) What is happening within the text?
- Who are the characters?
The book of Psalms 9 is an example of a lament psalm, springing from the conviction that God is in control of our lives, especially when we are in distress. In particular, the chapter contains praises, petitions, celebrations, and setbacks. The main characters in this chapter include the psalmist (David) and God. For instance, the main character, David, is petitioning God to help him win over his persistent enemies. David also affirms God’s desire to provide steadfast hope for the downcast.
- What are they saying/doing? What is going on? What’s the big idea?
The psalmist exposes the enemies of God while believing in the assurance of God’s divine protection. Therefore, David praises God, in this chapter, for pleading his cause, and for giving him victory over his enemies. The big idea learned from the chapter is that God is worthy of wholehearted praises because of His marvelous works.
- What is notable about what they are saying or doing?
The psalmist’s laments aim to prepare believers to respond to hardship. David begins with splendid words of praise to God for his victory over his enemies. Psalm 9 is exceptional because the psalmist encourages people to put God right at the center of their plans and actions. The laments describe God as faithful and capable of delivering us from our daily struggles.
- Are there any images, illustrations, parables, or phrases that stand out?
Psalm 9 brings out the real image, character, and activity of God. For instance, David reveals that God is capable of protecting the oppressed people. Similarly, God also expects suitable and sincere praises from those delivered from the jaws of the enemies. The phrase “I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart”, stands out for me. The phrase affirms that God is indeed worthy of wholehearted praises because of His righteous judgment and victory over enemies. Similarly, the phrase “I will declare all your wondrous deeds” is intriguing. Here, the psalmist encourages people to remember and tell of the great things done by God as a sign of appreciation through praises and thanksgiving. Specifically, David encourages people to sing songs of jubilant thanksgiving to appreciate God’s excellent deeds.
2) What is happening around the text?
- What book is it in? Is that old or New Testament? Is it Torah, History, Prophets, Gospels, Epistles, etc.?
The chapter is in the book of Psalm, which is found in the Old Testament. The chapter contains historical information on the special relationship between the Psalmist, God, and David’s enemies. Here, we can understand God’s demand for justice and righteousness. Current believers can understand why David believed that “the Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed” by reading and comprehending the chapter.
- Do the commentaries add any other unique insights into what is happening?
David praises God in this chapter for pleading his cause and helping him win over his enemies. For instance, verses 1 to 2 illustrate God’s faithfulness. Here, David affirms that God expects such suitable praises from those he has done marvelous works. Notably, David believes that God would eventually help him rule over all nations and his enemies. Therefore, the subsequent verses are the perfect expressions of God’s righteous judgment.
- What genre does this seem to be? Is it a story, a song, a prophecy, wisdom, etc.?
Psalms 9 has an exceptional tone, singing about David’s victory over evil. Phrases such as “wondrous deeds” are outstanding references to God’s extraordinary interventions on behalf of His chosen people. Here, we see the psalmist’s determination to praise the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving. In verse 3, David reiterates his desire to sing hymns to God’s name for making his enemies turn back and stumble. Overall, Psalms 9 is full of songs and praises to the Highest for his marvelous acts and righteous judgment.
- How do you think people might have understood this in the past?
People might have understood Psalms 9 as a direct call to praise and thank God for His wondrous acts. Similarly, some may have interpreted the verse as an explicit warning to the enemies of the chosen people of God to prepare for the ultimate judgment for their evil deeds. More importantly, Psalms 9 might have taught people in the past to think of life with God as the center of their lives and to experience the joy in praising Him. Lastly, I believe that while Psalms 9 recognizes God’s wondrous deeds, David wanted to affirm that, indeed, God was in control and capable of destroying the unrighteous.
3) What is interesting, unique, special, or challenging?
- What is important or interesting about what is happening?
The most exciting aspect of Psalm 9 is David’s ability to mix praises, petitions, and celebrations. For instance, David affirms that he will praise the Lord with all his heart and declare his wondrous deeds despite his current challenges. Similarly, in verse 4, the readers are likely to be more sympathetic to David and his people as he is patiently waiting for God’s justice and deliverance. David is also celebrating God’s assurance that He will, in the future, judge his enemies and protect the oppressed. In particular, Psalms 9 should remind us that God is willing and capable of defeating evil in our lives if we remain steadfast in praising Him and living righteous lives.
- How does your reading connect to the main reading for the day?
The reading connects to the main reading for the day because it gives hope to the oppressed and miserable. David encourages such people to put their trust in God because He shall never forsake them. In verse 19, David laments that “for the needy will never be forgotten, nor will the hope of the afflicted ever fade.” The verse is a reminder of God’s temporal deliverance from our enemies and righteous judgment of character. The chapter also connects to the primary reading because it encourages believers to remain steadfast even when facing physical and spiritual attacks from enemies.
- Is there anything that really strikes you about this passage or the comments you read about it? Is there anything you find interesting? Is there anything you disagree with?
I think that the perception of God in this biblical passage is the most exciting aspect of Psalms 9.Arguably, people reading the chapter are more likely to question who God is and what He expects them to do to receive His help. However, I think that some verses in this reading are confusing. For instance, in verse 9, David stipulates that God judges the world with justice and the people with fairness. Similarly, in chapter 21, David argues that God would strike his enemies with terror. The two verses contradict David’s claim of God’s mercifulness, compassion, and fair judgment. I believe that striking people with terror deny them any opportunity to repent and live righteous lives. Therefore, I disagree with the last verse because it is selling fear rather than compassion and love. David could have ended the Psalms by calling upon God to show mercy and pardon his enemies rather than calling for their destruction and suffering.
Lucas, Ernest C. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. InterVarsity Press, 2016. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=SJ2sCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=psalms+reading+guide&ots=P1K6XapN_-&sig=_aMTu1gFPxvoux4THqqYrfegBSQ
Mays, James Luther. Psalms. Westminster John Knox Press, 2011. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2rqtjYr_gHAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=psalms&ots=w-jTTPf7Lj&sig=GfSe99DVhLOuOHfSgmPFJmjJm7U&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=psalms&f=false
Viljoen, Eugene. “PSALMS 9 and 10: God is known in His Acts of Justice.” (2015). Retrieved from https://www.christianstudylibrary.org/files/pub/word/Psalm%209%20&%2010.pdf
 Lucas, Ernest C. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. InterVarsity Press, 2016. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=SJ2sCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=psalms+reading+guide&ots=P1K6XapN_-&sig=_aMTu1gFPxvoux4THqqYrfegBSQ
 Mays, James Luther. Psalms. Westminster John Knox Press, 2011. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2rqtjYr_gHAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=psalms&ots=w-jTTPf7Lj&sig=GfSe99DVhLOuOHfSgmPFJmjJm7U&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=psalms&f=false
 Viljoen, Eugene. “PSALMS 9 and 10: God is known in His Acts of Justice.” (2015). Retrieved from https://www.christianstudylibrary.org/files/pub/word/Psalm%209%20&%2010.pdf