The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm for ever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Let’s just pause for a moment to get our bearings; catch our breath, and take in our surroundings. What is the context for today’s text? We have seen that the Psalm opens and closes with the theme of joy (1-3/20-22). Then verses 5 -11 focus on God in creation. Alec Motyer writes:
‘The two stanzas of this section (4-7,8-11) unite in the theme of the supreme ease with which the Creator dominates alike the physical and the personal creation. He is master of the waters (7) and the peoples (10): the waters do his bidding; the peoples are at his disposal…In OT thought the Creator is more than the initiator; he remains sovereign over his creation, worthy of the reverence of all its people and in directive management of all its affairs, restraining and dominant, purposive and irresistible.’ ‘New Bible Commentary’, p.506.
I am so grateful for verses 10,11. They truly are a text for our times. I find they give me language with which to pray about certain current affairs. They also remind me that ‘history is His story.’ God is in control, and He is working all His purposes out. He will get Jesus back to the earth in His own way and time. However powerful a human tyrant may be, he cannot successfully oppose God. The Pharaoh’s and their armies always end up submerged beneath the Red Sea, one way or another.
‘Not only the folly of the heathen, but their wisdom too, shall yield to the power of the cross of Jesus…He maketh the devices of the people of none effect. Their persecutions, slanders, falsehoods, are like puff balls flung against a granite wall—they produce no result at all; for the Lord overrules the evil, and brings good out of it. The cause of God is never in danger: infernal craft is outwitted by infinite wisdom, and Satanic malice held in check by boundless power.’ C.H.Spurgeon: ‘Treasury of David.’