1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
3 When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before your presence.
4 For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.
5 You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
6 The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
their cities you rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.
This psalm is one of general judgment. But all judgment is to be proceeded by praise for God. The glory of God’s name and deeds (v. 1-2) cannot be removed from the judgment of David’s enemies (v. 3). It is with this in mind that the judgments of the wicked and righteous occurring simultaneously should not be a surprise (John 5:27-29). For it is through this that our cause is made just. It is through this that we find righteousness. That is why judgment is essential to the gospel (Rom 2:6-11, 16).
The temporal account of the rebuking of the nation may seem unnatural to those of us waiting for a universal judgment (Matt 25:31-46). This type of language should assure us of the typological nature of this language while maintaining its temporal and partial fulfillment. Even the language of “blotting out names” is both eternal (v. 5) and temporal (Rev 3:5). In many cases this language is even covenantal in nature (Deut 9:14; 29:20-21).
Some temporal judgments are eternal judgments. Eternal judgments can occur in temporal events. The judgment David writes about is against his enemies (v. 3) and yet is still everlasting (v. 6). This is how texts like Paul’s to the church of Thessalonica can be both temporal and typological, though maybe not descriptive, of the future judgment (2 Thess 1:7-10).