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.
This psalm opens like many others with praise to God above all else. It is a good reminder to us when we pray to do the same. Praying about God’s character, attributes, and love for those that are His will place your mind in line with His so when you pray, you pray along the lines of what He would will for you.
This psalm was written or sung by David, no doubt in one of his many battles or encounters with those who opposed him. Verses 3-4 explain that because David is a man after God’s own will and heart, God himself upholds the victories of David. When our hearts are aligned with God’s all that we set out to accomplish will come to pass, because it is God’s will for those things to occur. “The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” – Psalm 33:10-11
Verses 5-8 reveal the sovereignty of God. As He rules over the earth He pronounces justice; some will flourish, others will wither. All of His judgments are righteous, whether we see them that way or not. Just as Ecclesiastes states in chapter 3, “there is a time to tear down, and a time to build.” There has never been, nor will there ever be a time when something escaped the pronouncement of God. All things are under His control, and all things happen with a greater purpose in mind.
Verse 8 specifically talks about the equity of God’s judgement. Equity means ‘to be fair and impartial’. The Bible states that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”, and “there is none righteous, no not one”. There is no innocent person. Each of us has sinned, and therefor deserve the punishment for sin which is eternal separation from the love of God: death. Though times become difficult and death surrounds us we must, especially as Christians, see that God is working all things for His purposes. We are merely human and cannot fathom the will of God, but we know that He is good, and that all things work to the good of those that love Him.
How lovely it is to be called God’s child! In verses 9-14 we see the immeasurable goodness of our Heavenly Father for His children. He is ever there, a constant source of refuge for those in trouble. David boldly sings and proclaims for all to join in to glorify God, our only hope in times of suffering and grief. To cry out to Him will bring blessing, peace, and wisdom in these troublesome times. We must rejoice in our tragedy and discouragement, for we know that it is in Him that we live and move and have our being.
The remaining verses are a call to God, for His justice to be in-acted and for the nations to see that it is by their own doing that they lie in despair. Just as Adam and Eve made the choice to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we too have made our beds. To push God out of our lives is to let in temptation. All good stems from the ultimate source: God. If your hope is not founded in Him, you too, will slowly fall into darkness.
In every generation there are things that happen that make us stop to ponder our existence. What if I told you that the reason for life is to realize that we are helpless without the strength of Christ? God will not be mocked, and He will show the nations that we are but mere mortals, helpless in our mortality. We need Christ. We must be saved.
Father forgive us for our attitude of self reliance. Turn us as a nation to you. Break down the barriers in our hearts so we can see clearly who you are, and what you require. Thank you for your life giving sacrifice. I pray that so many others might place their faith in you, and be overcome with the joy you bring.
- Prayers for the People of Boston and the United States (12itisfinished.wordpress.com)