By Bill Randles
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah. (Psalm 9 :17-20)
Many people miss the full import of the Psalms of the Bible, because they limit their understanding of them to being divine poetry or as wisdom literature.
Some correctly go further and realize that the Psalms are also Messianic prophecies, describing the mission and triumph of the Lord Jesus. But few realize that the Psalms of the Bible have an eschatological aspect. They speak of the events and conditions of the end-times and of the coming of the Lord.
Psalm 9 celebrates the cataclysmic judgment that falls upon the nations of the world, who hate and trouble Israel. They have digged a pit for her, but they themselves have fallen into it. They are guilty of innocent blood, but the Lord comes to make inquisition.
In the passage above, there are two categories of nations discussed. The wicked nations are those who are and always have been twisted. These are those whose very essence has been shaped by false religion, such as Islam, or Hinduism, or the more recent Atheistic nations (communist).
At the core of every “culture” is a “cultus,” a religion, which informs and undergirds the culture so pervasively that few even consciously realize it. If the religion is false, the culture is by definition deeply flawed.
There are nations which can only be described as “wicked.” Injustice is written into the very fabric of the culture, let alone the laws which reflect that culture. Because of the religion that undergirds those nations, informing their cultures, there must of necessity be a “caste system” or a “Jizya” tax.
Muslim nations have to be hostile to Christians; one would expect them to top the world lists of the most repressive nations, to women, minorities, and religious minorities. Sharia is of necessity a twisted parody of justice. These nations are “the wicked”!
But there is another category of nations suggested here, “all of the nations that forget God.” These are the nations who once had some semblance of freedom, true justice, and human rights. They were never perfect, but for a time were not oppressor nations, although they wielded unprecedented power to be so.
I speak of the West, Europe, the English-speaking world, and wherever they colonized and thrived. How is it that such nations developed into such freedom loving, human-rights guarding, private-property respecting cultures? Because our culture developed out of the soil of Judeo Christianity.
It is the secret of our prosperity in the West, as well as of our sense of fairness, respect for life, willingness to sacrifice, our work ethic, insistence on checks and balances in government, and a host of other traits which have brought refugees from every other culture streaming into the West to enjoy those freedoms.
But the West has forgotten God, for the most part. Certainly our leaders have; many of them are working hard to erase all traces of the Judeo Christian influence from our past, present, and future. They have repudiated God; they are actually proving to be hostile to God!
The nations are headed for Tribulation; they are about to be cast into an unbelievable pit, a Hell of biblical proportions!
For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
I believe the “poor and needy” that God will not forget, in this case, are not the “political poor” nor is this a reference to general poverty.
Here the “poor and needy” are the remnant of God’s people, who have been isolated by the nations, hated, and lied about and who have no natural resources or power to successfully answer the charges. They cast themselves on God for they have no other options in a hostile world.
Israel’s enemies are gathering in size and influence, and her friends and lovers are abandoning her. Vicious hate groups such as Hamas, Hezbullah, and Al Queda are losing their fear of Israel, realizing that her former friends are aloof.
But she is about to learn the age-old lesson that it never was the USA or the IDF that saved and preserved Israel. Israel’s help and champion has always been God.
The last verses of this Psalm are a prayer about the nations, in which the Psalmist by the Holy Spirit exposes the twofold problem with the modern nations of the world and which has led to this coming cataclysm:
“Put them in fear, O LORD”— Certainly America, Britain, and Europe have lost the fear of the Lord. Is it any mystery why Wisdom is so far from our leaders? They are godless, and thus have no knowledge.
When nations lose the fear of God, they lose the power to have a just and moral society. There is no reason to restrain any appetite, no matter how depraved when God is forgotten, as Paul testifies:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful. (Romans 1:28-31)
How terrible to live in a time like that!
“That the nations may know that they are but men”— When people forget God, they never really remain godless, they instead deify man on some level. Usually, man is deified in the form of making government into something all-powerful.
The Kings of the Earth and the rulers come out in open opposition to “the Lord and His Christ” according to the second Psalm and Revelation 19. They have forgotten, to their own destruction, that they are not gods, but men in need of God.
Jesus prophesied to Capernaum and the surrounding areas where He had done most of his miracles that they were guilty of the same thing when he warned them—
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. (Matthew 11:23-24)
I have been taught that the quotation of Isaiah 14 in this verse, “which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell” is actually a question and answer.
To prosperous Capernaum, like the modern western world has seen and benefited of the works of Jesus, there is no excuse for its unbelief and pride. Jesus is literally asking an ironic question, “Will you be exalted into heaven?,” the answer being “No, you shall be brought down to hell.”
Man shall not prevail; the worldwide atheistic, humanistic enterprise will go the way of the tower of Babel. The wicked shall indeed be cast into hell and all nations that forget God.
This article used with permission. Bill Randles is the author of several books and booklets. Lighthouse Trails recently released his book War Against the Saints. You may read other articles by Bill Randles at: https://billrandles.wordpress.com.
(photo by bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)