Daily Thought for: 12th February

REFUGE

Psalm 9. 1-11

In this psalm David starts where he finished in Psalm 7, with the assurance that God is God Most High. It is a firm declaration of his confidence in God in the midst of opposition by strong foes.

His confidence is based on the realisation that God sits enthroned as King and Judge. This fact is stated in verse 4, ‘Thou satest in the throne judging right’. Most translators render the first part of verse 7, with minor variations, ‘But the Lord sitteth as king for ever’, RV. Again, in verse 11, most render ‘which dwelleth in Zion’ by ‘who sits enthroned in Zion’. God’s control is complete and it is permanent. Like the faithful of all ages David ‘endured, as seeing him who is invisible’, Heb. 11.27.

Psalm 10, which is closely linked with this one, will show the arrogant confidence and vigour of rebels against God and His people. There, the cry of the righteous is, ‘why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?’, v. 1. Here, in Psalm 9, the psalmist can confidently proclaim, ‘The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble’, v. 9. The rendering, ‘a high tower’, or ‘a tower of strength’, captures the picture more vividly. In the short term it may seem as if the Lord is ‘hiding Himself’, but further experience teaches us better.

Wicked men may be ruthlessly active against the devout Christian. They may be scornful, confident, foul-mouthed and violent, without fear of God. All these features are found in Psalm 10. But Psalm 9 shows us that we can look beyond the visible world, in which we seem so much at their mercy. We can find our refuge in God, and find it now, in the time of trial. The ultimate reality is the unseen world and the inexorable purpose of God.

God is the Judge of all. He sits on His eternal throne and has complete sway. He will call the most defiant and blasphemous of men to account. It is a good thing for all of us sinners that God is slow to anger, but in the end He will judge evil. Despite appearances at some periods of particularly fierce persecution, we can cling to verse 10, ‘thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee’. He is our high tower ‘in times of trouble’.

 

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