Justice for the Arrogant

Psalm 12
Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, "We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips —who is our master?"

“Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them."

And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.

O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever. The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.

Those who deceive are out there. They want to get away with as much deception as they can. Are they getting away with it?

No. God sees them even when men do not. God sees their victims even when the deceptive do not. God sees, and He will arise. He will protect the oppressed. He will lift up the needy. He is not surprised or unaware.

When the wicked strut around in arrogance, thinking they’re getting away with their deception, they must realize that their time is short. They are on this earth for a moment, and then comes their reward. Some call that reward their just desserts. Some call it h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

God will protect the weak. And if the wicked turn back to God in true repentance, they too will be among the protected. And hell will not touch them.

Protection

2 Peter 2:9
“the Lord knows how to rescue godly men”

God recognizes those who fight against the temptation to sin. He recognizes those who take pleasure in unabashedly carousing in broad daylight. Those who never think to stop sinning are dealt with in one way, and those who are distressed by sin are dealt with in a different way.

2 Peter 2:4 through verse 8 gives us examples of how God has dealt with sin in the past.

Verse 5 tells how Noah stood out: God “did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others…” God sets apart those whose intentions are to please him. He wants to rescue us.

He sees the world we live in. He knows all about the corruption we deal with, the pits set up to capture the unaware, and the lies we are told. He doesn’t expect us to rescue ourselves when trouble knocks on our door.

Verse 9: “if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.”

God always makes a way of escape for us. Noah wouldn’t have thought to build a boat on his own. He obeyed God’s instruction. Daniel stayed connected to God in the lions’ den. And God shut the mouths of the lions for him.

There is always something we can do to act on our faith in God. When we can’t rescue ourselves, we can obey God whose hand is already at work steadying our feet so we can walk out of the dangerous situation alive.

Instead of crying out in terror, “God, where are you?”, we can calm ourselves with the knowledge that he is there and ask, “God, what can I do to obey you in this moment?”

Stay With God

Psalm 97: 10
Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 97:7 reminds us that those who worship images and boast in idols are put to shame. If you trust in paper, what do you do after it burns? If you trust in beauty, what do you do after it fades? When the lightning strikes, where do you run? When the mountains tremble, to whom do you look for protection?

Is there anyone more powerful than God? He is the creator of the universe. He commands, and it happens. If God is for you and you are for God, you have connected with the one person who will never fail. Stay with him. He can guard and protect you.

Houses are destroyed in earthquakes and money burns in a fire, but God will never leave you. You never have to be distressed. God is with you.

And He is enough.

What's the Blessing?

Psalm 24:6
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah

Do you want to sin?

Many people are tempted to do things that aren’t right. When they’re caught in traffic and they’re in a hurry, temptation sits in the front seat with them, urging them to cuss and wave their fists and build up into a fabulous road rage. But if you ask them, even in a time of great temptation, “Do you really want to sin?” They would say no if they belong to God.

God’s people have to face temptation. We have the ability to sin every day. But we’d rather not.

We look forward to our heavenly home where there is no darkness. No one in Heaven is trying to get us to sin. However while we’re on the Earth, we have to pass up opportunities to sin as if they were shoes that were too small and out of style. We can encourage each other in times of temptation by asking, “Do you really want to wear that shoe? Yeah, I didn’t think so.”

While reading Psalm 24, I found a riddle of sorts. Verses five and six tells us that those who seek the Lord receive blessing from him. What’s the blessing?

Earlier verses remind us that we are all God’s creation. But not everyone can stand in God’s holy place. So who may stand before God? Verse four gives us the answer.

“He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.”

Those who do not intend to sin receive blessing from the Lord. In other places in the Bible, we find out that if we do sin, we can receive mercy and a second chance. It’s our desire for sin that causes us to lose our way. It’s our desire for sin that keeps God out of first place in our lives.

If we want God more than we want to sin, we will run to him instead of away from him. He will hold back danger and darkness if our grip is on him and not sin.

So what is the blessing we receive when we keep our hearts filled with desire for God?

His presence.

In his presence are all other blessings. In his presence is the protection we call out for in our little emergencies. In his presence is the security we need when we’re challenged.

Those who seek God will find God. He is the blessing.