7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart [is] my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. This message is to those who are Jews, who believe in Jesus, and see salvation becoming available to Gentiles, and deal with behavior not godly from their peers. It is a real challenge, and they must re-think many things. Romans tells them their righteousness was not the righteousness of God, but something much less, and they had to accept it was not much better than Gentiles behavior anyway. It is shaping up to be a real tight argument just like the Roman letter.
8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. The law of Moses was going to end. They used it as a way to measure their righteousness. It could not to be used like that. Because they used it that way it had to be removed. How could forgiveness be understood, while the law was misused?
9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. [Art] thou not it that hath cut Rahab, [and] wounded the dragon? The thing they denied, is the only thing in their world that would continue. Reference to Rahab and the dragon being defeated, speaks of the victory of Israel over Egypt. Rahab, which means “breadth” is an emblematic name for Egypt, where the dragon speaks of the crocodile of the Nile river adopted as an emblem of Egypt. Drying up the waters of the Red Sea providing a path for Israel to cross, completing this reference to Egypt and the delivery of God’s people. The God whose righteousness they claimed to follow is the one who destroyed Egypt, and stole his people away. They might like to ask; on what basis did he destroy one people, to save another? Was it because the one was more worthy than the other? Everything we know of that event tells us the people were far from their God.
God takes them back to Egypt to teach them, God did not choose them because they were more righteous than Egypt? His plan was to deliver Egypt through them.
10 [Art] thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? And because he delivered them then, they have the assurance he will deliver them again. Their rightness is not the issue. If it were, they would have cause for concern. They would have reason to doubt. But it does not depend on them, just as it did not depend on them when delivered from Egypt. They are God’s redeemed. A ransom given for them. We are getting to the issue of Romans. The redeemed delivered based on faith. It is a gift.
11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy [shall be] upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; [and] sorrow and mourning shall flee away. Zion elevated in the earth. The people will joy over the city of David. Jew and Gentile will be glad, and God will be seen to be the only one who does as he claims he will do. Remember he is addressing the faithful, intimidated by the law keepers, and he asks them to explain, why be frightened by mere men? They understand these things, and yet cower from the argument of these thugs.
If their hope was based on law, and they did not keep the law, then they have little to be happy and confident about. But if it is faith, they have joy and gladness and comfort.