Do not let mortals prevail!
Let the nations be judged before you!
Put them in fear!
Let the nations know that they are only human!
Once again, David wanted Yahweh to get up, rise up, as if Yahweh was somehow sleeping on the job. He did not want the evil mortals to prevail. He wanted them to be judged before Yahweh. He wanted them to fear Yahweh. They should know that they are only human and not divine. At the end of this psalm we have another Selah, or musical interlude pause.
“The needy shall not always be forgotten.
The hope of the poor shall not perish forever.”
Once again, we see the fate of the wicked versus that of the poor people. The poor will not always be forgotten. Thus it was obvious that sometimes they were forgotten. The biggest thing that the poor and needy have is hope. That hope will live forever. Without that hope, the poor and needy simple would become abandoned and lost.
“The wicked shall depart to Sheol.
This includes all the nations that forget God.”
In a very simple statement, that the wicked will go to Sheol, the underworld of darkness, what the Greeks called Hades and what we call hell. This shadowy world of the dead was where all the nations and people who forgot God would go. This is the closest expression to the more familiar “Go to Hell!” comment that is often heard. Here it is more gentile, as they shall depart to hell. What gets you to a permanent state in Sheol is wickedness and forgetting God.
“The nations have sunk in the pit that they made.
They have fallen into the net that they hid.
Now their own foot has been caught.
Yahweh has made himself known.
He has executed judgment.
The wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.
David said that the various pagan nations have sunk into the very pits that they made to catch others. They were caught in their own nets. Yahweh had made himself known to all. He had executed his judgment. Thus the wicked ones were caught in their own nets and traps that they themselves had made. The term Selah, which appears over 70 times in the psalms, means a musical interlude or pause. The term Higgaion only appears 3 times in the psalms. However, it also means some kind of musical meditation. This public prayer stops for a musical mediation or pause.
“Be gracious to me!
See what I suffer from those who hate me.
You are the one who lifts me up
From the gates of death.
Thus I may recount all your praises
In the gates of daughter Zion.
I may rejoice in your deliverance.”
David wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him. He had suffered from those who hated him. Only Yahweh could save him from the gates of death. Then he would be able to tell everyone about the praises for Yahweh, especially at Mount Zion, where he had built the Temple. David was going to rejoice in his deliverance from his enemies and his death.
“Sing praises to Yahweh!
He dwells in Zion!
Declare his deeds among the peoples!
He who avenges blood,
He is mindful of them.
He does not forget
The cry of the afflicted.”
David wanted to sing praises to Yahweh, who lives at Mount Zion, where he has placed the Temple in Jerusalem. Everyone was to declare the deeds that he had done among his people. Yahweh avenged blood. He never forgets the afflicted ones. He is always mindful of them.
“Yahweh is a stronghold for the oppressed.
He is a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name put their trust in you.
You have not forsaken those who seek you.”
Yahweh is the stronghold or fort for those who are being oppressed. This was especially true in times of trouble. Anyone who put their trust in Yahweh would not be forsaken. Yahweh rewarded those who trusted in him.
“But Yahweh sits enthroned forever.
He has established his throne for judgment.
He judges the world with righteousness.
He judges the peoples with equity.”
Yahweh is the royal king who lasts forever. He judges the world and all the people in it with equity. Yahweh is fair and righteous.
“You have rebuked the nations.
You have destroyed the wicked.
You have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins.
You hast rooted out their cities.
The very memory of them has perished.”
Yahweh has destroyed the wicked enemies of David. He has rebuked the pagan nations and blotted out their name forever. They have vanished into everlasting ruins. Their cities have been rooted out as their memory has perished. It was not good to be an enemy of David.
“When my enemies turned back,
They perished before you.
You have maintained my just cause.
You have sat on the throne.
You have given righteous judgment.”
When David’s enemies turned back, they stumbled and perished before Yahweh. Yahweh, who sits on the throne has maintained David’s just cause since he has given a righteous judgment.