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Psalm 9 – God as the Righteous Judge


By: Edward Cortez


In Psalm 9, David picks up from where he left off in chapter 8, focusing on God’s “marvelous works.” He continues to render worship to God for His magnificent work of creation. But then he switches gear and begins to meditate on God’s righteous judgment. Notice his use of the words judge, judging, judgment:

“You sat on the throne judging in righteousness” (verse 4); “He has prepared His throne for judgment” (verse 7); “He shall judge the world in righteousness” (verse 8); “He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness” (verse 8); “The LORD is known by the judgment He executes” (verse 16).

Knowing God as a righteous Judge is fundamental to understanding grace. A just God is more than an Old Testament concept and absolutely not something that no longer applies in today’s age of grace. To fully understand grace we must know His righteous judgment and how it is satisfied in the death of God’s own Son. Devoid of understanding His justice, we cheapen His grace.

“Justice and righteousness,” we are clearly told in the Psalms, “are the foundations of His throne” (Psalm 89:14). He still rules with justice, fairness, and impartiality. In Psalm 9, justice for the oppressed is foremost in His mind. Eschatologically speaking, the Great White Throne Judgment is reserved for those who have rejected God’s offer of free salvation. If God has ceased to be a righteous Judge, then there is no future judgment for Satan and his cohorts.

It’s very interesting to note how David makes confession of his salvation, “I will rejoice in your salvation.” God has judged the world and its sins through the death of His Son on the cross, which satisfied the required perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world and met the demands of a holy God. David by faith understands this and knows that through God’s own judgment on the Son who bore our sins it is God who brings about salvation and not through our own self efforts.

David would not have rejoiced in God’s salvation without seeing God as a righteous Judge. Now filled with awe and joy for having been saved from God’s judgment he utters sincere and passionate worship:

“I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works” (verse 1); “I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High!” (verse 2); “Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people” (verse 11); “That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation” (verse 14).

Friends, there is a great promise for those who will turn to God. Rather than live under God’s judgment, we can choose to find freedom and forgiveness in Jesus through the cross. Here’s the promise:

“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9-10).

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