DayBreaks for 5/05/16 – These Wicked People
From the DayBreaks archives, May 2006:
Psalm 58:1-3, 10-11 – Justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the word? Do you judge the people fairly? No, all your dealings are crooked; you hand out violence instead of justice. These wicked people are born sinners; even from birth they have lied and gone their own way… The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged. They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then at last everyone will say, “There truly is a reward for those who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.
This Psalm is a scorching tirade that reflects David’s deep frustration. In case you’d not noticed, the world is not a fair place and perhaps it is only our foolish expectation that it will be fair and good that sets us up for disappointment and heartbreak. While it seems David is ranting, he is only stating the truth. Why should it offend us so? Perhaps because it is in the nature of truth that it offends and stings and reveals our own brokenness to us so clearly.
Verse 3 would seem to be directed against David’s enemies (“these wicked people are born sinners,” David virtually shouts), but in reality, it is a self-condemnation of us all. We are all wicked people, we have all gone astray, there is none that is righteous, all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags. We are quick to jump on others, perhaps even to join in David’s outpouring of anger and frustration, but we should slow down and see ourselves in the words of David. If these words had been written by God, not David, would any of us have argued with them? I think not. (And weren’t they written by God?)
It is because of our recognition of our fallenness and inclusion in the “wicked people” that it is hard to accept the truth of verses 10 and 11. But if the Scripture promises us one thing, it is that God loves us (even though we are “these wicked people”) and that He forgives us through our faith in Christ and that there will be justice against all those who remain in their wickedness. The last sentence is difficult – we believe in the reward, but it is much harder to believe that there is a God who judges justly here on earth. That part is hard to accept or believe, yet we cannot doubt that it will happen.
Passages like this should encourage us and make us more grateful that He’s changed His view of us from wicked ones to “the godly”. What a transformation has occurred in His mind towards us!
PRAYER: What a wonder it is, Lord, that you should have changed us from being your enemies to being not just your friends, but your very children – the apple of your eye! Help us to not lose heart because your judgment is delayed upon this world of wickedness, but rather to see it as the perfect evidence of your incredible patience and desire for us all to come to believe in your Son, Jesus. Help us to truly see ourselves as you see us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.