Ps 94:1-2 O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!
I am reminded of the ancient Klingon Proverb: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Have you ever been so hurt by someone you wanted to hurt them back? Were you ever in a situation where you were minding your own business, trying to do good and live right and be productive only to be robbed? When I say robbed, I mean robbed of personal belongings, robbed of income, robbed of food, robbed of dignity, robbed of safety and security, robbed of innocence, robbed of time, robbed of information, robbed of your belief, robbed a relationship, robbed of love, robbed peace, robbed of ________? We’ve all lost something or someone. We’ve all experienced hurt and pain. We know these things as individuals and we know them as social groups. There are wicked individuals in our personal lives and there are wicked groups who oppress and terrorize communities and even whole nations. It is natural to want revenge. It is natural to hate wickedness. Those who are guilty are indeed proud, unafraid, powerful over men – yet fools before God. We are taught to be people who show love, but there’s another side to the coin. Jesus told his disciples to shake the dust off their feet if they leave a home that wouldn’t accept Him. We have an enemy – the powers and principalities – and these are manifest through great and terrible people who not only reject God, but embrace evil.
The Age Old Question
Ps 94:3 O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?
One of the great arguments against God and thus against Christianity and Judaism is the presence of persistent evil in our world. It began in the garden and has never left us since. We know good and evil. We all do what seems good to us. The wise seek God’s goodness for only with God is our desire for goodness truly realized. Evil seeks carnal goodness which it perceives as natural pleasure. The corrupted self, blind to the goodness of God, seeks what appears good to it – power, money, and exultation.
Ps 94:9-11 He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see? He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge— the Lord [YHWH]—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.
When we give ourselves a little pity party and think woe is me, we foolishly think God doesn’t know, doesn’t see or hear, or doesn’t care. We think because circumstances in our lives aren’t what we desire that He isn’t paying attention. We think when we are abused the guilty are allowed to revel in their pleasures while we are supposed to idly suffer. Speak from your heart, for the Lord will hear. Incline your mind and your heart to His words, for he alone knows the heart and His Spirit will indwell you if you seek it. He alone knows and so only His knowledge should we seek. Learn all good things and above all, know that He is God.
Ps 94:12-13 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
Be honest – who likes discipline? Raise your hand… I hear crickets. Discipline isn’t meant for pleasure. It’s a price we pay for something far more valuable and everlasting. We are called to life in abundance. That doesn’t mean Mercedes and caviar, but it does mean knowing an internal peace that passes all understanding. It means knowing the contentment of friendship – with like-minded members of the body of Christ as well as the Lord Himself. It means not being alone. The holy law is an instrument of freedom, not confinement. Discipline is an instrument by which power and authority is given, not taken away. The moment is temporary, but time brings with it glory for the disciplined disciple but the grave for the wicked fool.
Ps 94:14 For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;
Not only does God know, but God cares. When we become self-absorbed we sometimes forget God’s promise. Whether we remember or forget, God is God and God will keep His word. If we are forsaken, we have forsaken ourselves for He will never leave us.
Ps 94:19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
We live in the world. Christ tells us not to be of it (not to live in agreement with it), but still we are locked in our flesh while we walk this earth. We all face day to day problems. One day it is a car problem, the next it’s the plumbing, and if it’s a really bad day we might be suddenly looking for work or fighting a spouse or facing any number of far more vile horrors. In our darkest hour, even in the shadow of death, our Shepherd will lead us. No matter the storm, He will calm our seas. When we learn to trust Him fully, we can smile in the face of it, knowing greater is He within us, than he that is in the world.
Ps 94:22 But the Lord [YHWH] has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.
We can find solace in our temporal issues, in the midst of the fallen world around us and all its problems, in the surety of an immovable everlasting absolute. We become immovable, anchored to a sure mooring, when we plant ourselves in the stronghold of the rock of our refuge. He is refuge from the storms of this world, the barricade from its barrage, and the victor over its greatest opponent – death.
Ps 94:17 If the Lord [YHWH] had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
The sobering reality is our bodies will not last forever. Life tires the soul and deteriorates the flesh. The death we expect is certain, but the death of flesh, like life itself, is temporal. The fact remains, without the help of our Lord, or God the Father, and our mediator Jesus Christ the Begotten of God who is the forgiver of sin for those who believe, we would in fact be at our end forever when death comes. Eternal life is the gift of God, for those who believe. Belief isn’t merely a nodding of the head or even an emotional response. Belief is a choice – a decision that you stick with. It must endure, and it must not be limited to a nod of the head or a few words spoken in vain or some singular religious act. It is its own gift – life.