It’s not all about me!

Today, I’m asking blog readers to go beyond personal needs and intercede for nations that are in trouble. Hopefully, the words of these psalms will fuel our prayers for those in need.

Psalms 9 and 10 are linked together because as an acrostic psalm every second poetic line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

The Psalms focus on the plea of the oppressed for justice against threats from the powerful.

The article will focus on (1) the oppressed, (2) the oppressive nations, and (3) a plea for justice.

The Oppressed

There are many options to illustrate the problems the disadvantaged face. I will illustrate each verse with only one current example.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9.9)

Oppressed Children – UNICEF estimates that 12 percent of the children aged 5-14 years in South Asia are involved in child labor, well over 41 million children.

For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. (Psalm 9.12)

Afflicted People Groups – The Myanmar government launched a military campaign in 2017 that forced seven hundred thousand Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. As one of many afflicted groups, they live in the largest refugee settlement in the world.

Be gracious to me, O Lord.
See what I suffer from those who hate me;
you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death. (Psalm 9.13)

The Suffering – I remember the first time I told a family that the head of their family had died. I still recall their collective inconsolable grief.

Imagine the suffering that comes to family and friends who cope with thousands of deaths during the war.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish forever. (Psalm 9.18)

The Needy – In 2019, the average income in Venezuela was 72 U.S. cents per day.

Only 3 percent of households in Venezuela are considered food secure, compared to 10 percent of households in 2018. That means 97 percent of Venezuelans are unsure of where their next meal will come from or when it will arrive.

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear

To do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
so that those from earth may strike terror no more. (Psalm 10.17-18)

The Meek, Orphans, and Oppressed – The Economic Freedom Index states that after North Korea, it considers the three worst countries in the world to be Venezuela, Cuba, and the Congo.

The Oppressors

When my enemies turned back,
they stumbled and perished before you. (Psalm 9.3)

Enemies – Russia is the enemy in Ukraine and a supporter of Assad in Syria against his own people.

Syria and Ukraine lead the world in the number of refugees.

You have rebuked the nations; you have destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever. (Psalm 5)

The Wicked – Wicked nations pursue their national self-interest at the expense of less powerful countries.

It is quite possible that every developed nation is guilty of this definition of wickedness.

In arrogance, the wicked persecute the poor—
let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart;
those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.

In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”;
all their thoughts are, “There is no God.” (Psalm 10.2-4)

Arrogant, Greedy, Proud – Greedy nations “eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord” (Psalm 14.4).

Powerful nations believe that God will not hold them accountable for the harm they have done to smaller and weaker nations.

In my opinion, Russia heads the list of oppressive nations that believe they can inflict harm on the less powerful for gain.

A Plea for Justice

The oppressed, afflicted, and disadvantaged can expect God to grant justice because he is the Ultimate Judge of all.

But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.

He judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9.7-8)

When we ask God to intervene on behalf of the oppressed, we can pray in confidence because we know of God’s just essential nature.

Please join the psalm writer and pray, “Rise up, O Lord!”

Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;
let the nations be judged before you. (Psalm 9.19)

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
do not forget the oppressed. (Psalm 10.12)

As we intercede, we ask God to rise up and see the trouble and grief of the helpless.

But you do see! Indeed, you note trouble and grief,
that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
you have been the helper of the orphan. (Psalm 10.14)

The wicked decision-makers who oppress the helpless believe they can live in luxury with no accountability while the rest of humanity suffers.

Intercessors bring the plight of the oppressed to the One who will take up their cause.

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;
seek out their wickedness until you find none. (Psalm 10.15)

The prayer that God will seek out wickedness until he can find none is very similar to Jesus’ model prayer, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6.10).

Prayer Requests

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.
It’s not all about me!

Today, I’m asking blog readers to go beyond personal needs and intercede for nations that are in trouble. Hopefully, the words of these psalms will fuel our prayers for those in need.

Psalm 9 and 10 are linked together, because as an acrostic psalm every second poetic line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

The Psalms focus on the plea of the oppressed for justice against threats from the powerful.

The article will focus on (1) the oppressed, (2) the oppressive nations, and (3) a plea for justice.

The Oppressed

There are many options to illustrate the problems the disadvantaged face. I will illustrate each verse with only one current example.

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9.9)

— Oppressed Children – UNICEF estimates 12 percent of the children aged 5-14 years in South Asia are involved in child labour, well over 41 million children.

For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. (Psalm 9.12)

— Afflicted People Groups – The Myanmar government launched a military campaign in 2017 that forced seven hundred thousand Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. As one of many afflicted groups, they live in the largest refugee settlement in the world.

Be gracious to me, O Lord.
See what I suffer from those who hate me;
you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death. (Psalm 9.13)

— The Suffering – I remember the first time I told a family that the head of their family had died. I still recall their collective inconsolable grief.

Imagine the suffering that comes to family and friends who cope with thousands of deaths during war.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor perish forever. (Psalm 9.18)

— The Needy – In 2019, the average income in Venezuela was 72 U.S. cents per day.

Only 3 percent of households in Venezuela are considered food secure, compared to 10 percent of households in 2018. That means 97 percent of Venezuelans are unsure of where their next meal will come from or when it will arrive.

O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear

To do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
so that those from earth may strike terror no more. (Psalm 10.17-18)

— The Meek, Orphans, and Oppressed – The Economic Freedom Index states that after North Korea, it considers the three worst countries in the world to be Venezuela, Cuba, and the Congo.

The Oppressors

When my enemies turned back,
they stumbled and perished before you. (Psalm 9.3)

— Enemies – Russia is the enemy in Ukraine and a supporter of Assad in Syria against his own people.

Syria and Ukraine lead the world in the number of refugees.

You have rebuked the nations; you have destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever. (Psalm 5)

— The Wicked – Wicked nations pursue their national self-interest at the expense of less powerful countries.

It is quite possible that every developed nation is guilty of this definition of wickedness.

In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor—
let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.

For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart;
those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord.

In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”;
all their thoughts are, “There is no God.” (Psalm 10.2-4)

— Arrogant, Greedy, Proud – Greedy nations “eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the Lord” (Psalm 14.4).

Powerful nations believe that God will not hold them accountable for the harm they have done to smaller and weaker nations.

In my opinion, Russia heads the list of oppressive nations that believe they can inflict harm on the less powerful for gain.

A Plea for Justice

The oppressed, afflicted, and disadvantaged can expect God to grant justice because he is the Ultimate Judge of all.

But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.

He judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9.7-8)

When we ask God to intervene on behalf of the oppressed, we can pray in confidence because we know of God’s just essential nature.

Please join the psalm writer and pray, “Rise up, O Lord!”

Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail;
let the nations be judged before you. (Psalm 9.19)

Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
do not forget the oppressed. (Psalm 10.12)

As we intercede, we ask God to rise up and see the trouble and grief of the helpless.

But you do see! Indeed, you note trouble and grief,
that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
you have been the helper of the orphan. (Psalm 10.14)

The wicked decision-makers who oppress the helpless believe they can live in luxury with no accountability while the rest of humanity suffers.

Intercessors bring the plight of the oppressed to the One who will take up their cause.

Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers;
seek out their wickedness until you find none. (Psalm 10.15)

The prayer that God will seek out wickedness until he can find none is very similar to Jesus’ model prayer, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6.10).

Prayer Requests

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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