Psalm 58: Only God Judges People Fairly. We will See Injustice Avenged

Psalm 58: Only God Judges People Fairly. We will See Injustice Avenged

If you feel that there is too much injustice in the world, this psalm is for you! Injustice is not a new thing. David experienced it back in the day. Furthermore, he knew who to call out to. Let’s dig in…

Psalm 58

For the choir director: A psalm (miktam) of David, to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!” (That’s the same tune as the last one. I think they go together. Click here if you missed it.)

Justice—do you rulers (gods) know the meaning of the word?
    Do you judge the people fairly?
No! You plot injustice in your hearts.
    You spread violence throughout the land.
These wicked people are born sinners;
    even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.
They spit venom like deadly snakes;
    they are like cobras that refuse to listen,
ignoring the tunes of the snake charmers,
    no matter how skillfully they play.

Break off their fangs, O God!
    Smash the jaws of these lions, O Lord!
May they disappear like water into thirsty ground.
    Make their weapons useless in their hands.
May they be like snails that dissolve into slime,
    like a stillborn child who will never see the sun.
God will sweep them away, both young and old,
    faster than a pot heats over burning thorns.

10 The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged.
    They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then at last everyone will say,
    “There truly is a reward for those who live for God;
    surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.”

Psalm 58 NLT

Let God Deal with Injustice

Psalm 58 is an Imprecatory Psalm. To imprecate means to curse. There are several imprecatory psalms written by David. Here, he calls down judgment on evil men. As Pastor Sandy Adams puts it…

The imprecatory psalms encourage our desire for justice. Rather than suppress a righteous eruption, these psalms teach us the safest way to deal with rage is to bring it to God — place our feelings at His feet.

Pastor Sandy Adams

Many times when I’m studying and preparing to do this blog and podcast, I discover devotionals that I couldn’t have written better my self. In this case, I’m going with Spoken Gospel‘s devotional on this psalm which covers the whole injustice issue perfectly…

King David is angry. The kings of the world are silent when they see injustice. David sarcastically asks, “Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity?” (Psalm 58:1).

The implied answer is “No!” David uses a play on words to sharpen his point. The Hebrew word behind the word “rulers” is also translated as “silence” and even “gods” depending on your translation. This flexibility is intentional. The injustice of wicked rulers is entwined in the silence of their gods. Together, the forces of false religion and politics unjustly plot to benefit themselves at the expense of those under them (Psalm 58:2).

These wicked spiritual and political elites have been crooked since birth (Psalm 58:3). They’re lying snakes. Their words are venom. They are so determined to do harm that no snake charmer can temper their restless evil (Psalm 58:4-5). The psalmist prays that God will break the fangs out of their mouths and (changing the metaphor) make these lions toothless, this evil flood evaporate, these sharp arrows blunt, and these slug-like men melt (Psalm 58:6-8a). The final request asks God to make it as if these unjust gods and kings had never been born (Psalm 58:8b).

The psalmist then expresses settled confidence that God will wipe away evil thoroughly and finally (Psalm 58:9). The innocent righteous will one day dip their feet in the blood of their defeated enemies (Psalm 58:10). The justice of this will be so incontrovertible that people from all over the world will agree with God’s actions.

Contrary to what they previously said, they now say that doing justice will always be rewarded, and God will silence evil (Psalm 58:11). Interestingly, in the last verse, the word translated “God” in most Bibles is actually the word “gods.” This final play on words implies that appeals to “the gods” bring universal judgment, but appeals to the one God will bring final justice to all who are oppressed.

Where is the Gospel?

Psalm 58 is a cry for justice against the corrupt from the mouth of someone who has suffered under evil and silence. It’s often difficult for those of us who have not experienced great evil and calloused silence to sympathize with the strong language used to describe these evil leaders and gods. It’s even more difficult for us to ask God, as the psalmist does, to “dip our feet” in the blood of these defeated moral monsters (Psalm 58:10).

Often our discomfort is a function of our relative safety. But once you’ve been hunted by the secret police, or watched as loved ones are buried in mass graves, (or the horrors of human trafficking), you are confronted with the need for strong words against injustice and the final obliteration of the people, institutions, and systems that cause it. It’s only the oppressors and the privileged who cringe at the vengeance and retribution described here.

One day soon Jesus himself will provide it. Jesus is the one true God who has been invested with the authority to judge the earth (John 5:22). In the book of Revelation, we’re told that Jesus will stain his feet with blood as he crushes evil and injustice like grapes in a winepress (Revelation 19:15b). Even more vividly his entire robe will be dipped in the blood of those who have plotted injustice and evil (Revelation 19:13). In Jesus, all evil will be dealt with. And instead of silence, the whole earth will sing, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments” (Revelation 19:1-2).

If you are currently experiencing great injustice at the hands of the leaders and gods of this world, Jesus is the God and Ruler who does not stay silent in the face of oppression. He is on the side of the innocent and the righteous, and he is coming quickly to all who cry out to him for aid.

Spoken Gospel

If you subscribe to the blog or podcast, you know that on Saturdays I publish “World Watch: Prophetic, Last Days News Just Like Jesus Said“. It’s a weekly wrap-up of global, prophetic news that are the signs of the end times. Many of the stories I cover are of the injustices going on today in this world — including Christian persecution. Click here to catch the latest one.

I’m going to repeat the last two verses which give us hope that God deals with injustice…

10 The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged.
    They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then at last everyone will say,
    “There truly is a reward for those who live for God;
    surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.”

Psalm 58:10-11 NLT

Assuredly, there IS a reward for those who live for God AND judgment for those who don’t. Consequently, the question is… do you live for God or for yourself? Do you think of yourself as a “god”? That’s today’s Humanism and it’s wrong.

James wrote…

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

James 4:10 NLT

If you want your life changed, if you want the hope, peace and joy that can only be found through a relationship with Jesus Christ, then…

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Firm Foundation

Hymn of Heaven

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

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