God Who Avenges?
1. Human misunderstanding
a. The Israelites’ misunderstanding (1-4)
O LORD, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth. Rise up, O Judge of the earth; pay back to the proud what they deserve. How long will the wicked, O LORD, how long will the wicked be jubilant? They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting.
b. The enemy’s misunderstanding (5-7)
They crush your people, O LORD; they oppress your inheritance. They slay the widow and the alien; they murder the fatherless. They say, “The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob pays no heed.”
2. Differences in race and ethnicity are not the problem
a. Those who are foolish (8-11)
Take heed, you senseless ones among the people; you fools, when will you become wise? Does he who implanted the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? Does he who disciplines nations not punish? Does he who teaches man lack knowledge? The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile.
b. Those who are blessed (12-15)
Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law; you grant him relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked. For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance. Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.
3. Who protects the way of the blessed? (16-23)
Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Can a corrupt throne be allied with you– one that brings on misery by its decrees? They band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the LORD our God will destroy them.
As humans, we have a tendency of making enemies of those who are not our enemies, fearing and attacking them. The Israelites were no exception, and through the psalmist, the Bible teaches us the sinful nature that is in all of us regardless of our racial or ethnic identity. The only way to win against sin is to walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.
- How had the Israelites misunderstood God?
- Why doesn’t God just vanquish the evil in the world?