be made in your life based on what we have studied together.

Jesus said,


“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to all the creation, He who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).

If you are not a follower of the Lord, I want to help you heed the gospel call. If you have heard about Jesus and you believe that He is the Son of God and Savior of the world, I would love to rejoice in your decision to turn away from your sins, confess your faith in Jesus and be baptized for the remission of your sins. After this immersion in water, you are raised to walk in the newness of life as a child of God, a babe in Christ, born again unto the living hope of spending eternity in heaven after you live your life faithfully serving the Lord.


As a child of God, from time to time we fall short again of the glory of God. We are sorry for this shortcoming, and we know that godly sorrow leads to repentance. We turn to one another for strength, and we lift one another up in prayer, knowing that the Lord promised to forgive us of our trespasses and cleanse us again from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9; James 5:16). We don’t use the grace of God as a license to keep sinning (Romans 6:1-4), but when we do fall we have the Lord as our advocate between us and our heavenly Father (I John 2:1).


How can I help you today? Please let me know if I can discuss any of this message in greater detail with you. If you have questions about salvation that you need to ask, I will make myself available for further study. Whatever your needs might be, please make them known and I will either assist you myself or get you in contact with a local church in your area that can help you.

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