Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Giving God the Glory (Psalm 9)

"But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness; and He shall administer judgement for the peoples in uprightness" (Psalm 9:7–8)

Returning to the Psalms, we study Psalm 9, in which David exalts the righteous power of God. David celebrates victory over his enemies and gives God the glory for all his deliverances. David remembers the displays of God’s power from the violence of his many foes: “My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you.” David gives all credit for his victories to God. He does not exalt his own military abilities, but wisely recognizes that God upheld his cause, that God rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked.

Instead of exalting himself as many leaders do in times of victory, David praises God. David knew, as Calvin wrote, “God cannot bear with seeing His glory appropriated by the creature in even the smallest degree, so intolerable to Him is the sacrilegious arrogance of those who, by praising themselves, obscure His glory as far as they can.” David does not seek to obscure God’s glory but to proclaim it in the assembly of His people and to the nations.

Though David endured trials at the hands of his enemies, he knew that God would be glorified in delivering him in righteousness. David put his confidence in the very nature of God and exalted Him as a King who reigns with justice. Believers should not focus on their own circumstances but rejoice in God alone. Nothing gives believers more joy than to see God glorified. They recognize that they cannot be truly joyful except when glorifying God in all things. Calvin said, “He who begins his prayer by affirming that God is the great source and object of his joy, fortifies himself beforehand with the strongest confidence, in presenting his supplications to the Hearer of prayer.”

When we give God the glory for our successes and stir others to do the same, we honor our Lord and gain much confidence before God in prayer. We rest in His righteous judgments and take comfort that God will deliver us from the hands of the wicked in future confrontations. We find security that He reigns forever, that He is a refuge for the oppressed and a stronghold in times of trouble, and that He does not forsake those who seek Him. When we put forth all the glorious attributes of God and when we glorify Him for His righteousness, we gain a deeper trust in the power of our God.

Read Isaiah 51:1–16. Who does the Lord speak to in this passage? Based on this, what is a presiding characteristic of God’s people? What attribute of God is glorified in this passage? What reasons does God give that we should hope in Him and have no fear of man?