David is prostrated because of his foes. Yet there also seem to be some sin issues as well. He prays for the LORD not to rebuke him in wrath.
The one verse which sort of confuses me is: “No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?”
Some scholars maintain that the clear idea of a heaven after death was not developed in the Old Testament. I have to disagree with this because of verses like Psalm 49:15:
“But God will redeem my life from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself.”
My guess is that David did believe in a heaven after death, but he is speaking out of unutterable grief in this psalm. Ultimately we must submit even our darkest moments to that “living hope”.
The righteous are contrasted with the wicked!
- lay their requests before God in the morning and wait in eager expectation
- bow down in God’s house by His mercy
- look to Him for leading in righteousness
- take refuge, are blessed, are protected
- Rejoice and ever sing for joy!
- mouth of lies
- heart of destruction
- full of sin and rebellion
- will be destroyed by the LORD
The righteous are praying; the wicked are sinning. God is all-hearing, and the just will be rejoicing.
David in his distress cries out to God! He is frustrated by those who turn from God to idols and delusions – preferring to be satisfied with those things rather than the persevering walk with Jehovah.
David exhorts these men to:
Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.
The pursuit of the LORD ends in soul-drenching JOY!
You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.
What are you worshiping? Are you finding satisfaction in an empty idol (perhaps another person, a job, a pursuit etc.) rather than in the living God? Are you filled with joy and peace so that you can say:
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
David recognizes the sheer volume of his foes. They are many and powerful. He turns his attention away from them to God’s deliverance.
David declares God’s deliverance:
You are a shield around me
I cry…He answers
David acts in faith in God’s deliverance
I lie down and sleep; I awake again because the LORD sustains me
David prays against his enemies
Strike all my enemies on the jaw
David praises God for deliverance
From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.
Who are your enemies today? Are they physical, spiritual or your own sin issues? Ultimately we are reminded in Ephesians that we don’t struggle against other people, but against demonic forces (Eph 4:12). Only in the LORD is there truly deliverance!
The messianic intent of this psalm under the guidance of the Holy Spirit is so clear that it seems to almost totally eclipse the original Davidic meaning!
Why do the nations conspire and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His annointed One.
Rebellion against the Most High is the basic function of sinful humanity. While enslaved by their own lusts, they imagine that God is the enslaver (3)!
God responds! He…
Declares – “I have installed my King!”
The LORD’s Decree to the Annointed:
You are my Son
I am your Father
Ask Me and I’ll give You the world to rule
The Ultimatum to Sinful Humanity
Serve the LORD; Rejoice with trembling (true service is a joyful fear); Kiss the Son; Take refuge in Him and be blessed!
So familiar is this psalm and so often repeated and memorized that I fear we often forget its terse and vital message. This psalm, more like a proverb, creates a word picture comparing the righteous and the wicked. The wicked are like chaff – light and worthless. The righteous are like mighty trees, fortified by their reliance on the Word of God.
When the wind of God’s judgment blows across the face of humanity, the wicked will not stand. The righteous will stand though because the LORD watches over them. Therefore the caution is: Do not walk, stand or sit in the wicked way!
Of course every one of us is by nature a ‘child of wrath’, blinded by the ‘god of this world’ and naturally not seeking after God. The righteousness we must stand in therefore, is the righteousness of Christ imparted to us through faith in salvation. Only when we are clothed in His perfection can we stand before God in the judgment.
“For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” Psalm 33:9 (NIV)
God’s ‘Word’ can refer to three different things – His spoken word, His written word, and His incarnate word – Jesus Christ. Psalm 33:9 is concerned with His spoken word.
The spoken word of God appears a few times in Scripture. Of course the most obvious is in the creation account. With His voice God is able to create something out of nothing – a power none of us can even imagine. We must only worship in adoration and awe.
Occasionally men heard the spoken word of God. When Moses came down from the mountain he’d been talking with God for 40 days and nights. The experience was so intense that he hadn’t eaten or drank anything and his face was glowing so radiantly that the people in the camp couldn’t look at him (Exodus 35:29).
Isaiah was ushered into God’s court, and immediately his heart melts as he realizes his own utter sinfulness. A word from God at that time might have instantly killed him were it not for the angel who purified his unclean lips with a coal (Isaiah 6). After his sins were atoned for, he was able to speak with God.
Despite the incredible experience speaking with God or hearing His voice must have been – not all were changed by it. Some of the crowd in John 12 who heard a direct voice from heaven affirming Christ’s words brushed it off as ‘thunder’ (12:29).
God’s spoken word, although rare in occurrence, had a similar effect as His written word. For those with hearts that are willing – it is the mode of experiencing incredible fellowship with Him. For those who are unbelieving and hardened, even the inspired word, like a voice from heaven won’t be enough to crack their blockades of rebellion.