As we come to the conclusion of Psalm 9 we must have the humility to look at the text clearly. We all are the hero in our own stories. No one actually thinks of themselves as the enemy. However, as we look at the conclusion to this Psalm we must ask the questions, “Am I on God’s side?”
Wicked are judged
David speaks of the certainty of judgment for those who are wicked. Those who ignore God’s Law and live in sin will be condemned. The phrase “turned into hell” has two meanings. First, it literally means turned back and placed in the grave. The idea here is that the enemies of God will be defeated in this life and thrown in the grave. The second meaning is that after death the wicked will be judged by God and condemned to an eternity in hell.
Forgetting is wicked
David draws a parallel between the wicked and those who forget God. The Hebrew term for forget is the word for oblivious. It simply means those who go about their lives oblivious of God are wicked people. We tend to think of wickedness as bad things we do. However, a man who ignores God the entirety of his life is evil even if he is kind to other people. A man who neglects and ignores his wife while caring for others is not a good man. In the same way a man who ignores God is not a good man.
Care for the poor and needy
The wicked oppress the poor and the needy. God throughout Scripture places Himself on the side of the poor and needy. If I am to be on God’s side, I must be someone who cares for the oppressed, the poor, and the needy. This is to be more than financial help. I must actually stand up for them when there is injustice and help them rise out of their poverty and oppression.
Seeing ourselves as poor and needy
There is a second and more important meaning to verse 18. God is on the side of the poor and needy, and He rejects the self-righteous. Am I someone who views myself as a poor and needy sinner begging for Jesus Christ and His grace? Many “Christians” live lives that show they view themselves as self-sufficient and live as if they do not need other believers, correction, discipleship, or grace. These people are the enemies of the true people of God and will be judged.
Calling on God to judge
David calls upon God to come to his rescue. He views God as being completely in control, yet waiting for the perfect time to help. David cries out for God to move on his behalf. He wants to see God’s victory and justice.
Repentance for the wicked
David is not asking for God to smash the wicked. He is instead asking for God to bring them to repentance. He wants them to see their plight and fear God and His judgment. Fearing God is not a bad thing. If we are opposed to God we should be terrified. This fear should lead us to repent of our sins and receive the forgiveness Jesus offers.
David also wants the wicked to know they are merely human. This is another way of saying that he wants them to humble themselves and acknowledge God’s power and rule over their lives. Self-righteous sinners think far more highly of themselves than they ought; they even view their understanding of things to be greater than God’s. David wants God to humble them so that they might repent.
Whose side are you on? How do you know? Will you repent of your sin and self-righteousness and run to Christ?