10 My shield is God Most High,
who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
a God who displays his wrath every day.
12 If he does not relent,
he will sharpen his sword;
he will bend and string his bow.
13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;
he makes ready his flaming arrows.
14 Whoever is pregnant with evil
conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.
17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
What is striking in the latter half of this Psalm is the connection between God being a righteous judge and the display of His wrath (7:11). It is very important for David that God is a God of justice who will not only save the upright, but will also bring His justice upon the evildoers.
There’s almost a sense of “karma” in verses 14-16, with the plans of the evil backfiring on them. But it is not karma in the sense of an impersonal cosmic force. It is the will of the righteous God actively working to bring justice.
God is a righteous God of Justice. This is both good news and bad news. It is good in that I can take comfort in knowing that ultimately evildoers will be dealt with. This is good to know in a world in which all too often it seems as though the evil get away with their evil plots and actions.
On the other hand, the fact that God is a God of justice means that He is right to bring His justice to bear on me for my own sins and evil. In verse 10, David remarks that God saves the “upright in heart.” But the truth is that because of sin, none of us are truly upright before a holy God. Jesus says this about our hearts: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander (Matthew 15:19).”
Thankfully, God is not only a God of justice, but also a God of mercy. His Justice and Mercy meet in their ultimate expression and enactment in the cross of Christ, on which the justice I deserve for my sin is taken away in an act of mercy. I do stand before God as one with an upright heart. But that is because I have been declared upright through faith in Jesus Christ.
So, my prayer today is twofold. I pray in thanks for God’s mercy, that I do not receive that which according to His justice I deserve. But even still, I pray for God’s justice to be manifest in the world, especially where evil is inflicting great harm.
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