Continuing in a study of Psalm 92, remember that this is a psalm of praise to God. This psalm is a small part of the eternal pattern of glory that has been given to Him, is being given to Him, and will be given to Him. Let’s take a look at verses 8 and 9.
But you, LORD, are forever exalted.
For surely your enemies, LORD,
surely your enemies will perish;
all evildoers will be scattered.
Psalms 92:8-9 NIV
In contrast to the wicked, God will not only “be” (i.e., exist) forever, but He will always be “exalted”.
Remember the pattern of this psalm that was mentioned in an earlier article about this Psalm? This is the central verse in the psalm, and seems to be the key point about which other thoughts have built up to, and will build upon after it. Let’s read verse 8 again, to remind ourselves that God will forever be exalted.
Next, let’s consider verse 9. Have you ever gotten hold of a big weed with a long taproot to pull it out, whether in a garden or a flowerbed? Maybe there’s just been a summer rain so the ground is soft, and you reach down near the bottom of the stalk and pull. On a good day, the entire weed – root and all – comes out of the ground with a satisfying tug, and you can throw it on the driveway to wither and die in the sun.
That’s how I imagine God’s enemies falling before Him here. They have sprouted up, and it looks like they are taking off. But, in the time of reckoning, they are pulled up by the roots, and left to fade away.
In the same way, it might look to us like evil is winning: whether in our bodies as they groan under the weight of the curse of sin, or in our relationships as others break their promises, or in our society as evildoers seem to have the upper hand, or in a country whose political ads are largely consumed with attacking others (at least, this seems to be the case in my country, I’m afraid). However, there must be no question – no doubt in our minds – that God is still completely in control, and any injustice is temporary. No injury, heartbreak, or pain escapes His eye.
In fact, the psalmist doesn’t just praise God for general qualities (although that’s perfectly OK to do), but also for what God has done for the psalmist (see verses 10-11). Not only will God triumph over His enemies, but He has extended this victory to others, whether the author here or those who are singing this song on the Sabbath day.
From verse 10, we don’t necessarily use the metaphor of a horn today to symbolize strength (unlike what appears to have been the case in the psalmist’s era), but if you think of an animal with stout horns (or just one, like the rhinoceros), those are important to its strength. Sure, a charging animal could knock us over or trample us, but if a bull, ox, or rhino is charging at me, I’m probably going to be pretty concerned about getting stabbed with a horn!
There’s a recent Christian song that says, “You make me brave” (Bethel Music – You Make Me Brave Lyrics | AZLyrics.com). Whether it is bravery, confidence, encouragement, health, reputation, influence, power, or being physically strong, God can give us all the strength that we need to triumph over what we battle, especially when we are fighting against the same things that God opposes.
So, whether you feel strong and tough today, or weak and fragile, consider this psalm today. If you are celebrating evil in your life and have still allowed sin to rule you, watch out for what you have “achieved” to be pulled up and wither away. I don’t maliciously wish this harm upon others, but it is the natural result of making oneself the enemy of a righteous, holy, and powerful God. I’m also not suggesting that this is a permanent condition, since even those – including myself – who have accepted God’s offer to return to Him had made themselves His enemies previously (see Romans 5:6-11 and Colossians 1:21-23)
On the other hand, if you feel like you don’t have what it takes to get through today, remember that God can give you the strength to “charge” through life with confidence. His strength is more than enough, even when ours is not…which is most of the time!
From Sunday School lesson prepared for October 30, 2022
- The Lookout, October 30, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- The College Press NIV Commentary, Psalms, Volume 2, Walter D. Zorn, © 2004, College Press Publishing Co., Joplin, MO.