Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Allow God to Set Things Right

Psalm 94:1-23

“O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, show thyself.  Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.  LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?  How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” Psalm 94:1-4)

Romans 12:19 states, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”  Sometimes, as we see the things that go on around us, we wonder how God can let the wicked keep going and begin to ask how long God will let them get by with what they are doing.  It seems like they are  proud to think they can make up their own rules. 

“They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.  They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.  Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.” (Psalm 94:5-7)

The wicked set out to discredit and destroy God’s people. sometimes like the Moslem groups who want to kill everyone who does not practice their religion, the homosexual and transgender groups who want to have people arrested for saying their behavior is wrong, or the various socialist groups who tried to destroy the churches in their different countries.    Like the various city gangs, they attack widows and people who are not from their neighborhood, and kill kids who have no father to protect them with impunity.  They are convinced no one cares and that God will do nothing about it. 

“Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?  He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?  He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?  The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” (Psalm 94:8-15)

The people are like animals, concerned only with their own feelings at the moment.  They do not look at what is really going on and have no respect for God or for other people.  They are like the people in the Black lives movement, rioting when a black teenager is killed for shooting at the police, yet looking the otherway when thirty six black people were killed by black gangs in one weekend.   They don’t understand that eh God who gave them the ability to hear can hear himself, or that the God who gave them eyes can see what they are doing.  They refuse to believe that the God who punished their enemies will also punish them or that the one who gives them the ability to learn right and wrong knows  the difference.  God knows how foolish and worthless people’s ideas can be. 
“Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.  For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.  But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.” (Psalm 94:12-15)

Depending on what is involvesd and the attitude of the one being chastened, chastening can range from simply telling a person they are doing something wrong, to actual physical punishment.   Any kind of punishment is frowned on our day, but Hebrews 12:6-8 tells us that when properly done, it is a demonstration of love.  “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”  Parents who care about their kids teach their kids to behave properly to protect them from worse things in the future.  It is far more loving to spank a child for playing in the street than to take him to the hospital because he got run over.  It is far more humane to spank him when he steals a pencil from another child than to have him put into prison fo robbing a bank. 

The person who is chastened by the lord is seeing God’s love demonstrated to prevent his suffering the same punishment the wicked suffer for their crimes.  Though it may be painful, God does not hate his children or diown them.  The punishment will ultimately lead to proper behavior.

“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?  Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.  When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.  In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:16-19)

Without God’s help, the wicked would have everything their way because their e would be no power to stand against them.  Standing against them would result in one’s death.  It would be easier to just go along with what they wanted.  Fortunately, God si there, and when we find ourselves almost ready to give in, God is there to strengthen us, and change our attitude and focus to see how he has blessed us. 
“Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?  They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.  But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.  And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.” (Psalm 94:20-23)

God gave the law so that we might know what was acceptable and what was not, as Romans 3:19-20 tells us.  “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  Would the God who set the standard for right and wrong ignore his own standard?  The wicked condemn those who follow God’s law as being evil, like Hilary Clinton saying “we have to get rid of those old Christian teachings.” 

Instead of us trying to kill her, or the various groups that oppose us, we are to depend on God to protect us. In Deuteronomy 32:35, he said, “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”  In Romans 12:19-21, Paul tells Christians, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”  We should not allow our resentment against the way we have been treated cause us to do wrong in retaliation.  Instead, we should go out of our way to treat them right and let God settle the bill.   He can do a far better job than we could.   

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