Psalm 9 - When God Tries to Waken Us

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.
My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.
The LORD reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
and judges the peoples with equity.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing the praises of the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
For he who avenges blood remembers;
he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.
LORD, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
that I may declare your praises
in the gates of Daughter Zion,
and there rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
The LORD is known by his acts of justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
all the nations that forget God.
But God will never forget the needy;
the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph;
let the nations be judged in your presence.
Strike them with terror, LORD;
let the nations know they are only mortal.

David lived in turbulent times. His kingdom was in disarray and threatened to self-destruct. Looking at current events, we can see that we live in similar times, although far worse. Never before in human history have we been so close to global destruction. The nations, as David laments in this psalm, have become trapped by the work of their hands, and all of humanity will suffer the consequences. However, of us who trust God can take refuge in him. And we can all  look forward to the great light that will follow the terrible darkness. 

We see this truth reflected in Scripture. After David died, his son Solomon ascended the throne. After Solomon died, the kingdom split into two: a northern kingdom, which retained the name Israel, and a southern kingdom called Judah. There were occasionally good and god-fearing kings who ruled wisely and well. These led to periods of prosperity. However, instead of turning toward God in gratitude, they turned away from him, using the blessings they received to lead lives of indulgence and depravity. 

Eventually, as happens when we overspend and run out of credit, they ran into hard times that became progressively worse. Only when things became terrible did they turn to God again. And then the good times came, and the whole cycle repeated itself, over and again, and has continue to repeat itself till today. 

Although we are in another terrible period of human history, the good news is that in a few years (if not a few months), people will turn to God again as the only solution to their problems. Then, God will restore what the locusts have eaten and the blessings will flow again. Hopefully, we will learn from history this time because, as the saying goes, those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it! 

In the interim, let us be grateful for the Lord's provision for his faithful while he brings the wicked to their senses. 

God be with you.