Countdown to Thanksgiving – Day 19

Let’s face it – 2020 has been a strange year.
But God was not surprised by all the events that have happened.

Would you join me in a four-week countdown to Thanksgiving?
When we stop for a moment, we realize we have much to be thankful for.

But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
    he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
    he judges the peoples with uprightness.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 And those who know your name put their trust in you,
    for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

(Psalm 9:7-10 English Standard Version)

In our previous three days together, we have seen King David up against enemies that sought to destroy him and the kingdom of Israel – some from the outside, some from the inside.

In each of the days, we saw David put his hope, confidence, and faith in God to preserve what was good, for God to be the provider and protector of the individuals as well as the nation.

Yes, David complains loudly and passionately to God about those who would destroy him and the nation. But he does not get stuck in his laments and let them turn into a “pity party for one”. David turns to God for his hope, his strength, and the resolve to press into the day, whatever it may bring and whoever may come against him.

In today’s psalm, King David once again turns back to remember what wonderful deeds God has done in the past. And as David remembers God’s hand in the past, he places his faith in God to also hold the future.

David’s confidence in God is bolstered by remembering that God is:

  • Eternal – nations may rise up and vanish, but God is eternal and outlasts them all.
  • In Control – nations may think they are sovereign and have complete autonomy to do whatever they want, but God is in control – they are just people; they are not God.
  • Just – because God is righteous, only He can judge according to what is right and true, and the oppressed know they can run to Him for help.
  • Merciful – Not only will God judge the wicked as they deserve, He will also care for the poor and downtrodden and afflicted.

David knows God’s heart, and remembers that God will not execute justice and judgment without showing mercy to those that have been wronged.

As David makes space in his schedule and in his mind to consider all God has done, is doing, and will do, his mind rests in the goodness of God. The overwhelming goodness of God then leads David to praise and worship.

David knows he can give everything and everyone to God, and does so.

May this paraphrase of David’s psalm speak deeply to your soul today:

But the Lord of eternity, our mighty God, lives and reigns forever!
He sits enthroned as King ready to render his verdicts
and judge all with righteousness.
He will issue his decrees of judgment,
deciding what is right for the entire world,
dispensing justice to all.
All who are oppressed may come to you as a
shelter in the time of trouble, a perfect hiding place.
10 May everyone who knows your mercy
keep putting their trust in you,
for they can count on you for help no matter what.
O Lord, you will never, no never, neglect those
who come to you.

(Psalm 9:7-10, The Passion Translation)

Here are the links if you would like to read the entirety of Psalm 9:
Psalm 9, English Standard Version
Psalm 9, The Passion Translation

Lord, thank You for being sovereign over individuals, groups, and entire nations. Lord, that is too big for me, but it’s not too big for You.

Lord, thank You for judging individuals as well as nations using Your righteousness as the standard across all. Lord, help me to stand for what is right and good and true, not according to my brokenness, but in alignment with Your righteousness and goodness and truth.

Lord, thank You for Your mercy that always goes with Your judgment – that You not only hate wrongdoing, but You care deeply for those who are oppressed, downtrodden, and forgotten. Lord, help me to see those whom You see, and to show kindness and Your love to them in word and deed.

Father, I put my faith and trust in You for my well-being, and for that of my children and grandchildren for generations to come. May the leaders of nations today and throughout the future remember that they are but mere mortals, and that You and You alone are eternal and sovereign and just.

Lord, bring Your judgment against wickedness of both individuals and nations, and Your justice and mercy to the innocent. Thank you for being the shelter, the stronghold where we can run when evil seeks to destroy everything and everyone in its path.

You and You alone are worthy of our praise and worship.


Thankful for God’s justice, protection, and mercy,