Psalm Nine: Yahweh Sits Enthroned Forever
The reader who is continuing in order through the book of the Psalms will remember that the last psalm marveled at the deeply paradoxical truth of man’s frail and insignificant nature, which is nevertheless of immense importance to God, by whom all creation is destined to be brought into subjection to a man who will reign forever in righteousness, even the God-Man Jesus Christ, who tasted death for every man and is now crowned with glory and honor. It may capture the reader’s attention, therefore, that immediately after speaking of how all kingly dominion will be given to man, the psalms go on to speak of the eternal, kingly dominion of the Lord Yahweh himself, who sits enthroned forever, and judges the world in righteousness (vss. 7-8). Yes, man will reign over all things; but above and behind man, and constantly supplying him with his kingly authority and royal glory, is the Lord who created him. He has reigned from all eternity past, and into all eternity future he will reign in righteousness. There is no word or thought or breath of man that does not obey his divine decree and follow his every bidding. No, in all their mad ragings and evil schemes, the men of this world will accomplish nothing but what God’s hand and purpose had predestined to take place (Acts 4:28).
Let the reader fix his eyes on Jesus, then, if he would understand the truths of this psalm and the last, and see how they fit together, and complement each other, and reflect the eternal glory of the God who reigns in, above, and through the perfect image of himself in his royal creature, man. For who but Jesus can take both those truths and bring them together in harmony? Who else is great enough? Who is sufficient for these things? If the Lord reigns forever and if man reigns over all, then what may we suppose but that the Lord-Man, Jesus Christ, must sit upon the throne until all enemies are put under his feet? “For ‘[God] has subjected all things under his feet’; but when he says that he has subjected all things, it is evident that he who subjected all things to him is excepted. But whenever he should subject all things to him, then the Son himself will also be subject to the One who subjected all things to him, so that God might be all and in all” (1 Cor. 15:27-28, quoting Psalm 8:6). O blessed mystery! That God should put all things beneath the feet of his eternal Son-become-Man, so that God might be over all and in all. God became a man, so that all the fullness of the godhead, which in Triune fellowship has reigned for all eternity, might find full expression in humanity (Col. 2:9-10), and fill his people with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19), so that they might reign over all in him who is their Head, with only the exception of him who subjected all things beneath their feet. For the Head of the body is Christ and the feet of the body is his Church (Eph. 1:22-23), before whom all worlds will one day come into submission.
These things are too deep and wonderful for me and time flees away while I stammer; but while we still may, let us look again at this precious psalm to see how all this great mystery takes place.
We may see in this psalm that David did not come into his throne by lifting himself up or exercising his power, but by trusting in God and acknowledging his divine royal authority. When David was tested and tried, he remembered all God’s wonderful deeds, and rejoiced in them, and taught others of them; and the Lord maintained his just cause, and caused his enemies to melt away, terrifying them from his eternal throne in the heavens; thus did David come into his own throne.
And so also did the Son of David, true to the type, enter the Throne of David and establish it in glory for all eternity. When did the Lord Christ ever call twelve legions of angels, to take his Kingdom by force (Mat. 26:52-54)? When did he call fire down from heaven against those who opposed and rejected him (Luke 9:53-55)? No, but as the first David, he remembered all the mighty works of God, and the covenant by which God had sworn to him that he would sit upon the throne (Psalm 2); and so, for the joy that was set before him (Heb. 12:2), he committed himself to the God who reigns over all (vss. 13-14; 1 Peter 2:21-24), and trusted that God would maintain his just cause, and break the arms of all the wicked who set themselves against him. As David, he trusted in God to deliver him, and rejoiced in his works, and was faithful to teach sinners of all his works and his great and glorious Name (John 17:4-8).
Troubled saint, what fears should you have, whenever you are opposed or distressed? If this course of humble faith brought victory both to David and to the Son of David, then will it not issue at last in victory for all who walk it to the end? Consider that the Lord did not enter the Throne of David for his own sake, but so that he might be a stronghold for the oppressed, and so that all who know the Name of the Lord, the very Name which he himself has taught us, might gain his everlasting salvation (vss. 9-10). When he was oppressed, he looked to God on his throne, and was delivered; and now he has entered the throne, so that he might forevermore deliver all who look to him.
What then can you do, O feeble saint, but “sing praises to Yahweh, who dwells in Zion; declare among the peoples his deeds; because the Avenger of blood is mindful of them, he does not forget the cry of the afflicted”? Did God not avenge David? Did he not avenge and vindicate his Son? Then he will avenge you too. He will not forget your blood or shame, but when the number of the martyrs is complete, he will rain down his vengeance on all the enemies of his people (Rev. 6:9-11).
If you still need proof of this, O storm-tossed and afflicted, then look to the cross, where the nations sank into the pit that they themselves had dug for your King. There it was that God executed judgment, there the wicked were ensnared by the works of their hands, there the Enemy was destroyed by his own weapon (vss. 15-16, Col. 2:14-15). Your hope will not perish forever! You will not be forgotten (vs. 18)! What is it that troubles you? It will be done away forever, as you wait on the Lord and trust in his Christ.
“Arise, O Yahweh! Let not man prevail.”