Summary: A Psalm of Praise – Psalm 9 – sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Personal Praise (vs 1-3)
Powerful Protection (vs 4-10)
Petition Praise (vs 11-14)
Persuaded Providence (vs 15-20)
• In 1675, some nine years after the terrible fire in London,
• Sir Christopher Wren himself laid the first foundation stone;
• In what was to be his greatest architectural enterprise,
• The building of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
• It took him thirty-five long years to complete this task,
• And when it was done he waited breathlessly for the reaction of Queen Anne.
• After being carefully shown through the structure,
• She summed up her feelings for the architecture in three words:
• “It is awful; it is amusing; it is artificial.”
• You might have expected Sir Christopher Wren to be heart-broken and depressed;
• By Queen Anne’s statement.
• But he wasn’t!
• The reason being language has changed down the years:
• In 171 the word awful meant “awe-inspiring,”
• In 171 the word amusing meant “amazing,”
• And in 171 the word artificial meant “artistic.”
• What to our ears might sound like devastating criticism;
• Was in that time, words of measured praise.
• Tonight we are looking at Psalm 9
• Which are ancient words of measured praise
Introduction: 3 things to note:
• If you were to ask people what a Psalm is;
• Most people would probably say; ‘A hymn of praise’.
• And that would be a good answer.
• And yet none of the previous Psalms (#1-8):
• Contain much praise and none are what we might call purely hymns of praise.
• Such as we find towards the end of the book i.e. Psalm 150.
• The closet that comes to praise is Psalm 8:
• But even that Psalm was chiefly a celebration of man’s place in the created universe.
• Psalm 9:
• Is the first Psalm that is chiefly a song of pure praise.
• Verses 1-12: Contains praise for past deliverance;
• Verses 13-20: Contains prayer for future deliverance;
• Yet so confident is Psalmist his prayers also seem to be praise.
• In the Greek and Latin versions of the Bible;
• And in Roman Catholic tradition Psalm 9 & 10 are joined as one Psalm.
• Most English Bibles and the Protestant tradition;
• Reckon these as two separate psalms.
• The reason they are joined together by some:
• Is that together they almost but not quite form an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet.
• i.e. Psalm contains the first eleven letters of the Hebrew alphabet;
• But it omits the letter D - ‘deleth’.
• i.e. Psalm 10 uses the second half of the alphabet;
• Beginning with L – ‘lameth’.
• BUT three letters are missing and two letters are reversed*.
(*footnote - Scholars have restored two of them by making slight changes in the text, but this does not prove that the original version had these letters. See Ibid 123)
The important thing to note is:
• In is that in the Hebrew text these Psalms are two separate works.
• So the original Hebrew cannon of scripture view them as two separate Psalms.
• Also, note that the content of the two Psalms is very different:
• Psalm 9 is a song of praise.
• Psalm 10 is a song of lament, a dirge, a cry, a lamentation.
(1). Personal praise (vs 1-3);
“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
3 My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you”.
• Preacher Harry Ironside was in a crowded restaurant one time.
• Just as he was about to begin his meal,
• A man who was unable to find a seat in the busy restaurant;
• Approached and asked if he could join him.
• Ironside invited him to have a seat.
• Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer.
• When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?"
• Ironside replied, "No, I don’t."
• The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?"
• Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat."
• The man said, "Oh, you’re one of those, are you?
• Well, I want you to know I never give thanks.
• I earn my money by the sweat of my brow;
• And I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!"
• Ironside looked the man in the eyes and said,