Click here for other posts in this series.
O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.
O Lord my God, if I have done this,
if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my friend with evil
or plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
and let him trample my life to the ground
and lay my glory in the dust. Selah
Arise, O Lord, in your anger;
lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
over it return on high.
The Lord judges the peoples;
judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
and according to the integrity that is in me.
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,
O righteous God!
My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge,
and a God who feels indignation every day.
If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword;
he has bent and readied his bow;
he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
making his arrows fiery shafts.
Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
and is pregnant with mischief
and gives birth to lies.
He makes a pit, digging it out,
and falls into the hole that he has made.
His mischief returns upon his own head,
and on his own skull his violence descends.
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
What an interesting Psalm. It starts out like so many others, talking about taking refuge in God. But as I got into it, I realized he was talking about taking refuge in not only the righteous God, but the God who is a righteous judge.
He sees all that is going on in our world. He see all the oppression that is not only happening now, but has happened over the years and centuries to all kinds of people. There has been so much evil. Almost every national group can point to a period in their history when they suffered injustice against them. It may have been a war, famine because of their beliefs or heredity. Other kinds of oppression occurred as well. Over time, few peoples have been left out from injustice of some sort in their history. Sometimes, it has been based on skin color, at other times, it has been based on religious beliefs, at others, it was based on economic status. Sometimes it was simply a random (in our opinion) reason that at this point in history, makes no sense!
Whether injustice is in your personal history or in the history of your family or race, the truth we need to move ahead on is that there will come a time when God is going to put the scales of justice straight. It will be wonderful to have justice meted out some day by the only One who knows the full truth of every situation.
He knows the truth of both sides of the story fully. We don’t have to stand before Him to defend our side or our understanding of our portion of the story. We don’t have to defend our continued anger over what happened in the past, whether it happened last week, last year or 500 years ago. Bringing justice to that situation is up to the righteous judge, not to us. Yes, it sounds easier than it is. But I don’t want to imply that it is easy at all!
Forgiveness is difficult. In fact, it is impossible if we don’t have Christ to enable us to forgive as He forgave us. It is impossible if we don’t think that at some point, justice will happen under the righteous judge. We can still deal with criminal charges through our imperfect justice system, but ultimately, we must trust God to deal with ultimate justice in order to be able to forgive those who have offended us and need our forgiveness.
Thankfully, we can take refuge in God in the face of injustice and brokenness that is all around us. It is a comfort that God cares when sometimes no one else seems to. Thanks be to God who gives is just and righteous and offers comfort to His people.