An Unjust World
Dear Father, You are the giver of life and truth and grace. I thank You for all Your mercies.
Read Psalm 59:1-17
 For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
In Luke 9 we see the rejection of the one who alone can heal that tortured boy. Think about injustice and let the feeling seep into your soul.
The feeling of injustice is vivid in this psalm. The setting, given in the preface, is 1 Samuel 19:11-17: Saul sends storm troopers to kill David at home in front of his wife (Saul’s daughter), even though David has served him faithfully and victoriously, not least in giving him victory over the monstrous Goliath. It is a brutal and unjustified abuse of power, motivated by jealousy and fear. David compares his attackers to a pack of ravenous dogs running wild in the streets, scavenging wildly for food and vomiting in the gutters (6,7,14,15).
Three things are remarkable about this psalm. First, David doesn’t get lost in his own pain, but sees his experience as an instance of a worldwide scar. Appealing to God, he says, “rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors … you scoff at all those nations” (5,8). The dogs prowl round the houses of the innocent all over the world, and David knows that others face the kind of injustice he feels.
Second, David looks wholly to God to answer his need. He looks to God for deliverance and protection (1,2), for justice and the punishment of his enemies (11-13), and for encouragement right now (9,16,17). Of course, we know that this trust didn’t make David passive: he took steps to escape, and all through his life trusting in God went hand-in-hand with sharpening his sword. He felt no incompatibility between these! He trusted God to deliver, protect and bring justice, as he took vigorous steps of his own. Finally, David is animated by a vision of love, totally at odds with his situation: “in the morning I will sing of your love” (16). This is surely the wonderful factor that underlies everything else here.
Can you share David’s anger at injustice? Express it to God in prayer today. Should you do something about it?
Lord God Almighty (5), my strength, my fortress (9), my loving God (10). You go before me through the ups and downs (10), in that I am completely secure.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.