Psalm 9 Commentary: Structure
Psalm 9 is a classic example of a lament psalm. As you recall, a lament psalm has five ingredients to its structure, the most prominent of which is the lament itself. The lament is where the psalmist exposes the enemies of God – who are also usually his enemies as well. The psalmist kind of zooms in on these folks and paints a pretty vivid picture for us of exactly how evil they are and how deserving of God’s punishment they are. And in addition, the heightened picture that we get of these enemies also acts as justification for the psalmist asking God for deliverance from them.
Psalm 9 Commentary: Lament
In Psalm 9, the lament appears in verses 15 through 18. Let’s read it.
KJV Psalm 9:15 The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. 16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. 18 For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Here, we’re told that the enemies made a pit and prepared a net to capture the righteous. But in fact, they’re the ones who will be trapped by these tactics. They set the trap for someone else – someone who isn’t worthy of being snared. And yet – in the end – these enemies will be the ones to be trapped. And not only that, but they’ll be turned into hell. And this is going to happen – according to verse 17 – to all nations that forget God. So, that’s the lament of Psalm 9 – verses 15 through 18.
Now that we’ve recognized the lament of this psalm, let’s start from the beginning and find the other four ingredients of the structure.