JUDGES HAVE A JUDGE
Father, thank You that You are on the throne, that You hate injustice, and that You will make everything right in the end.
Read Psalm 58
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam.[b]
1 Do you rulers indeed speak justly?
Do you judge people with equity?
2 No, in your heart you devise injustice,
and your hands mete out violence on the earth.
3 Even from birth the wicked go astray;
from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.
4 Their venom is like the venom of a snake,
like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,
5 that will not heed the tune of the charmer,
however skillful the enchanter may be.
6 Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
7 Let them vanish like water that flows away;
when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
8 May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,
like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.[c]
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.”
a Psalm 58:1 In Hebrew texts 58:1-11 is numbered 58:2-12.
b Psalm 58:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
c Psalm 58:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
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.
ReflectWe see injustice on the news. We may experience it in our lives. What injustice stirs a reaction in you?
We see injustice on the news. We may experience it in our lives. What injustice stirs a reaction in you?
In this psalm, David writes about the injustice of rulers in his time. In the first five verses he describes how human leaders can be so corrupt and wicked. Not only do they devise evil in their hearts, but it also pours out of their mouths like poison and is served up by their hands. We live in a world where people crave justice and equity but so often see the opposite.
David’s response is in the strongest possible terms. While the language is shocking in verses 6 to 9, it shows just how much injustice is evil. It deserves to be judged in no uncertain terms. And David knows where to look for that judgment. The solution is not to be found in human action, petitions, “being the change,” etc.—all good things, but not an ultimate solution.
The solution to injustice in our world is our just God. Verses 10 and 11 anticipate the joy that will be ours in the day when every injustice will be overturned. God is the Judge, and he will make things right.
How can you help fight injustice? What is a cause or personal situation that God has put on your heart to stand up for? Take the first step today to stand for the right.
God, help me know what to do now, and help me wait for You to act. You are God and I am not. Thank You for that truth. Amen.
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