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A prophetic forecast of the effects of the coming of Christ to vindicate His rights, execute judgment upon the wicked, deliver His people and establish His reign in righteousness over the earth.
In the first eight psalms we have presented the principles of God's government ( Ps. 1 ): the counsels of God as to His Anointed - the Messiah ( Ps. 2 ), a world that has rejected God's Anointed, and ignores His government, with the consequent exercises of the godly (Ps. 3-7), until the day of Christ's glory as the Son of Man ( Ps. 8 ).
The principles of God's government being established, we are permitted to see in Psalms 9 and 10 the circumstances in which the godly remnant will be found under the oppression of Antichrist and the godless nations, during the time immediately preceding the coming of Christ to reign.
(vv. 1-2) The godly Jew anticipating the deliverance from all his enemies by the brightness of the Lord's coming, recounts the marvelous works of the Lord, and celebrates the praise of Jehovah as the Most High.
(v. 3) The blessings of the psalm are introduced by the presence of the Lord, and the brightness of His coming in glory. In the days of His humiliation His enemies “went backward and fell to the ground” in His presence; in the day of His coming glory they will not only stumble at His presence, but will stumble and perish.
All that follows in the psalm is the result of Christ's presence. “Thy presence” is the key to the psalm.
(v. 4) The first effect of the presence of the Lord will be to vindicate the godly and maintain their cause. The temporary progress and triumph of evil, whether at the Cross, or during the absence of Christ, or, in a supreme degree, during the last days, might give the impression that God is either indifferent to evil, or powerless to stay its course. The presence of Christ in glory, and the consequent destruction of His enemies, will make it apparent that God has not been indifferent to the way men have treated Christ and those who are His. The remnant not only express what is true for themselves, but what is true of Christ, when they say, “Thou hast maintained my right and my cause.”
(vv. 5-6) Further effects of the presence of Christ will be the rebuking of the nations and the destruction of Antichrist. The word “wicked” in verse 5 and verse 16 is in the singular and refers to Antichrist, the enemy whose destruction will come to a perpetual end.
(vv. 7-10) Antichrist destroyed, and his reign over, the reign of Christ will be established. His reign will be a rule of righteousness for the whole world. The oppressed will find a refuge in Christ. Those who trust in the Lord, and seek Him, will find they are not forsaken.
(v. 11) Furthermore, the coming of Christ will call forth praise to the Lord in Zion, and a testimony to the Lord among the nations.
(vv. 12-14) This praise and testimony will be rendered by the persecuted and afflicted remnant, to whom the Lord will show mercy in lifting them up from the gates of death to show forth the praise of the Lord in the gates of Zion.
(vv. 15-17) In contrast to the godly, who are raised up for blessing, the nations sink down in the pit they have made. By their rebellion against Christ they have sealed their doom, and the God to whom they refused to be reconciled is made known through judgment. Antichrist (the “wicked” of verse 16) and the nations that follow Antichrist (the “wicked” of verse 17) are turned into Sheol together with all the nations (those outside the sphere of Antichrist) that forget God.
(v. 18) The nations may forget God, but God will not forget the needy and the poor among the nations; their deliverance will be involved in the destruction of the wicked.
(vv. 19-20) In view of the deliverance of the godly the cry goes up for the Lord to arise and act in judgment.
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Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 9". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany