All of Psalm 9 is a marvellous overview of God’s plan with human beings and the earth. At times God transports David’s thoughts into the future when he, and the righteous, will say to their Creator, “You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins … the very memory of them has perished” (verses 5,6). In contrast to this vision of annihilation, the next verses say, “But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, he judges the earth with righteousness …” (verses 7,8). This is a marvellous summary of how the kingdom of God will function.

Our Genesis reading tells us of Noah and his family stepping out from the ark onto a cleansed earth, all the godless having been destroyed. God promises Noah that he will never “again strike down every living creature” despite “man’s heart being evil from his youth” (8:21). Not many generations pass before men build the tower of Babel and as a result God “confused the languages of all the earth” and caused men to spread out “over the face of all the earth” (11:6-9).

So the renewal of belief and faith with Noah and his family did not last. Abraham’s father and brother “served other Gods” (Joshua 24:2). We see some comparison between Noah’s spiritual revival and the spiritual renewal that followed the widespread translation and printing of the Bible 400 years ago. But that renewal has now faded and few have the understanding and faith of Abraham who heard the Gospel (see Galatians 3:8). The blessings to come on the nations through this gospel are David’s vision in this ninth Psalm.

How marvellous is Psalm 9:10, “And those who know your name put their trust in you. For you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you”. But “the nations have sunk into the pit that they made, in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught” (verse 15). To “know” is more than to just understanding, it is to have a relationship (see Psalm 95:1-7 and John 17:3).

Those who know God, who truly believe, will make the close of this Psalm their prayer. “Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men!”

Jesus says, “whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (23:12). God will humble those who do not humble themselves. Let us not be caught up in the spirit around us, that humans are gaining all the answers to life and that there is no need for God. Ponder Psalm 14.