The Lord loves justice
Psalm 37:12-29 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
13 The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees his day is coming.
14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slay those who are upright in conduct.
15 Their sword will enter their own heart,
And their bows will be broken.
16 Better is the little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the Lord sustains the righteous.
18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will be forever.
19 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have abundance.
20 But the wicked will perish;
And the enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures,
They vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
26 All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.
27 Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.
Today’s text continues the contrast between the wicked and the righteous in the eyes of the Lord. The psalmist says: The wicked plots against the righteous And gnashes at him with his teeth. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow…To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct. Certainly what the psalmist said in his day could also be said today. There is a war against righteousness in our culture and our society. The righteous and righteousness are under attack. There certainly seems to be a plot, a conspired effort to come against those who are upright in conduct. Morality is mocked and immorality is glorified. Those who choose and promote immorality gnash their teeth in anger at those who stand for righteousness. The world expects that Christians should tolerate immorality, yet righteousness has become intolerable. Look what the psalmist says: The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming. Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken. There is an old saying: He who laughs last, laughs best or longest. The world calls it karma. They say what goes around comes around. Jesus says: “In the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2) The principle of getting what is deserved is a godly principle. Galatians 6:7-9 says: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. The world and the wicked may indeed mock righteousness, but God Himself will not be mocked. Every person will reap what they sow. In Deuteronomy 32:35 God says: 'Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.'
Here’s the thing though, while vengeance and retribution are God’s that is not what He desires. Near the end of today’s text, the psalmist says: The Lord loves justice. God’s retribution is not unfair, it is really justice. Romans 6:23 says: The wages of sin is death. Death as the consequence for sin is not unfair on God’s part. It is actually justice. It is getting what is deserved. But, 2 Peter 3:9 says: The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. The second part of Romans 6:23 says: The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. So that He would not have to execute vengeance and retribution; justice for sin, God sent Jesus to give eternal life to all who believe. The psalmist says: Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. For the Lord loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. The righteous will inherit the land And dwell in it forever. Regardless of what a person has done in wickedness and evil, there is an opportunity to depart from evil and do good. To be preserved forever; to abide forever begins with believing in Christ and the cross; that because of love and for the sake of justice, Jesus died so that we could be forgiven. He died so that we could live.
Believing in and following Christ will not assure us of a truoble free life. The psalmist says: The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread. In John 16:33 Jesus says: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” In Matthew 6:25-33 Jesus says: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” As the psalmist said in yesterday’s text from the beginning of the psalm, not only everything we need, but also everything we want is found, fulfilled and given to us in Christ.
Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. Amen.