Psalm 9: 13-14 Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation.
Response : In previous verses, David celebrated the favors conferred upon him in order to make way for prayer. He does not, here insert the prayers which he had formerly made in the midst of his dangers and anxieties; but he purposely implores help from God at the present time, and asks that He, whom he had often experienced as his deliverer, would continue the exercise of the same grace towards him. His enemies, whom he had already vanquished on various occasions, have gathered new courage, and raised new forces, and made a desperate effort to make him fall. It is indeed certain, that David, when he offered this prayer, was seized with the greatest fear; for he would not, on account of a small matter, have called upon God to witness his affliction in the way he here does. It ought to be
– observe that while he humbly brings himself to the mercy of God, he bears, with a patient and submissive mind, the cross which was laid upon him.
– mark, the title which he gives to God, calling him his lifter up from the gates of death.
By this the Psalmist,
– in the first place, strengthens his faith from his past experience, inasmuch as he had often been delivered from the greatest dangers.
– in the second place, assures himself of deliverance, even in the very jaws of death; because God is accustomed not only to succor his servants, and to deliver them from their calamities by ordinary means, but also to bring them from the grave, even after all hope of life is cut off. The gates of death is a metaphorical expression, denoting the utmost perils which threaten destruction, or , which lay the grave open before us.
So that neither the weight of the calamities which we presently endure, nor the fear of those which we see impending over us, may overwhelm our faith, or interrupt our prayers, let us call to our remembrance that the office of lifting up his people from the gates of death is not left to God in vain.
That I may recount. David’s meaning simply is, that he will celebrate the praises of God in all assemblies, and, wherever there is the greatest concourse of people, (for at that time it was the custom to hold assemblies at the gates of cities;).With the allusion to the gates of death,it is as if he had said, After I am delivered from the grave, I will do my endeavor to bear testimony, in the most public manner, to the goodness of God, manifested in my deliverance.
It is not sufficient to utter the praises of God with our tongues, if they do not proceed from the heart, so the Psalmist, in the last clause of the verse, expresses the inward joy with which he would engage in this exercise, And that I may rejoice in thy salvation; as if he had said, I desire to live in this world for no other purpose than to rejoice in having been preserved by the grace of God.
I praise You, O my God, that You have saved me from eternal death and separation from You, that You are with me even when my enemies re-group to cause my downfall. I can trust You for deliverance even to the end, even physical death, for You have raised me up to live for ever in the spirit. Lord You will outlast all my enemies even the greatest enemy of our souls. Thank You eternal Lord, for Your faithfulness to the end. May I follow You faithfully, and grant me the favor of proclaiming Your faithfulness to me, to all who need to hear it. Amen.