The Psalms of the Bible are full of prophecy. A major theme of many of the Psalms is that of the return of the King, Messiah, and his sufferings and glory. The prophecies of the Psalms are eschatological also, describing in great detail the last great conflict of Israel, and of the world conditions at the time of the second coming of Christ.
The ninth Psalm is an example of this.
I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.(Psalm 9:1-2)
The voice of this Psalm is that of grateful Israel, willingly praising God in the aftermath of a severe testing. Israel had been besieged by the nations of the world, and would have been destroyed but for the intervention of God.
When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.(Psalm 9:3-4)
Notice that the Psalmist celebrates the final deliverance of Israel in the past tense… the “prophetic perfect”. It is an already accomplished fact, It is finished because God has spoken it.
The prophet Zechariah is but one of the many who saw the final conflict of Israel as an international siege of Jerusalem, leading to the brink of annihilation , until the Lord himself returns to save the remnant of His people,
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem…For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle…Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.(Zechariah 12:2,14:2-3)
It is as a result of “Thy Presence” that Israel’s final enemies “turn back, fall and perish…“. The New Testament refers to the return of the King Messiah as “the Parousia” of our Lord, the actual physical return of Jesus.
The nations of the world are angry, for they have contrived grievances with Israel. But the U.N. isn’t the final court in the worldwide conflict. The last word is not given to the USA, the U.N., or the IMF.
There is a righteous judge of all the earth, the God of the Bible. He is the one that the “kings of the earth and their princes” have taken their counsel together against in the second Psalm,
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed…(Psalm 2:2)
The ninth Psalm praises God that it is He, the judge of all of the earth that has decided the final conflict, “maintain(ing) my right and my cause”.
Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever(Psalm 9:5)
As in the day when God rebuked the sea, saying “You can come this far and no further, thus shall your proud waves be stopped.”(Job 38:11), God shall rebuke all of the nations (Heathen) who had amassed themselves against Israel, and they will find that His rebuke is withering, destructive and final.
The imagery of the Tower of Babel is invoked, for the nations of the world will once again unite, on a project to “make a name for themselves“. But once again the ambitious, humanistic project comes crashing down around them.
The prophet speaks in the past tense, “Thou hast destroyed the wicked…”. The Kings of the earth and their rulers thought that by their unity they could prevail over Him, but the Proverbs warned them long before,
Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished, but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered. (Proverbs 11:21)
The psalmist taunts the enemies who have sought Israel’s destruction,
O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.(Psalm 9:6)
Either this is rendered as ‘Your destructions are over forever!”, or it means “You are eternally destroyed”. Perhaps it is both, for the Coming of the Messiah shall certainly produce both effects; the end of the destruction wrought by the Kings of the earth, and the everlasting ruin which God will bring upon them in the lake of fire.
“Thou hast destroyed cities…”. By the time of the Parousia, ancient cities shall have been destroyed by the “Kings of the Earth and their Rulers”. Damascus, Syria and Amman Jordan come to mind,(Isaiah 17,Jeremiah 49:2) but unfortunately there will be many others as well .
But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.(Psalm 9:7-8)
The Lord is coming to deal with all of humanity in Judgment. But he categorizes them into two groups, “the world” and (His) “people”.
Judgment is coming upon this world for its sins, the cup of iniquity is finally coming full. It seems as though our modern world has systematically repudiated everything that God ordained in the early parts of Genesis, as the foundation for human society. Marriage, Gender assignments, the sanctity of life, sexuality, the family, the death penalty, political separation of nations, and even “be fruitful and multiply” have all been undermined and rejected by this evil generation.
But The Lord shall “minister judgment” to the people He has chosen. This is the other sense of “judgment” which is deliverance and vindication. The Lord comes again to Israel, the people He appointed as His witness. They are presently estranged from Him but he is drawing them back to Him.
He is using the current geopolitical pressures, and hatred of the nations to bring Israel to the point where they actually cry out to Him for deliverance in the last day. This is none less than the “Time of Jacob’s trouble” spoken of by Jeremiah the prophet.
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.(Jeremiah 30:7)
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.(Psalm 9:9-11)
Israel shall come to know the Lord again in those days, for He shall reveal himself to them. Moses told Israel that they would drift away from God, and be scattered to the ends of the earth, where they would in the last days, seek Him with all of their heart ;
But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.(Deuteronomy 4:29-31)
I believe that Israel is a microcosm of the whole world, and that God’s dealings with Israel, teach us about His dealings with us as individuals. God is calling all of us to realize how far we have drifted from Him, and to seek Him with all of our heart. The promise is true individually,as well as to the nation, If we seek Him we will find Him. He will reveal Himself to the one who truly seeks Him.Even in the last days.
pt 2 to come….