Do You Judge Others Uprightly?

Psalms 58:1-2 ESV

“Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
your hands deal out violence on earth.”

Benson Commentary says this on verse 1: “Do you indeed speak righteousness? – No: you are far from it. You censure me freely without regard to truth or justice.” I feel that! I have experienced that censure without regard to truth or justice. It doesn’t feel good. And Benson sees “you gods” as a band of men “and seems to point at Saul’s judges and counselors, who met together to consult what they should do against David, and probably passed a sentence upon him as guilty of treason and rebellion.”

Have you ever been falsely judged in this way? I have! If you are truly following Jesus with your life, and if you are doing the things he said we must do as his followers, he said we would be hated and persecuted, and that we would have people speak evil against us and accuse us falsely of things we did not do and make unjust judgments about us, because he said we will be treated as he was, and that is how our Lord was treated by his peers, and by his own people, and by some of his family members, too.

So, it should not surprise us when we are treated that way and when others who profess faith in Jesus Christ wrongly judge us and thus cast us aside as not worthy to even be regarded as the Lord’s servants. But they are judging us according to human and worldly standards and not according to God’s standards, and by humanistic philosophy and culture and tradition rather than by the word of the Lord. And so their judgments are not upright, and their treatment of us is wrong and it is unkind and it is unjust.

Psalms 58:3-5 ESV

“The wicked are estranged from the womb;
they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
or of the cunning enchanter.”

Well, we are all born into this world with sin natures, in the image (likeness) of Adam, who was the first man to sin against God. So all have sinned and have come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness. And so God the Father sent Jesus, God the Son, to the earth to be born as a baby to a human mother, but conceived of the Holy Spirit. And ultimately Jesus’ purpose in coming to the earth was to die on a cross whereby he put our sins to death with him so that we can now, by faith in him, die to sin and live to his righteousness. For by God’s grace, through faith, we are saved.

But not everyone believes in Jesus, and not everyone who professes Jesus as Savior and Lord believes in Jesus, in truth. For not all who say to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the ones DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23). So to believe in Jesus requires that we obey him, not in absolute perfection, but in practice. And we are not to be those who are deliberately and habitually sinning against our Lord and other humans, but we are to be living holy lives.

Therefore, not everyone who professes to believe in Jesus leaves their lives of sin behind them, but many hold on to living in sin and for self because they don’t want to let go of their sins. And so they go on in their sin, and in their wickedness, and they end up being those who speak lies and who stop up their ears and who refuse to hear the truth. And they are malicious in disposition, especially against those who are truly following the Lord with their lives. And they are beyond persuasion to have a change of heart and mind and to do what is right, kind, and just towards others.

Psalms 58:6-7 ESV

“O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.”

Now, under the New Covenant we are taught that we are to love our enemies, and that we are to do good to them and to pray for them and to say to them what is beneficial for them, for their good. And so we should be praying for their salvation and for them to repent of their sins and to have that change of heart and mind that we all need to have to be born again of the Spirit of God. And we are not to retaliate, but we are to forgive, and we are to accept that vengeance is God’s right, not ours.

So, when I read some of these Old Testament passages of Scripture, particularly in the Psalms, where the psalmist is calling for vengeance on his enemies, I don’t believe that we are now to pray that kind of prayer, but that we should be praying for their salvation. But personally I believe that we can be praying that the Lord will do something in their lives to get their attention and to bring them to their knees so that they will repent of their wickedness, and so that they will turn their hearts to Jesus and be saved.

Blessed Be Your Name

by Matt Redman

In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness

When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering

Blessed be the name of the Lord

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
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