Justice, Man's or God's?

Psalm 9:1-20 (ESV)

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins; their cities you rooted out; the very memory of them has perished. But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted. Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation. The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah

The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O LORD! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah

According to Adam Clarke’s commentary, this psalm may have been written at—or about—the death of Goliath. Or it may be about the Lord Jesus. It seems there are many interpretations and opinions on the purpose of this Psalm. To me it seems to speak about the Lord Jesus. I do not see anything about Goliath in here. Why would David have written a Psalm about Goliath that is as complimentary as this Psalm is?

David took up arms against Goliath—with a mere slingshot—because Goliath was blaspheming the God of Israel.

Regardless of the original intent of the Psalm, it clearly—in my opinion—is a prophetic Psalm speaking about Christ. For there is none other that can lift us up from the gates of death. There is none other that can bring judgment on the nations. Yes Goliath was the champion of the Philistines, but he meted out his version of justice on a scale which was certainly not fair nor balanced.

The Lord will mete out justice fairly. While all stand condemned without the Grace of God, those of us who have received the grace freely given by our Lord through His death and resurrection, will pass judgment despite what we deserve. We have the Propitiation: His Blood covering our sin.

As we celebrate Holy Week, remembering the Passion of the Lord on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, let us renew our commitment to Him! Our church is showing a live production of a play on Jesus on Good Friday. Come, Celebrate Jesus with us, at 4pm Pacific time, bring your pizza or dinner. If you cannot do that, watch the Passion of the Christ sometime this week–have plenty of kleenex handy–I cannot watch that movie with dry eyes.

Of all that we do in the Christian Church, the remembering of His Passion and Resurrection is the key. The most important. For without His death and resurrection, we are all still dead in our sin.

by Virgil Stripes

photo: Spina Christi -- the Thorns of Christ -- believed to be the type of tree from which Jesus' crown of thorns was made.

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