Lent 30 (2012)–Justice Gets Done!

Psalm 129:1 A song of ascents. They have greatly oppressed me from my youth– let Israel say– 2 they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. 3 Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. 4 But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. 5 May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. 6 May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow; 7 with it the reaper cannot fill his hands, nor the one who gathers fill his arms. 8 May those who pass by not say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the name of the LORD.” (NIV)

We’ve been marching “Up to Jerusalem” with Jesus in Luke’s Gospel and singing the pilgrim songs called the Songs of Ascents. 

Today we come to the tenth Song of Ascents, and it’s kind of disturbing in a way.  It’s not uplifting or sentimental, but raw with a desire for vindication. 

Have you ever been making good progress feeling all spiritual and then you remember someone who hurt you, or some situation that was just plain wrong? 

This is kind of like today’s pilgrim song.  Expect Opposition, Seek God’s Presence and Know His Peace, God is the One from Whom All Blessings Flow, the Blessed Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  It seems like such good progress!  And then, the enemy interjects a thought of someone mean, a situation that was bad, or the opposition rises to be faced again.

What do you do when this happens?  You can do what the psalmist does.  Gaze Beyond the Hills to the presence of God in His temple and know that, just like this psalm expresses in hope, Justice Gets Done.  Maybe not today, but eventually.  Eyes ahead.  Center your thoughts.  Focus your gaze on God.  Keep walking to the temple.  Press on!

So while there have been troubles, oppression, backstabbers and wicked people trying to trip you up, “May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame.”  Let them not be blessed and may they wither. 

If you stop to think about how many centuries the Jewish people have been persecuted and opposed, hated and expelled, pursued and murdered, the survival of the Jewish people throughout a long suffering is nothing short of miraculous.  Evidence of God’s protection.  Jews and Christians alike face opposition and there is something very honest about admitting—as the imprecatory portion of this psalm does—that we want assurance:  Justice Gets Done!

We want to know that God’s enemies will have their plans foiled.  We want to know that while they pursue evil, they will not be blessed for it, and that eventually they will be judged.  We want to know that God and His faithful people will be vindicated in the end.   Justice Gets Done!

For further thought:

  • Are you ever uncomfortable with the Bible’s writers honest wrestling with unjust suffering and calling upon God to judge?
  • How do you reconcile this with Jesus’ call for us to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45)?


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 27, 2012

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