The Anatomy of Hope (Psalm 9)

Psalm 9

Hope helps move us forward. The things we hope for motivate us to get out of bed in the morning. We hope that today will be better than yesterday. Hope enables us to overcome adversity and envision a better future.

But how does hope work? How do we apply it to our lives? In Psalm 9, David applied his ultimate hope to his situation.

David begins by worshipping God, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds (Psalm 9:1).” Worship ascribes worth to God by praising God for who we know him to be and his faithful acts in the past. Reminding ourselves of these things trains our hearts and minds to hope, based on the objective knowledge we know about God.

David then applies what he knows about God to his situation. “When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before you (Psalm 9:3). In the moment, it seemed evil was winning and righteousness was losing. David, however, knows that at the end of days God welcomes the righteous but sends the wicked to the place they prepare for themselves. David’s enemies will, in the end, perish.  

David roots his hope in God’s unchanging character, inscrutable wisdom, and unsurpassable power, “The LORD reigns forever, he has established his throne for judgement (Psalm 9:7).” One day every person shall stand before God’s righteous throne of judgement. God will not play favorites. We cannot bribe him. Rather, we will be objectively judged based on our merits. In our heart of hearts we want nothing less. We live in a world that cries for justice and all will receive justice in the end.  

“God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish (Psalm 9:18).” Whether our enemies be the evil outside us or the sin with in us, we all have need. David only knew dimly that God would send a Savior. That Savior is Jesus Christ. He died the death we were to die for our sin. He took our garments stained with sin and clothed us with his righteousness. For those who receive him, God sees only his righteousness when we are judged. Hope in the Lord, and your enemies, whoever and whatever they may be, shall never destroy you. They will perish.

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