A seemingly contrary principle bursts from these verses, God's people worshiping and--connected--God's people judging!
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation. Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their throats and . . .
First, our Lord, Jehovah takes pleasure in his own people, and adorns the humble (again, his people whom he has made humble) with salvation (here meaning not only conversion, but deliverance from evil throughout their lives). The LORD acts first, which is always why his people are called upon (vv. 1-3) to sing new songs to him and to praise his name! Further, they are urged to "exult in glory," and to "sing for joy" even when retiring to sleep! (Contra Ps. 6:6 and mourning on his bed). "Let the high praises of God be in their throats" summarizes the immediacy of such worship. In other words, it's right there, right in their mouth, ready to burst out, because they are so filled with joy in their God!two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 149:4–9)
Christians to Judge Nations!
Second - so far, so good. But then . . . ??!! The second half of verse 6 joins to worship the judgment of nations! NOTE: I separated verse 6 with an ellipsis (. . .) but it continues without a break. In essence, I put in a break to show that there is NO BREAK in thought! Why bring this out? Because of the great and persistent confusion over judging. "We're not supposed to judge" PERIOD! . . . they say. But is this correct? Sort of. We're NOT to judge other people's motives (Matthew 7:1ff). But clearly that is not the only word on judging. For into the hands of his own people, God has committed judging. Again, just take notice of his choice of wording: two-edged swords in their hands, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written! Sharp swords executing the vengeance (of God!) according to the judgment that has been written. It is the nature of the lost to imagine that they should not be judged, and the nature of Christians which affirms we should! The world grates against God; the Christian bows happily before Him. And none does this but by the grace of God. This the Christian knows and loves.
Note Several Features:
1) Such judgment, whatever else it may entail, does not go contrary to, but emanates from our worship of God! They are intimately connected here! We must see this.
2) "Who are you to judge?" is often the question posed to Christians. And here is an answer. We are God's people, ecstatic at and humbled by our own God deliverance. And we are now (by the same God) given the responsibility of judging the nations, and angels (1 Cor. 6:3). I don't have to understand HOW we'll do this or even know exactly WHEN. The point is that IT IS COMING, and we'll be given this job.
3) This leads to the last point which is that verse 9 closes out this thought with these words, . . . "This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD!" Not only WILL we do this, but it will be our HONOR to do so!
Question . . .
Could it be that this subject, like so many others in Scripture, is overlooked due to our small-souled unwillingness to receive ALL that the LORD has to say? Does this not force us to confess that more often than we'd like to admit, we act as if we could've written the Bible better than God because we would've left out certain unpleasant doctrines?! Is this not audacious on our part? Should we not, as this Psalm teaches, be the "humble" whom God teaches? If we were more humble and less arrogant, we would hear more, believe rightly and, thus, live wholly for Christ. Thus, the true worship of God leads to a right judgment of man (including ourselves). Both hinge on and derive their weight from God alone.
Let this be our Sunday meditation. Amen.