The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands (Psalm 9:16, ESV).
This fact is repugnant in our culture today.
When we deny sin, we are left with a God of love bereft of holiness. This God doesn’t judge, He only loves. But there is an irony that when we deny sin and the God of judgment – individuals and cultures lose the ability to deal effectively with sin.
Sin takes control.
The Psalmist warns in verse 9 that “the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.” We witness this today. Unfortunately, being entangled in our sin doesn’t mean repentance, as we often blame others (including God) for our trials.
Psalm 9 is about judgment – the various types of judgment. We’ve just discussed one so far – the judgment that comes from our actions. This Psalm lists other types of judgment …
A judgment against our enemies. Allow the Lord to fight your battles, let the Lord take revenge, and do not become embittered.
When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment (vv. 3-4).
A judgment against nations. There is only one nation promised perpetuity – Israel. All other nations will fall to God’s judgment because all nations sooner or later stumble into godlessness.
God doesn’t play favorites with Israel, as this nation has suffered greatly, but God keeps the nation of Israel not because of its righteousness but because of His promise. Through Israel, God gave us Jesus, and through this nation, God will culminate history when Jesus returns.
You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever (v. 5).
A judgment for the oppressed. God judges the wicked! Injustice throughout history will be judged and recompensed – all slavery, all persecution, all sex trafficking, all racism, and all oppression.
The Bible teaches patience and to be careful in taking vengeance with our actions. Scripture teaches two things about God’s judgment …
- God sees everything. He is keeping a list in heaven.
- God is eternal. He has salvation as His goal and is patient, waiting for those chosen to make their profession of faith.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble (v. 9).
God does not forget the cry of the afflicted (v. 12).
For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever (v. 18).
When I discuss the God of judgment, I often get the questions, “How about those who sin because of trauma in their lives?” and “How about those who have never heard about Jesus?”
We can trust God’s judgment, for He alone is holy – both loving and just. Only God can speak righteous justice.
He judges the world with righteousness; He judges the peoples with uprightness (v. 8).
Psalm 9 ends with one of the greatest statements in all of scripture. It’s a verse we should take seriously, all world leaders should understand, the rich and famous must realize, and those in power must consider …
Let the nations know that they are but men! (v. 20)