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February 7, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Leviticus 19-21
Audio: Leviticus 19-21

Psalm 58 (ESV)

For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.

Do you rulers indeed speak justly?
    Do you judge people with equity?
No, in your heart you devise injustice,
    and your hands mete out violence on the earth.

Even from birth the wicked go astray;
    from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.
Their venom is like the venom of a snake,
    like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,
that will not heed the tune of the charmer,
    however skillful the enchanter may be.

Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
    Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
Let them vanish like water that flows away;
    when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,
    like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
    whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.
10 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
    when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then people will say,
    “Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
    surely there is a God who judges the earth.”


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 59

Back: Psalm 57

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
        surely there is a God who judges the earth (Psalm 58:11).

    The Justice of God

    One of the doctrines which has fallen by the wayside in modern times is the justice of God. Because many religious leaders today reject the concept of sin as defined by the Bible, reject the consequences of sin as defined by the Bible, and have adopted the views of an ungodly society that blur (or eliminate) sin in its biblical context, the justice of God has become so offensive it is rejected. 

    An incredible number of people who claim to be a Christian (a follower of Christ) refuse to accept Jesus on His terms as defined by Scripture. But when Jesus returns, He is going to separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. The goats will receive justice while the sheep receive mercy. While this is clearly stated in Matthew 25:31-46, countless churchgoing, self-identifying Christians reject this (as if not believing something makes it not true).

    Jesus identifies these "false converts" and says in Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'"

    When we reject the Bible, we reject Christ. Jesus is the Word in the flesh (John 1:14). Jesus said in John 5:39, "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me."

    When John penned his gospel, the "Scriptures" were the books of the Old Testament. 

    Jesus said in John 5:47, "But if you do not believe his writings [Moses, who authored the first five books of the Old Testament], how will you believe my words?”

    You can't separate Jesus from the Bible and be a Christian no matter what you say or think. If you put your faith in a Jesus outside of Scripture, your faith is in a false representation of Christ and as such, you are guilty of following a false god. 

    Another verse that comes to mind regarding the justice of God is Romans 12:19 which says, "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"

    John Piper writes, "In God’s anger the emphasis falls on the emotional, boiling intensity of it. And in God’s wrath the emphasis falls on the controlled, settled, considered direction and focus of its application. But we dare not draw a hard line between them. God’s anger is never out of the control of his wisdom and righteousness, and his wrath is never cool or indifferent, but is always a wisely directed fury. The wrath of God is never less than a perfect, judicial decree, but is always more than a perfect, judicial decree because it is always full of right and fitting fury.

    "And then we see from the word 'repay' and 'vengeance' that God’s wrath is his response to sin. God does not take vengeance on the innocent. When he repays with vengeance, we know there has been sin — there is something to repay. And since he is meticulously just, that repayment will be a suitable vengeance, a proper vengeance. It will not be more or less than his perfect justice demands. So here is the definition again: the wrath of God is God’s settled anger toward sin expressed in the repayment of suitable vengeance on the guilty sinner."

    As believers, we are protected against the wrath of God and the consequences of sin by receiving the righteousness of Christ. We obtain this protection through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – whose death on the cross settled God's wrath for all who believe). 

    Without Christ's perfect righteousness imputed to us, we would be left to pay the price for our sin. 

    How fitting that after the Puritan Prayer from yesterday, the next one would be "I Need Your Protection" by Philip Doddridge!


    ~ Puritan Prayers ~ 

    "I Need Your Protection" by Philip Doddridge

    "Blessed God! I flee to your almighty power. You see me surrounded with difficulties and dangers, and stretch out your omnipotent arm to save me.

    Today I put myself under your protection. Let me make the shadow of your wings my refuge. Let your grace be sufficient for me, and your strength be made perfect in my weakness.

    Strengthen my faith, Lord, and encourage my hope! Inspire me to opposing every thing that blocks my way to heaven. And let me set my face against all the assaults of earth and hell.

    If sinners entice me, let me say no. If they insult me, let me ignore it. If they threaten me, let me not fear!

    You are my glorious Redeemer, pioneer of my salvation, the great Author and Finisher of my faith. When I am in danger of denying you, as Peter did, look on me with your majesty and tenderness. Keep me from falling, or quickly lift me back up to God and my duty again!

    Show me how to learn from my missteps and to humble myself in even greater diligence and caution. Amen."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans) 

  2. I just cannot picture myself dipping my foot in "the blood of the wicked," and being glad to be avenged by God. But perhaps the psalmist is writing from a place of seeing such incredible violence and injustice against God's people, he is only refraining from taking his own earthly revenge because of his fear of God (and God's wrath and judgment). His fear of God's promised wrath on the wicked prevents him from avenging the blood of God's people. He does not want to be numbered among the wicked, but among the righteous, and so he waits for the day God's promise to avenge is fulfilled.

    On the other hand, as a Christian, I know Jesus spoke to our hatred for our enemies, and modeled for us God's heart toward those who are HIS enemies. He gave His life for them.   

    So I'm struggling with today's psalm, but also recognizing the humanity of what the psalmist is expressing — long before Jesus came to reveal the heart of God. I am sure I would have a great desire for God's vengeance if I lived somewhere where Christians are being beheaded, raped, and tortured. There are many places where that is happening today. 

     

  3. I was a few chapters behind, and I've caught up now. It seems that God may have wanted it that way! 

    I've been very concerned about some things lately, and I know God doesn't want me to worry, but to trust Him.

    These Psalms were very reassuring that if I do, I have nothing to fear. I am so grateful to have read these this morning, after going to sleep with worry and fear last night.  

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