Psalms 9-14

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Psalms David

Wednesday 5/22/24

Title: Psalms Book I: Psalms 9-14

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Psalms Book I: Psalms 9-14

Psalm 9:1-20, 

This Psalm is said to be according to Muth-labben which we have no idea what that means. It may be a style of music or a reference to a popular song of the day in which this was to be sung in a similar manner. Also possible is that this may be a reference to a victory where justice was meted out by the death of someone’s son since Muth-labben is taken to me “the death of the son”. Of course even this might be an unaware prophetic reference to the future justice and redemption which was to be procured by the death of Jesus our Messiah.

As such, the contents of this Psalm sets forth God as the Judge of all things. Whether it be individual disputes, nations or the entire earth. Also he can be depended on to maintain justice, remember the wrongs we suffered and uphold our just causes.

In light of this David is compelled to maintain a heart of gratitude and express it through mediums such as this song. Giving voice to his God’s worthiness of praise. Like the unauthored Psalm of 107, where those who have been redeemed by the Lord are encouraged to say so and here David does so in accordance with the 1st and greatest command  – with his WHOLE HEART.

“(1) For the choir director: according to Muth-labben. A Davidic psalm. 

I will thank the LORD with all my heart; I will declare all Your wonderful works.  (2)  I will rejoice and boast about You; I will sing about Your name, Most High.  

(3)  When my enemies retreat, they stumble and perish before You.  (4)  For You have upheld my just cause; You are seated on Your throne as a righteous judge.  (5)  You have rebuked the nations: You have destroyed the wicked; You have erased their name forever and ever.  (6)  The enemy has come to eternal ruin; You have uprooted the cities, and the very memory of them has perished. 

 (7)  But the LORD sits enthroned forever; He has established His throne for judgment.  (8)  He judges the world with righteousness; He executes judgment on the peoples with fairness.”  

This word fairness is not in keeping with the concept of fairness in a backwards society as our own. This is not fairness as is perceived subjectively from the individual, but rather a reference to achieving balance in justice in view of and in keeping with a moral, ethical and legal standard. Such can be achieved with the individual still “feeling” slighted.

“(9)  THE LORD IS a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  

(10)  Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, LORD.  

(11)  Sing to the LORD, Who dwells in Zion; proclaim His deeds among the peoples.  (12)  For the One Who seeks an accounting for bloodshed remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.  

(13)  Be gracious to me, LORD; consider my affliction at the hands of those who hate me. Lift me up from the gates of death,  (14)  so that I may declare all Your praises. I will rejoice in Your salvation within the gates of Daughter Zion.  

(15)  The nations have fallen into the pit they made; their foot is caught in the net they have concealed.  

(16)  The LORD has revealed Himself; He has executed justice, striking down the wicked by the work of their hands. Higgaion. Selah 

(17)  The wicked will return to Sheol–all the nations that forget God.  

(18)  For the oppressed will not always be forgotten; the hope of the afflicted will not perish forever.”  

This points out the eternal and spiritual nature of our hope. Like the spirits of those martyred for the Kingdom, whose voices cry out day and night, God assures them that those justice may appear slow, all wrongs will be made right!

“(19)  Rise up, LORD! Do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your presence.  (20)  Put terror in them, LORD; let the nations know they are only men. Selah”

Psalm 10:1-18,

Right on the heels of a Psalm looking back at God’s faithfulness and praising Him in gratitude for it, this Psalm is about the need for justice looking TO God for action and resolution.

This Psalm should sound familiar having just come from the book of Job in our trek ‘Thru the Bible’. 

You can readily see in this Psalm how the understanding of God has increased over the years. David acknowledges the same apparent injustices as did Job, yet he is confident that even though he has not yet seen justice – he will! This knowledge of God’s justice sustains him in the duration – David knows God will not fail to right all wrongs!

“(1) LORD, why do You stand so far away? Why do You hide in times of trouble?  

(2)  In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue the afflicted; let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.  (3)  For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses and despises the LORD.  (4)  In all his scheming, the wicked arrogantly thinks: 

“There is no accountability, since God does not exist.”  

(5)  His ways are always secure; Your lofty judgments are beyond his sight; he scoffs at all his adversaries.  (6)  He says to himself, 

“I will never be moved–from generation to generation without calamity.”  

(7)  Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth; trouble and malice are under his tongue.  (8)  He waits in ambush near the villages; he kills the innocent in secret places; his eyes are on the lookout for the helpless.  (9)  He lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. He lurks in order to seize the afflicted. He seizes the afflicted and drags him in his net.  (10)  He crouches and bends down; the helpless fall because of his strength.  

(11)  He says to himself, 

“God has forgotten; He hides His face and will never see.”  

(12)  Rise up, LORD God! Lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted.  

(13)  Why has the wicked despised God? He says to himself, 

“You will not demand an account.”  

