A RIGHTEOUS GOD
Put aside troubling events and news and pray: “Lord my God, I take refuge in you” (1).
Read Psalm 7
A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.
1 Lord my God, I take refuge in you;
save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
2 or they will tear me apart like a lion
and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
3 Lord my God, if I have done this
and there is guilt on my hands—
4 if I have repaid my ally with evil
or without cause have robbed my foe—
5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
let him trample my life to the ground
and make me sleep in the dust.
6 Arise, Lord, in your anger;
rise up against the rage of my enemies.
Awake, my God; decree justice.
7 Let the assembled peoples gather around you,
while you sit enthroned over them on high.
8 Let the Lord judge the peoples.
Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,
according to my integrity, O Most High.
9 Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure—
you, the righteous God
who probes minds and hearts.
10 My shield is God Most High,
who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
a God who displays his wrath every day.
12 If he does not relent,
he will sharpen his sword;
he will bend and string his bow.
13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;
he makes ready his flaming arrows.
14 Whoever is pregnant with evil
conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.
17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectImagine for a moment that you are Jeremiah reading this psalm of King David. How might it speak to you?
Being on God’s side was not easy, either for the prophet or the psalmist. Powerful opponents to God’s words were all around. These opponents offered much more than just verbal abuse (2). The writer of the psalm calls out to God, aware of his own failings (3–5). But he knows where his heart is, and he trusts that God does too (8,10). His suffering doesn’t seem fair. Why doesn’t his righteous God do something (6)?
After the psalmist’s lament, he asserts his trust in God “my shield” (10). Comfort and strength seem to come through the psalmist’s fresh awareness that God is “righteous” (10,11). Finally, evil will be defeated by God, and those who plan and act against him will be judged (14–16). The words of the psalm perhaps hint at a time in the future when all will see that God reigns (7). But for now, like the psalmist, we can be confident that God sees us, knows us, and stands alongside his faithful people (10). Are we ready to take our place with the prophet, the psalmist, and our God, to speak out for his just and right ways?
Write out your “laments” to God. Now write down your assurances in who God is.
“I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness” (17).