Vs. 1-8 teach the new generation why God is King and victory is with Him;
Vs. 9-16 bemoan the punishment meted out by God against His own people;
Vs. 17-26 confess to God His punishment has worked!
Regardless of whether this Psalm fits into the history of Israel, it certainly is a foreshadowing of what was to happen to Christians in the 1st Century. Read on.
Verses 1-8: The solemn obligation upon parents is to teach their children what God has done in the past (Old & New Testaments) and how appreciated He must be in the present and future! The summary mentioned here covers the Books of Joshua & Judges. The Psalmist, understandably, desires such victories again, but not by national strength.
Verses 9-16: Something seems to stand in the way to keep this from happening. God appears to be letting the enemies win, but to no profit (verse 12). This “shaming” of God’s people by those who are not God’s people is of great concern, and only God can change it (verses 13-16).
Verses 17-26: Through it all, God’s people have not forgotten God (verse 17), but have been faithful to Him (verse 18), even to their near death experience (verse 19). There are 2 ways to leave God: 1) forget Him; 2) replace Him. Either way, God would know their thoughts in their hearts, therefore the truthfulness of their declaration (verse 21). Jesus Christ is described as having this quality of God in Revelation 2:23. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 4:13-14). What’s done in Vegas (or everywhere else!) is never hidden!
Verse 22 is quoted in Romans 8:36 as describing the 1st Century persecution of Christians (Acts 8:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16). If, as Paul argued, Jesus died to save those baptized into His death (Romans 8:32; 6:1-17) and now intercedes in Heaven on their behalf (Romans 8:34), then “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?” (Romans 8:33).
Verses 23-26 appeal to God to act on behalf of His persecuted people while they are beat down to the ground. There are those “who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble” (Mark 4:16-17). Such afflictions shouldn’t move us. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:10-13). Christians don’t go after their enemies, like some, rather they ask God to go after them – and He does!
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.