(14)  But You Yourself have seen trouble and grief, observing it in order to take the matter into Your hands. The helpless entrusts himself to You; You are a helper of the fatherless.  

(15)  Break the arm of the wicked and evil person; call his wickedness into account until nothing remains of it.  

(16)  The LORD is King forever and ever; the nations will perish from His land.  

(17)  LORD, YOU HAVE HEARD the desire of the humble; YOU WILL STRENGTHEN their hearts. YOU WILL LISTEN carefully,  (18)  doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed, so that men of the earth may terrify them no more.”

This Psalm ends with three confident statements which reveal the greatest heart issue most of us have. He says…

  • You HAVE heard
  • You WILL strengthen
  • You WILL listen.

Notice how important being heard is to David. So long as he knows God has heard him he feels secure and confident that God will answer!

Psalm 11:1-7,

David’s confidence in the Lord HAS to be one of the primary reasons why he was a man after God’s Own heart. Though no doubt this incident was many years after Goliath, it bears some of the same tell-tale issues David sometimes had with other Jews. he didn’t understand the basis for their unbelief. Why did they lack confidence when God was on their side?

David also believed God to be very aware of everything and everyone – even down to the thoughts and motives of every human heart. God places them all in the balance scales and judges them with justice.

David’s confidence in the heart of God was as great as that of His justice. Though it was an unthinkable thing for a Jew, David knew the heart of God and was certain that at the end of life – those who love righteousness and live uprightly will actually behold God’s face!

I want to impress upon you that David and all Jews grew up hearing that no man can look upon God and live. Such much was spoken by God to Moses – arguably the greatest patriarch since Abraham! So how did David become confident of this? His relationship with God was intimate. He knew God not only by the written and prophetic word, but personally. There are things which God can reveal to His beloved in the secret place behind the lattice that He will never speak to the general assembly in the open square.

“(1) For the choir director. Davidic

I have taken refuge in the LORD. How can you say to me, 

“Escape to the mountain like a bird!  (2)  For look, the wicked string the bow; they put the arrow on the bowstring to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.  (3)  When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”  

(4)  The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven. His eyes watch; He examines everyone.  

(5)  The LORD examines the righteous and the wicked. He hates the lover of violence.  (6)  He will rain burning coals and sulfur on the wicked; a scorching wind will be their portion.  

(7)  For the LORD is righteous; He loves righteous deeds. The upright will see His face.”

Psalm 12:1-8, 

David makes the words of the Lord his refuge. He knows His promises are sure, so they are to him a strong tower in the midst of trouble. 

Also in this Psalm and in Psalm 14 which we will end with tonight, we see David write prophetically in his music. God is given lines where He speaks directly or in which David invisions what God is saying or would say.  Since it has been preserved in scripture even if these are visionings of David regarding what God WOULD say, he must have been correct since all scripture is inspired by God.

“(1) For the choir director: according to Sheminith [an eight stringed harp]. A Davidic psalm. 

Help, LORD, for no faithful one remains; the loyal have disappeared from the human race.  (2)  They lie to one another; they speak with flattering lips and deceptive hearts.  

(3)  May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that speaks boastfully.  

(4)  They say, 

“Through our tongues we have power; our lips are our own–who can be our master?”  

(5)  “Because of the oppression of the afflicted and the groaning of the poor, I will now rise up,” says the LORD. “I will put in a safe place the one who longs for it.”  

(6)  The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times.  

(7)  You, LORD, will guard us; You will protect us from this generation forever.  (8)  The wicked wander everywhere, and what is worthless is exalted by the human race.”

Of note here are the two ending phrases.

  • The human race exalts what is of no value!
    • We long for the approval of others while not seeking that which come from God.
    • We value things over people. Comfort over godliness. Entertainment over time with God. 
  • The wicked wander everywhere. 
    • This is a very real truth about the wicked. They are unsettled, always looking for something greater or more satisfying and never finding it for long. This was first witnessed in Cain who killed his brother. Even the city he established meant “aimless wandering”. When satan appeared to God in the book of Job, he told God that he had simply been wandering throughout the earth. The Israelites also wandered for 40 years in a relatively small wilderness due to their wickedness. Aimless wandering does not require the vastness of the earth or a wilderness, but can happen within the confines on one’s own home. Wandering aimlessly from room to room, seeing thousands of things which need doing and never accomplishing any of them. Living in disarray and disorderliness are all outward manifestations of this.
    • We are given spiritual insight into this in the scriptures. God tells us that where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil work will be there! Some of the ways confusion manifests itself is aimlessness, hoarding, a lack of direction and purpose, headaches, susceptibility to regular sickness and disorderliness. Most often the core expression of envy and self-seeking that this comes from is anger, bitterness, an unwillingness to forgive and let go, keeping an account of wrongs suffered…etc. 

