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Summary: A Psalm of Praise – Psalm 9 – sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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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)

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Steve Shepherd

commented on Jul 31, 2013

Gordon, Very good sermon. I love the Psalms. I'm preaching through the book right now. God bless you.

Gordon Curley

commented on Feb 26, 2014

Hi Steve, Thanks for the encouraging comment - I have 'borrowed' a few stories/illustrations from your sermons over the years so glad you found one of mine helpful! yrs Gordon (www.gcurley,info)

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