“Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord,
the man you teach from your law;
you grant him relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.”
~Psalm 94:12-13 (NIV).
When we choose sides at a football game we’re then expected to stay with the side, not swapping our allegiances at half-time if the scores aren’t going our way. Faith demands the same condition. If we decide for God, we must accept the playing field and the plays we’re to become part of—it goes with the territory.
So is the message of Psalm 94. Though we’re disciplined for our own safety, we’re assured of the richest of welfare, always. With God there’s always a longer term viewpoint to be considered.
This psalm fits almost awkwardly sandwiched between the incredibly visual Psalm 93 and the historically pungent Psalm 95—at least at first glance. Yet it wreaks its certain truth powerfully just like those other two. The Lord our God sees and knows everything; nothing is withheld his grasp! We daren’t be fools and think we can outdo God in anything. There is no hour too early for him!
The “upright” cannot help following after the God of the universe (v. 15); Father God, Saviour Jesus, Holy Spirit—Godhead three-in-one. Like the ‘Footprints Prayer’ the believer knows the blessedness of God’s support at that crucial time when our feet are slipping (v. 18).
And God’s consolation has provided us great peace that reaches beyond our own human understanding; when we were anxious, strangely we spoke of a quietly joyous peace pervading our beings (v. 19).
We do seek to note justice in our world; perhaps mainly through the noted factor of the injustice we see all too readily. We have a just and righteous Lord who is entirely faithful. The final scenes will redeem all injustices.
Though his holiness cannot be touched or approached, he shelters us in our devoted clamouring after him, in our seeking to be holy and just, in our dedication to the Most High. He knows who we are who genuinely cling forth under the wings of God. He knows ‘the others’ too who reject him. They will get theirs if they don’t turn back to him.
As times toughen and we’re tempted to scream for relent under the strain of it all, remember that God is faithful and he will relent at the proper time. His timeframe and methods that’s all, and not ours.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.