Psalm 13:1-6,  

This Psalm starts off with words we may be more personally familiar with. As such it offers what is sadly a comfort to the rest of us, in that not even David always kept his focus entirely upon God – but became discouraged from time to time. I suppose one of the reasons this encourages us is because we realize that no one is always mentally and spiritually where they ought to be. As such psalms like this make David more approachable and his more common ways of godliness less impossible to envision.

Nevertheless, even IN David’s moments of heightened discouragement, he still fell back on his remembrance of all God has done and trust that He will come through this time as well!

“(1) For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. 

LORD, how long will You continually forget me? 

How long will You hide Your face from me?  

(2)  How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? 

How long will my enemy dominate me?  

(3)  Consider me and answer, LORD, my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death,  (4)  my enemy will say, 

“I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.  

(5)  But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance.  (6)  I will sing to the LORD because He has treated me generously.”

You know already, as we have been going through the Psalms I have learned a great deal about David and it has helped me view certain people with more mercy than I have typically done.

David sometimes seems like an emotional roller coaster to me. He’s up one moment and down another only to swing to even higher emotional realms of ecstasy after that. From the angle provided us in these brief Psalms, these swings from one extreme to the other appear to take only moments.

We know David can be moved to the tenderest of sympathies for those treated wrongfully to outright wrathful vengeance on those he who have shown no honor. 

He patiently listens to widows and seeks justice for the orphan, yet fails to address or even acknowledge major issues within his own family. 

He was confident as a bull when facing a lion, a bear and Goliath, yet timid when facing some matters of state. 

He was moved to passionate and ashamed displays of worship to God and yet, moved with equal anger, despair and an apparent lapsing into silence with God over the death of Uzzah

While we all have inconsistencies in our lives, David’s just seem to be extreme. Granted this may be because we did not live with him, but only know him through excerpts of his life provided to us in written form through the scriptures. 

One thing that has helped balance much of this for me is that David was also a musician and for me, that places him in a niche’. 

I am not inclined towards musicians. They are often high strung, highly focused on expressing emotions and talent in their music but usually flighty in other areas of life. 

They tend towards emotional ups and downs and have always appeared to me to be very unstable people. Sometimes even dangerous. 

So when I added this little tidbit into my collections of “things I know about David” the patterns I had been observing all seemed to make some sense now. David was a musician!

The interesting thing though which, for some reason caught me off guard, was that this is THE GUY who was “after God’s Own heart”. I have to admit to surprise at this! 

I know God LOVES abandonment to passion so long as it remains godly and focused, but in my limited ability to empathize with what I find flighty and odd, I missed the potential high point of this type of personality. God loves spontaneous eruptions of passion in love. Unashamed dancing and singing over the love of one’s life. Great acts of overwhelming generosity, even extravagance towards someone. I am more of a middle of the road kind of person. My emotions can reach heights of near nose-bleed levels, but my expression of them is usually rather tame and it makes me wonder how comfortable I would even be in heaven if I could visit there in the flesh. I know God is also a God of balance so there is a middle ground here which I believe both myself and the musician are on either extreme of, but it makes me more compassionate with what I find immediately off-putting. So for me that has already provided valuable take away from the Psalms though we are only 13 psalms in! 

You know, all of this makes me wonder if Peter also played an instrument.

Psalm 14:1-7,

This is a psalm about the depravity of mankind in general as well as the current condition of division within Israel itself. You have to remember that to David, Israel had only recently been divided into two kingdoms. The end of this Psalm is a cry for both halves – that of Judah and of Israel to be united together in peace once more under God which was to be facilitated by the Messiah. This is what is meant by “oh that deliverance might arise out of Zion”. It was a cry for Messiah to manifest Himself, reunite the kingdom and rule the earth from Jerusalem.

“(1) To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David

The fool has said in his heart,”There is no God.” 

They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.  

(2)  The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.  

(3)  They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.”  


“(4)  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up My people as they eat bread, And do not call on the LORD?”  

Now I will say that this MAY be David referring to Israel as “MY PEOPLE”, rather than God. SO here at least that is a possibility.

“(5)  There they are in great fear, For God is with the generation of the righteous.  

(6)  You shame the counsel of the poor, But the LORD is his refuge.  

(7)  Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.”

This salvation was to have two expressions – that of the spiritual salvation and deliverance from sins as well as the future millennial kingdom after the Great Tribulation.

This last verse reminds me of the prophecy given through Zechariah, the father of John the Baptists when he was filled with the Spirit and prophesied…

Luke 1:68-79, “(68) Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and provided redemption for His people.  (69)  He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,  (70)  just as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets in ancient times;  (71)  salvation from our enemies and from the clutches of those who hate us.  (72)  He has dealt mercifully with our fathers and remembered His holy covenant–  (73)  the oath that He swore to our father Abraham. He has given us the privilege,  (74)  since we have been rescued from our enemies’ clutches, to serve Him without fear  (75)  in holiness and righteousness in His presence all our days.  (76)  And child, you will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways,  (77)  to give His people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.  (78)  Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the Dawn from on high will visit us  (79)  to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!