Psalm 9 — Get Your Heart Checked — Reading the Psalms

For the Chief Musician; set to Muthlabben. A Psalm of David.

1 I will give thanks unto the LORD with my whole heart;
I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
2 I will be glad and exult in thee:
I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.
3 When mine enemies turn back,
They stumble and perish at thy presence.
4 For thou hast maintained my right and my cause;
Thou satest in the throne judging righteously.
5 Thou hast rebuked the nations, thou hast destroyed the wicked,
Thou hast blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6 The enemy are come to an end, they are desolate for ever;
And the cities which thou hast overthrown,
Their very memorial is perished.
7 But the LORD sitteth as king for ever:
He hath prepared his throne for judgement.
8 And he shall judge the world in righteousness,
He shall minister judgement to the peoples in uprightness.
9 The LORD also will be a high tower for the oppressed,
A high tower in times of trouble;
10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee;
For thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
11 Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion:
Declare among the people his doings.
12 For he that maketh inquisition for blood remembereth them:
He forgetteth not the cry of the poor.
13 Have mercy upon me, O LORD;
Behold my affliction which I suffer of them that hate me,
Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death;
14 That I may shew forth all thy praise:
In the gates of the daughter of Zion,
I will rejoice in thy salvation.
15 The nations are sunk down in the pit that they made:
In the net which they hid is their own foot taken.
16 The LORD hath made himself known, he hath executed judgement:
The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.        Higgaion. Selah

17 The wicked shall return to Sheol,
Even all the nations that forget God.
18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten,
Nor the expectation of the poor perish for ever.
19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail:
Let the nations be judged in thy sight.
20 Put them in fear, O LORD:
Let the nations know themselves to be but men.        Selah

These are the words I needed to hear from God, today. I try to keep my thoughts on the psalms from being a diary of my life and thoughts, but today’s psalm spoke directly to my difficulties and struggles.

This psalm told me to praise God. It gave me the words with which to raise my praise. It reminded me of the help found in him, as well as the defense he offers: he guards us from the wicked. Yet, this made me wonder about my own heart more than anything: “I’m not one of the wicked ones, am I?”

This sort of heart check is vital and helpful. We need to think about our condition: What have I been focused on? With what do I fill my time? What idols do I lift up? As I read through the judgement held ready for the wicked my fear of the Lord grew. I do not want to live apart from God. I do not want to hold any other in my heart.

I don’t think I was on the brink of collapse, today. But I do know that my heart needed a checkup and a fine tuning. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to wash and regenerate us, but oh the danger if we resist this grace.

We must let the Lord be our high tower. In our times of trouble, we must not point to our greatness or high qualities, but instead cling to the mercy of God. He does not forget our cries, no matter how poor we be. Let us then cry in our low estate. After all, Jesus himself says, “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

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