Psalms 9–11: Compassion & Strength

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 4: Wednesday

“If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?”
Psalm 11:3

Today’s Bible reading is Psalm 9–11, and these psalms echo the recurring themes of righteousness and wickedness, prayers of praise and cries for help, and affirmation of God’s character and care.

What do these recurring themes teach us?

When we praise God and then turn around and face conflict, we are not living an abnormal life. This is part of living in a world that is in rebellion against God, and the psalms reflect that.

These psalms give us an example and a voice for our thoughts and feelings. The heartfelt praise and heartfelt pleas for deliverance in the psalms are eloquent and deep. They gives us words that perhaps we could not find for ourselves or might even be afraid to express to God.

As I wrote in my first post on the Psalms, they give us words that even as they express our deep-felt emotions, do not let our feelings pull us away from God—Psalms draws us to Him.

We see in the Psalms God’s compassion for us. There are numerous times when we do not understand our circumstances nor do we understand why God has not yet answered our prayers or delivered us. Face to face with things that are unfathomable to us, the Psalms tell us He is God and that He cares for us even in our lowest moments when we feel abandoned. David was a man after God’s own heart; when we read the psalms he wrote, we find he was a man who loved God, writing poetry of praise and repentance, yet we also find David writing of his grief and his fears in his perils.

Psalm 9 is one of David’s psalms of praise, and we can see why it is included. God also gives us Psalm 10, which begins with this:

“Why do You stand afar off, O LORD?
Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?”

—goes on to carry us through the psalmist’s feelings and affirmation of who God is, and then ends with this:

“O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear
To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed,
So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.”

It indicates God’s amazing love for us that He would stoop to our suffering, torn heart and include poetry such as this in His Word.

In Psalm 11, David asks,

“If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?”

and David answers with who God is: God is in His holy temple—He beholds and tests men, and the wicked will be destroyed.

“For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness;
The upright will behold His face.”
Psalm 11:7

With the praise and pleas of the Psalms, with their assurance of who He is, God strengthens our heart through His Word.

The upright will behold His face.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Wenceslas HollarThe Psalms, 1668: Public Domain.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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