Justice of God – Psalm 58:6-11

The Righteous Cry Out That Wicked Leaders Receive Justice In This Life

6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
7 Let them vanish like water that flows away;
when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,
like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.
10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then people will say,
“Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

Purge the Powerful

Nothing stinks quite as bad as people in leadership that have gone astray and have abused their power and responsibility over others.  For there is no authority except that which God has established.  David, having been on the receiving end of such a terrible power, the relentless pursuit by Saul’s troops for many years, cries out that their power would be broken.

Without its teeth, the lions, though powerful, would be crippled in their ability to bring down prey.  David calls for the de-fanging of those leaders who would use their power to oppress and destroy the very ones that they have been called by The Lord God Almighty to protect and to serve.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every petty dictator lost their ability to enforce their wickedness upon the helpless and the oppressed?

Salt the Slug

David makes another reference to those wicked leaders and uses the metaphor of a slug that melts as it moves along.  Slugs need the comfort and protection of darkness and a moist environment to move safely.  Just as they melt in the hot sun, or in salt, so does David wish that all wicked leaders would find themselves – melting as they move, their strength ebbing as they struggle, surely a fit end to the ones who would cripple and destroy the innocent and righteous that they themselves are oppressing.  Not only is it fit, it is just that they should, in the sight of those whom have been denied mercy, receive the same measure of mercy.

God is full of love and mercy, but He also says that a man reaps what He sows, for God cannot be mocked.  It is terrible but just when the leaders that sow wickedness in their rule are treated this way by God.  It is both a public humiliation and ruination, but also a warning to future leaders to submit themselves to God or face the same.  God gives them every opportunity to do what is right; however, there are limits even to the patience of God.  And once those limits are met, the mercy of God becomes the just wrath of God.

Quench them Quickly

For those who are oppressed by wicked rulers, relief from unrighteousness cannot come too quickly.  David calls for the swift destruction of wicked leadership.   When wickedness is allowed to flourish, it erodes the endurance of the righteous to bear it, for it appears that God either does not care, or will not intervene.  The usurpation of power of wicked rulers is greatly anticipated by the righteous, for God will not allow such behavior to continue forever.  And when anyone is on the receiving end of such vitriolic hatred and the expenditure of time and effort directed at themby wicked rulers, relief from their power is greatly desired.

Glad they’re Gone

Once the wicked have been removed from power; once the righteous have been avenged by God on behalf of their enemies, the righteous will rejoice, for they will know that God is still just.  It is only fitting that the righteous “dip their feet in the blood of the wicked”.  For so long, the righteous have had to endure oppression by wicked leaders who spill their blood and destroy their lives, that vengeance is desired.  The Lord God Almighty has said that vengeance is His, and He will repay.  The righteous look forward to that day, and pray that it occurs in their lifetime.  They will then see deliverance from evil by The Lord God Almighty Himself.

Joyful Justice

When the unjust rulers are removed from power, the righteous will rejoice, and joy will fill their hearts.  It is then that the righteous can say that they have experienced deliverance from such evil by God.  They will participate in His character through experiential knowledge of His glory and grace.  Then the wicked will fear, and the righteous rejoice, for the reign of terror and destruction will be at an end.

Beware, you rulers who seek wickedness and operate under the cloak of darkness – your time is short.  Repent now, and give glory to God, or face His wrath and your very public destruction in front of the very people you oppress.  God’s vengeance is coming, and there is nothing apart from repentance that will stop it.  You have been warned.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I walking in justice when I have been given leadership over others?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Thank You for your holiness and Your love of justice.  You alone are perfectly just, able to rightly discern the motives of our hearts and the intent of our actions.  Examine my heart, oh God, and see if there be any unrighteousness within me.  Purge it out of me, and strengthen me as I am disciplined.  Remove the dross from my character, that I may walk ever closer with You.  Destroy my enemies, oh God, just as you destroyed the enemies of David.  Give me victory over those who would oppress me, and may your vengeance be upon all who rule without mercy and justice.  May their rule in power come quickly to an end, and may their public humiliation be so great in the eyes of all, that the wicked would shudder before You and fear for their very souls.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

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