Monday, August 17, 2020

Psalm 9

A few day ago I spent some time thinking about what I like to do.  You can read that post HERE if you'd like.  High on this list is writing.  I have always loved to write, and I even have a copy of one of the first (if not the very first) poem I wrote.  It was terrible, and I'll save sharing that with you for another day.

This love for writing was a gift through school and continues to be a blessing in adulthood.  A well worded letter or email can make all the difference between communicating what you mean and make a problem worse.  However, when I was younger I'd be presented with assignments that people bemoaned.  I believe it was my freshman year of high school in which we studied poetry.  We wrote haikus, couplets, and acrostics.

If by chance you're aren't familiar with acrostics, they are poems in which the first letter of each verse (or the first letter of each stanza) spells out a word. Instead of spelling out a particular word, these letter can be in order of the letters of the alphabet… A – B – C and so on.  Acrostics are not uncommon in the Psalms, and it is believed that chapters 9 and 10 together are the first acrostic in the book.  I say "it is believed" because I don't speak Hebrew, so I will trust the experts on this.

Psalm 9 is filled with things David is thankful to God for. It begins like this: 
Lord, I will give thanks to you with all my heart. 
I will tell about all the wonderful things you have done.
I will be glad and full of joy because of you.
Most High God, I will sing the praises of your name.
(Psalm 9:1-2, NIRV)
Some of the ways that David praised and thanked God are strange to us today. For example, in verse 6 David thanked God that his enemy’s city was torn down. I’ve never thanked God for that, and I’ll bet you haven’t either. Let's not forget that that David was king of his country and, as a military leader, this doesn't seem quite so unusual.
Click to download PDF version.

On the other hand, some of the ways that David thanked God are much more familiar:
  • In verse 12 David thanked God that He “doesn’t forget the cries of those who are hurting.”
  • In verse 14 David said that “[he] will be full of joy because [God] has saved [him].”
  • And in verse 18 David thanked God that “God will never forget needy people.”
We are all different people, so we all have different things for which we thank God. What are you thankful for? 
I've made a simple worksheet to help guide you through a prayer of thankfulness.  Just like this psalm, I've made an acrostic using the word THANKS to spell out six areas in which we can thank God.  Double points if you can start your sentence with the same letter.  Just kidding - I don't think God gives out points like that.

Don’t stop here!  I encourage you to keep talking to God and thanking Him for everything He does. Some people find it very easy to be thankful and for others it can be hard. It does not always come easily to me, but like everything else, we can improve most behaviors with practice.  The more we thank Him, the easier it becomes. 

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