Against the Righteous

Thursday, October 19, 2017, 9:11 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Wait.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 37:1-15 (NIV).

The Wicked Plot (vv. 12-15)

The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

Who are the wicked? They are all those who practice evil, doing wrong to others. They are those who are immoral, depraved, perverse, and unjust. They are also those who make a practice of being mean, hateful, cutting, cruel and malicious towards other human beings. Although they know that God exists, for God has revealed himself to them through his created works, “they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened… They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised” (Ro. 1:21, 25).

So, God gave them over to their sinful ways, to do what ought not to be done. “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Ro. 1:28-32).

Because they resist God, and choose to go their own way, instead, they end up hating and resenting those who do follow the Lord and who live righteously, and thus they plot evil against them. One of the most prominent plots against the righteous which they scheme is to try to find ways to bring the righteous down to their level, to convince them to sin against God and to doubt God’s Word to us, which, of course, comes straight from hell. They will also try to destroy the reputations of the righteous through false accusations, or through setting traps in hopes to trip them up. And, if that doesn’t work, they will persecute them severely and even put them to death.

Do Not Fret (vv. 1-2, 8-11)

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Even though the wicked plot and carry out evil against us, we are not to fret (fear, worry). Our God is completely sovereign over all which he has made. The wicked cannot do what they do unless God allows it, and for a purpose. Evil only exists because God has not yet chosen to destroy it. When he does, it will entail the wrath of God being poured out on the people of the earth. And, then the end will come, and the righteous will be forever with their Lord, where there will be no more sin, sorrow, crying or pain. Amen!

Trust the Lord (vv. 3-7)

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

So, what are we to do when the wicked assail us? We are to trust in the Lord and in his sovereignty, believing that God knows what is best, that he will carry out his purposes, and that he will accomplish his will for our lives. Not only are we to trust him with our lives, even in the direst of circumstances, but we are to delight in him, commit our way to him, be still before him, and wait patiently for him to do all that he has promised he would do.

This means that we don’t retaliate (get even, take revenge), but that we pay back evil with good. We love our enemies by doing good to them, praying for them, forgiving them, and asking the Lord to save their souls. Even when people hate and mistreat us, we are kind back to them. But, kindness also means that we speak the truth in love, for it is neither loving or kind to ever tell people lies, even if the lies make them feel good. So, kindness confronts sin in sinful humans, warns of divine judgment, and calls for repentance.

This also means that we take our situations to the Lord in prayer, and we commit (entrust, hand over) our ways to Him. We don’t take action unless directed by the Lord, unless it is action that he has already directed through his written Word. We let him be our defense, our counsel and our help, rather than take matters into our own hands. If we are accused falsely, we ask him how to respond. But, if we blow it, and we respond in the flesh, then we apologize, we ask for forgiveness, and we lean on the Lord and on his strength and power to do better the next time a situation like that arises.

Wait! / An Original Work / February 8, 2014

Wait for your Lord. Be of courage.
Be strong, and take heart today.
God is always watching o’er you.
Trust Him with your life always.

Sing of your Lord. Praise His blessings.
Believe in His sovereignty.
He delivered you from your sin;
Gave you life eternally.

Rest in your Lord. Know His promise.
Beneath His wings rest secure.
Your God has a plan and purpose.
Let your faith in Him endure.

Trust in your Lord. He’ll not leave you,
Because He is faithfulness.
He will lead and guide; protect you.
In His love you can find rest.

 

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