Notes on Sermon Preached at PCF on 5 August 2012
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Reference: Psalm 9
In Psalm 9 David’s song reminds us of the day by day battle that every child of God faces. How do we go about facing the challenges that confront us every day of our lives as we seek to serve Him? David’s song shows how, in the power of the Holy Spirit we can be more than conquerors evey day of our lives.
1. Looking Up
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.
In the opening two verse of the Psalm we see one of David’s open secret – a life of praise, worship, love and adoration – in public and in private. Note how four times the phrase “I will” comes up, how the expression of that praise is in singing, and how his praise is both thoughtful and emotional. What a great example for us!
2. Looking back
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.
Before he even considers his own problems, David remembers the amazing works that God has done in his life in the past – how God has delivered him, saved him, and brought justice to his enemies. He has a history with God, and that history sustains him as he faces the future. Do we have a past with God, a history of times when we know he intervened in our lives? Let that be a source of strength for us as we face each day.
3. Looking Up (again!)
You might think that this is the time for David to say to God – “what about my problem?” – but he is drawn again to look up to the God in whom he trusts. This time his approach is more thoughtful:
The LORD reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
and judges the peoples with equity.
As David sings the praise of his God he mediates on the nature of the God he serves, and , by implication that those who oppose him will be judged by the God of the universe.
4. Looking around
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.
As further evidence to bolster his faith, David looks around him at the evidence of God’s work in people around him. He describes God as being seen as being a refuge, a stronghold and says that his experience is that God has never forsaken those who trust him, and one who does not ognore the cry of the afflicted. What a God we have to bring our concerns to!
5. Looking Forward
At last, having considered everything we have referred to, David is in a position to bring his concerns to God:
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.[c]
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.
We can come to God with total confidence. With a mixture or praise, faith and prayer David brings his situation to God and has total confidence in the outcome.