We need to have the right perception of G-d (His way of behaving, His nature, His purpose, His will etc). A wrong or poor perspective of Him can have eternal and disastrous consequences. Once we have a right perspective of G-d we can rest assured that it is not going to have to be changed in any way. G-d remains the same – yesterday, today and forever.
The inscription: ‘Death of the son’ – David may have written this psalm at the death of one of his sons (Absalom for example), but this cannot be backed up Scripturally. What we can say though is that it was a psalm that was sung in difficult (tragic) times. Even in tragedies G-d remains the same – merciful, kind, loving. We need to be careful that we do not allow our perception of G-d to change if/when we go through a tragedy.
v1: I will praise (give thanks) …with my whole heart (mindset): David’s experience (tragedy) doesn’t change how he behaves/thinks in regard to G-d.
· ‘Tell’: Give testimony of. David is not consumed by his loss but focusses on the wonderful things that G-d has done. What happens in our lives doesn’t change the fact that G-d is wonderful. We cannot blame G-d for the consequences of sin (death being one of those consequences) in the world. G-d is NEVER the source of bad things that happen in our lives.
v2: We see a progression. David in a sense takes an inventory of (he tells or recounts) all that G-d has done, and it is this that takes him into the presence of G-d. David doesn’t rejoice about G-d or concerning Him, but he rejoices IN Him. David is experiencing a great benefit – being in a covenantal relationship with G-d.
· “Most High” – speaking about that which is the very best, that which is above all things.
v3: When we have the right perception of G-d, He doesn’t cause but He may allow us to go through difficult circumstances – to experience the enmity that is in this world. G-d is greater than these enemies. Only G-d can make our enemies retreat. When we try to fight our own battles, in the flesh, we land up becoming very miserable individuals.
· Fall/stumble and perish: when G-d fights our battles our enemies are defeated before Him.
v4: Our chief enemy -satan- was defeated when Yeshua died on the cross and rose from the dead. Judgment has already been pronounced; it has already been achieved. We are simply waiting for the effects of it to be realised (satan to be imprisoned -Rev 20:2-3, and eventually to be put away forever). satan is judged, condemned, defeated. He knows it, but he doesn’t want to succumb to it until he has to.
· G-d is a righteous judge. In order to be like Him, we should be people who seek righteousness. Righteousness is what we should be passionately pursuing. (Matt 6:33)
v5: The psalms are books of praises. They are foundational in worship. Notice how the psalms always focus on G-d – what He has done and what He will do. It is very dangerous, spiritually, when worship is not G-d focussed but is man centred and man pleasuring. So frequently today
this principle is violated.
· Nations = those who have no covenantal relationship with G-d (unbelievers)
· Destroyed – caused the wicked to perish. G-d, through His judgment, will bring about the destruction of the wicked.
· Blotted out their name (and G-d is even going to blot out their cities – v6) – there will not even be any memory left of the wicked. It will be like they had never even existed. No one will remember them. However, for the wicked they are not erased – as in, they do not cease to exist. They continue on in eternal destruction, forever and ever. Their judgement is eternal.
Note: All these things are written in the past tense. Even though the effects of it have not yet been manifested they stand condemned, defeated and judged already (just like satan with the cross – they have been defeated but are awaiting their punishment).
v7: G-d’s judgment will never be unseated. He’ll never be replaced. His judgements stand forever. They are constant and abiding.
v8: Judge the world in righteousness – this is the reason why we need to understand righteousness, and why we need to live righteously. This can only be revealed to us through the Word, and it can only be lived out through the provision of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
· Administer judgement… in uprightness – we cannot compromise truth. If the Scripture says something is upright we need to live in it. If the Scripture identifies something as unrighteous we must avoid it. It is through the commandments that we learn what behaviour G-d loves and what behaviour He hates.
v9: A refuge is a place that is out of the enemies reach. The idea here is that the one who has been pounded down (oppressed) will be lifted up by G-d.
· Notice that time is in the plural: “times “of trouble.
v10: This is a very important verse. It is only when we know the name (the character) of the L-rd that we are able to put our trust in Him to keep us safe and secure. If we do not know the standards (laws) of G-d we cannot know the character of G-d.
· For You, L-rd: David had a very personal relationship with G-d. He addressed G-d directly.
v11: Zion is a Kingdom word. It speaks about the excellency of Jerusalem (Jerusalem in her glorified and eternal state) Psalm 132:13. There has always been a major battle over the rulership of Jerusalem (this is even seen in our day).
· Declare His deeds: those who want to “unhitch the Old Testament from the New” are false teachers. It is through the Old Testament that we see so many wonderful,
marvellous things that G-d has done, and it is also where we learn, greatly, about His character.
· Among the people – people is a word for the nations, those who are Gentiles, those who do not have a covenantal relationship with G-d.
v12: G-d avenges, He seeks, blood. He is going to shed their blood (ie bring them to death). Every person has to pay the penalty of sin with blood. If we haven’t accepted Yeshua’s blood then we are going to pay with our own – eternal death.
· There’s a disagreement as to whether the word translated here ‘humble’ should be “afflicted (impoverished) ones” or if it should indeed be “humble”- which is what the NKJV went with.
v13: David is pleading and petitioning G-d for life. He does not want his enemies and his affliction to cause him to go into the gates of death.
v14: “That I may tell” – as we have seen one of the cries of David’s heart is to be a testimony and a witness to others.
· Zion – repeated, therefore emphasised. A place in its redemptive state. Notice that David links salvation with Zion (redemption). Salvation is related to victory. Zion is seen as a place of final victory.
v15-16: Those who do not have a relationship with G-d (by their own choice) are going to sink, drown, in the pit that they have created by their own actions/lifestyles etc. Their choices lead, ultimately, to their defeat.
Note: at the end of verse 16 there are two terms: Higgaion (translated “meditation”) and Selah. Higgaion comes from the word that means “logic”. When we have the right perception of G-d we are going to see things logically, but it’s a Kingdom logic. All of this is going to make sense to us, but it begins with seeing G-d properly.
v17: Shall be turned – they will be made to go. They will have no choice.
· The term for G-d used here is the word “Elohim”. This is the name of G-d that reminds us that He is our judge. Many peoples, nations, are not going to live with the perspective that G-d is their judge. They will live consumed with their own objectives and purposes, wants, desires etc. They will live doing what seems right in their own eyes and because of this they are going to experience eternal death.
v18: It may seem in this world of corruption, injustice, and sin that G-d forgets those who are
impoverished – poor in spirit, but can also mean those who are physically poor (Matt 5:3).
· Expectation = hope.
v19: Do not let man prevail – human power is not going to help us. All the power of humanity will not solve our spiritual problem- only a supernatural G-d can do that.
v20: David wants G-d to give the nations a fear of G-d. When we have a fear of G-d we begin to desire to do the things that are pleasing to Him.
It makes no sense for us mere human beings to argue, to disagree, to rebel, to be uninterested in the things of G-d. We cannot save ourselves – only a merciful, supernatural, fearful and holy G-d can do that.