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Psalms 9:19-20

Arise, O LORD!

19 Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. 20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

The great tragedy of atheism and humanism is that their adherents become their own gods. After all, the word "God," or "Elohim" in the Hebrew, simply means magistrate or ruler. When men believe that there is no God and then make their own laws, they replace God with themselves. Imagine having no one to call on, no one to trust, no one to save you, no one to protect you, and no one to love you unconditionally except yourself.

Men who hold such beliefs are deluded, believing themselves to be something more than human. Occasionally, there will be those who are so self-centered and proud that they become conquerors of other people. Alexander the Great was one example, and he drank himself to death. Hitler is another well-known example of a man who tried to be his own god, and he caused the whole world to suffer because of it.

"Arise, O LORD!" This is the prayer of a humble king who trusts not in himself but in an omnipotent God. "Arise, O LORD, and demonstrate to the world that you are the only true God!" It is the prayer of someone who seeks the will of God and knows that his enemies are also God's enemies. He prays that man should not be allowed to make himself into a god, while rejecting the true God and despising everything that is godly.

There must be judgment for the good of mankind. Those nations who refused to repent of their sins should be punished before the presence of God for the sake of all of the other nations. Righteous judgment produces fear among those who would be tempted to commit the same offenses. It demonstrates the weaknesses and frailties of humanity and destroys their delusions of greatness.

David does not seem to be praying for the destruction of the nations in this passage. He is praying for their salvation. "Put them in fear..." is a prayer of mercy, because those who fear the LORD and worship Him will not experience eternal damnation.

He prays for them to realize that they are only men and that their lives are like a puff of smoke that quickly fades away. David wants the nations to lay aside their pride, arrogance, self-reliance, and rebellion and to live with a healthy fear of an Almighty and merciful God. He wants God to be glorified among men everywhere.

You may want to ask yourself, "Who rules over my life? Do I do what I want to do or do I fear God enough to do what He wants me to do? Can I truly say that those who are opposing my work are also opposing God's work?" The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, because it is the first step to understanding that you are only human and that you need an omnipotent and merciful God. Take the time to evaluate your life according to His standards. "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." (1 Corinthians 11:31)

Before The Throne:

Humble yourself before God today. Confess to Him the many times that you did what you wanted to do, instead of what you knew He wanted you to do. Pray for His forgiveness and mercy. Repent of this sin and submit yourself to His control. Pray for your enemies. Ask God to strike fear into their hearts, to shatter their pride, and to save them from the condemnation of their own sins. Sing praises to Him for being our merciful and gracious King of kings.

For Further Study:

** Arise. Psa 3:7; 7:6; 10:12; 44:23,26; 68:1,2; 74:22,23; 76:8,9; 80:2; Isa 42:13,14; 51:9; Zep 3:8; ** let not. Gen 32:28; 1Sam 2:9; 2Chron 14:11; Isa 42:13; ** let the. Psa 2:1-3; 79:6; 149:7; Jer 10:25; Joel 3:12; Mic 5:15; Zec 14:18; Rev 19:15;

(v.20) ** Put. Psa 76:12; Exod 15:16; 23:27; Deut 2:25; Jer 32:40; Ezek 30:13; ** may. Psa 82:6,7; Isa 31:3; Ezek 28:2,9; Act 12:22,23;


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