Psalm 9:13–14 (NKJV)
13 Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of year when we look both backwards and forwards. We look backwards - recalling God’s fulfillment of the promise to our fathers that one day He would send a Child of Eve to rescue us from sin and death. Jesus has come to save us – hallelujah! But we also look forwards – anticpating the fulfillment of God’s promise that one day that same Son shall return in glory to vindicate all who trust Him. Jesus will come to save us – hallelujah!
This Advent our sermons focus once again on Jesus in the Psalms – and today we consider Psalm 9 a portion of which we have just read. In Psalm 9, David praises God for maintaining David’s right and cause in the world in the face of those who oppose Him. But he not only praises God for what He has done in the past, he prays that God would deliver him yet again – and it is this request that God vindicate him again which we just read. Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death – David recognizes that it is the Lord who has vindicated him and who must do so again. To the Lord our God belong escapes from death.
So why did David want God to rescue him from his troubles? Listen closely: Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation. David petitioned God to rescue him so that he could sing further praises to God in the future. He wanted God to deliver him so that he could go to the Temple and declare: listen what God has done for me! He wanted to sing God’s praises in the company of His people.
So as we remember God’s act of kindness in sending His Son Jesus to rescue us from sin and death; and as we pray that God would yet again send Jesus to vindicate those who trust in Him – why do we do it? So that we might praise His Name in the company of His people! God saved you that you might proclaim His praises, that you might offer up spiritual sacrifices, that you might offer up the fruit of your lips in the gates of the daughter of Zion, in the Heavenly Jerusalem, in the Church. Singing praise to God is the goal of our salvation – it is the reason God delivered you from your sin. So sing; don’t be self-conscious. Sing; don’t make excuses. Sing; don’t deprive the assembly of your voice.
And as we gather in His presence to sing, let us acknowledge that we often are so consumed with our own selves or troubles or desires that we neglect to bring praise and petition to God. Reminded of this, let us kneel and seek the Lord’s forgiveness through Christ.