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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones? Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men?”—Psalm 58:1 (NKJV)
David didn’t hold back any punches—at least not as a psalmist. It’s rather admirable, but I admit some of his psalms cause my jaw to drop. Psalm 58 is one of them. It hurls a mocking, venomous outcry against judicial corruption, revealing a man raging toward the wicked, calling for judgment.
David’s son Solomon later penned, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV). Injustice and rebellion against God spans generations. David saw it, we see it, and in His ministry, Jesus also witnessed the dismantlement of His Father’s desire for us all to “administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another” (Zechariah 7:9 NIV).
Jesus explained this justice, mercy, and compassion quite well when He said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24 NKJV). This comment was directed to the Jewish authorities who condemned His healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5). Not only did Jesus heal on the Sabbath, but the result of that healing caused the man to carry his pallet. Both these acts were considered unlawful. Jesus defended His action in John 7:23 (NKJV): “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?” Essentially, it was fine for flesh to be taken away on the Sabbath, but shocking for Jesus to make a man whole.
Seems absurd, doesn’t it? But then again . . . there is nothing new under the sun.
It’s incredibly easy for us to find fault rather than fruit. We put on our legalistic spectacles to scrutinize those inside and outside the church. We judge as a course of human nature, but often not uprightly. We often size people up based on our own value system, tearing down what God is building up.
The Jewish authorities at the time of Christ operated under the Law of Moses. But we operate under the Law of Love and should keep the perspective of “but for the grace of God go I.”
Although we are surrounded with injustice, there will be an ultimate judgment, and with it a sanctifying rejoicing when God is glorified and wickedness put to rest (Psalm 149). In the meantime, we should be praying for revival and acting with true justice, compassion, and mercy.
DIG: Ask the Holy Spirit for understanding and then read Matthew 7:1-5, James 4:12, and 1 Corinthians 4:3-5. Contrast these verses with Proverbs 28:23 and Galatians 6:1.
DISCOVER: What do you see the Lord telling you about how judgment should be directed?
DISPLAY: See how this new understanding will speak to you in how you edify, guide, and treat others.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.