Please read Psalm 9.
This Psalm begins with David declaring that he “will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” With that in mind, please reread verses 3-6, as we examine this wonderful deed that God has done.
In these verses, David is thinking specifically about how God has delivered him from his enemies. Not only has God saved David, but He has utterly wiped out David’s enemies. Verse 3 says that they flee—not from David, but from God’s presence, and God’s presence is so powerful that even the fleeing enemies still perish. Yet, God does not punish them without warning. In verse 5, a very clear order of events is given: God rebukes these enemy nations, and then they perish.
One is reminded of the city of Nineveh, to whom God sent Jonah to preach a message of coming judgment. Nineveh repented at the message and so God spared this city of His judgment. But David’s enemies apparently did not repent at God’s rebuke. So they perished. Their names were blotted out from the history books forever.
Then, in verse 6, David seems to gloat over the destruction of his enemies. God has not just destroyed them, but He has put their cities to ‘everlasting ruins;’ they have been ‘rooted out’ and ‘the very memory of them has perished.’ One can almost picture David dancing and celebrating at the total destruction about which he writes and sings. He celebrates that the destroying nation has been destroyed, the spoiler has been spoiled, the wicked have received their due.
Yet, when we think about this a little further, we are remined that these were living, breathing people that were completely wiped out. What's more, they were people who did not know God, and so ended their earthly life only to then spend an eternity in hell, paying the price for their sin.
To be honest, this is a bit appalling to the modern sentiment. We know that the wrath of God is no joke; eternal damnation is not something to celebrate. Even our worst enemies on this earth should be prayed for so that they might trust in Christ and escape this horrible fate.
However, even Christians can celebrate God’s victory over our enemy. For our real enemy is not one of flesh and blood, but the spiritual powers of darkness. Paul echoes David’s jubilation at the perishing of his enemy when he writes “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).
Jesus Christ has overcome sin, the devil, and even death. These enemies of ours are just as surely wiped out as David’s enemies were in Psalm 9. We can share in David’s sentiment and rejoice that God has caused our enemies to perish—our spiritual enemies have no more power over us. Christ has won the victory, and part of telling of His wonderful deeds is declaring that His greatest foe has been utterly destroyed! Like David, we too have been delivered from our enemies, and for this, God is worthy to be praised!
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