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)