In Times of Trouble
Almighty God, I need You. Pardon my sin, realign me with Your will, restore me with counsel from Your Word.
Read Psalm 9:1-20
 For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Teach me thy way, O Lord … Help me to walk aright / More by faith, less by sight” (B. Mansell Ramsey, 1849-1923).
This is an acrostic psalm, each verse beginning with a successive letter (approximately) of the Hebrew alphabet, but only going as far as the first half of the alphabet. The second half is the basis of Psalm 10. This structure explains the apparent jerkiness of the subject matter. The psalm does not present a narrative of David’s troubles, nor does it specify exactly what they are. He has “enemies,” adversaries in war, who do not know the God of Israel.
David does the same thing as the writer to the Hebrews. In times of trouble he reminds himself of what he knows of God. He trusts God, gives thanks to him and praises him. He tells of his wonders–in part by writing this psalm. He lists a number of things that he can count on God to do, even if it appears on the face of it that the enemy is strong. The statements he makes are expressions of faith, not descriptions of what he sees around him.
What an excellent exercise! What do you do in times of trouble? What makes the difference between the person whose faith shines even in difficult times and the person who drowns in misery? Our culture loves to dwell on the problems, analyzing them, looking for causes and people to blame. Theology should be no dull academic subject, but the consideration of all we know about the God who loves us and gave himself for us. Why not turn to theology as an anchor for the soul? Since the coming of Christ we know so much more than David did about what God is like. What can you add to this psalm to make it a New Testament song of praise? What suggestions can you find in Hebrews?
Write a psalm of praise to the God of the New Testament. It doesn’t matter if it’s disjointed. You may even like to use the English alphabet for structure.
Father, when times are difficult, direct me to You and away from my troubles. May I be reminded of who You are and what You can do.
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