We’re closing out the first ten Psalms today with a look at numbers nine and ten. Psalm 9 really speaks to a major problem I have in my walk with God and an area I need to work on. I ran into this issue just yesterday and still faltered in how I handled it. Next time, I’m going to recall the words of this psalm and try to remember to apply them.
David wrote this psalm as he was rejoicing in a victory. This verse I’m going to share touches upon something that I don’t think about often enough.
Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
I have no idea why, but I tend to be a bit oblivious when it comes to this aspect of God. In times of trouble, I usually turn to myself first. I try to rationalize it, try to calm myself down, try to figure out what’s wrong, why it’s wrong, and what I can do to fix it. Or, the bad version of that, is that I’ll shut down. I’ll ignore the problem, which always makes it worse. And then a few days later I’ll finally address the issue, now faced with a much bigger problem than whatever was wrong originally.
One aspect of my relationship with God that I most certainly need to work on is turning to Him in times of trouble. My immediate reaction when something goes wrong in life should be to turn to Him. Bring the problem to Him, seek His comfort and protection and wisdom. The Lord isn’t just a shield, as David is fond of calling Him, but here David refers to God as a stronghold. As a lifetime nerd, I’ve got some great visuals in my mind of strongholds. Helms Deep from Lord of the Rings is usually the first one I think of. A massive stone wall, an inner keep, giant metal gates, maybe a moat. A stronghold is impenetrable, a symbol of ultimate defensive superiority. You may throw yourself against it, but it will never be broken. That’s what God is for us in times of trouble. It’s a beautiful, oft repeated sentiment in the bible. God’s a fortress, a stronghold.
So why do I stand outside in the field like a dummy, trying to deal with my problems on my own? I pray for the wisdom to look over my shoulder the next time I’m dealing with an issue in life and see the stronghold of God standing mighty right behind me. One of the great promises of His word is that we don’t have to struggle with problems alone. He’s there to carry the problems. He is a stronghold, and He will never forsake those who seek Him.
Much like aspects of the book of Job, this psalm deals with the issue of the wicked prospering. The writer of this Psalm shares a pretty dire look at this.
Psalm 10:1 Why, O Lord, do you stand that far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
It’s easy to wonder things like this when we’re really struggling. When a Godly man is having all sorts of horrible things going on while the awful sinner across the street drives a $100,000 car and lives in a mansion, it’s easy to want God to act right away. One thing I can definitely say I’ve learned from the bible is that God’s responses and His justice aren’t always immediate. He operates on His own time, and that time is sometimes vastly different from our time. But the great promise that we can stand on is that some day and in some way, God’s justice does come.
Psalm 10 isn’t all doom and questioning God, as it actually closes out beautifully.
Psalm 10:17-18 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear 18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
God has a heart for the downtrodden. This psalm speaks to that, but for some reason it’s that final section that really jumps out at me. “so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” The true bad guys get what’s coming to them, eventually. While it’s the cry of my heart that every person, the bad included, eventually come to accept Jesus as Lord and change their ways, I do find comfort in the idea that those who insist on living a life of true awfulness will eventually come face to face with God Almighty. So that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
CLOSING AND PRAYER
I may make a change to the posting schedule this week and take a break from the Psalms on Thursday. There’s something I encountered this week that I kind of want to write about, so that’s probably what we’ll do on Thursday. Then next week we’ll jump into Psalms 11 – 24.
For prayers today, let’s pray about that Psalm 9 verse I shared above. Let’s pray that in times of trouble, we always remember God our stronghold. Pray for the wisdom to stop standing outside the gates and facing down the enemy alone, and thank our heavenly Father for welcoming us inside and shielding us.
Thanks for being here today, guys. I hope the week is going great for you all so far. I love each and every one of you, and so does your creator, God. He longs to be in a relationship with us, so draw closer to Him this week and just embrace that endless love He has for you.