Weds 5 May - Psalm 94
1 The Lord is a God who avenges.
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long, Lord, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
4 They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, Lord;
they oppress your inheritance.
6 They slay the widow and the foreigner;
they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, ‘The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice.’
8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile.
12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’
your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you –
a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will destroy them.
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Meditation on Psalm 94
Psalms 93 and 95 are welcome wrap-arounds to our Psalm. The study notes in my Bible say, ‘they celebrate the eternal, universal and invincible reign of the LORD. They offer a majestic confession of faith in and hope for the kingdom of God on earth.’
In that context we find the Psalmist in Psalm 94 appealing to the LORD to deal with those who are arrogant and wicked – as Psalm 92:6 and Psalm 94:8 refer to them as ‘senseless people who do not know, fools who do not understand … - when will you become wise?’
Verses 1-3 Who is God?
He is ‘the avenger… the Judge’. And the Psalmist wants to know how long the present situation is going on for.
Here is the cry of many of God’s people around the world today – ‘How long, LORD…?’
Remember Abraham when he pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah – Genesis 18:23-25 “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked…? Abraham asked, knowing that his nephew, Lot, was living in Sodom. Then comes Abraham’s confession of faith – “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’
Verses 4-7 Who are the wicked?
- they seem to enjoy what they are doing
- they are arrogant
- they boast
- they crush the LORD’s people
- they oppress the LORD’s inheritance (i.e. the LORD’s people)
- they murder
If these characteristics are not bad enough, they think that they will get away with it.
“the LORD doesn’t see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
Verses 8-11 That’s what they think!
Read Psalm 10:2-11 to see how the wicked are described there. They don’t think anything is wrong. What they don’t realise is what David declared in Psalm 139:7-12
Here in our Psalm, the Psalmist is making it very clear that the LORD…
- knows everything – including men’s plans.
How relevant, how up-to-date is this Psalm when we look around the world today. Isn’t this what Jesus predicted when He said, “Watch out that no-one deceives you…Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom… brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child… Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death... there will be an increase in wickedness.”
Verses 12-15 There’s a better way
… because we can have total confidence in the Lord, even though He has to discipline us sometimes (many times?!).
Remember what the writer to the Hebrews said, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves and chastens everyone He accepts as His son.’
The wicked WILL NOT have the last say. Their final judgment will be based on the righteousness of the Judge.
As for the Lord’s people, we can be confident in Him because ‘He will never forsake us.’
Verses 16-19 There’s a Helper on that way
If there weren’t, I would be helpless and hopeless. I would be prone to anxiety attacks. I would be overwhelmed and struggling.
But the Lord is always there to help and His unfailing love will carry me through and I will be able to rejoice.
Verses 20-23 BUT …
Here is another great ‘BUT’ in Scripture. Whatever I am going through, however I may be feeling. There are times when everything may conspire against me.
- the LORD is my FORTRESS
- my God is my ROCK
- I am SAFE with Him
- The LORD our God is the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE
We are in very good hands.
Thursday 6 April - Psalm 95
Friday 7 April - Psalm 96
Saturday 8 May - Psalm 97
Sunday 9 May - Psalm 98
Monday 10 May - Psalm 99
Tuesday 11 May - Psalm 100