Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God! Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. 20 For they speak against You wickedly; Your enemies take [Your name] in vain. 21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if [there is any] wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.PSALM 139:19-24
GOD IS JUST
God is just. He will render to everyone exactly what they deserve. One of the key themes of Christianity is that no one ultimately escapes justice. Those who have suffered injustice will be avenged and all sin is ultimately addressed. (You can see here where I have criticized karma which holds up every act of injustice as justice.) David calls on God to slay the wicked (v.19). These are all people who hate God (v. 21). Because they don’t love God, they do not seek to honor God, and they live in rebellion to God. David says he hates them, or doesn’t love them because they don’t love God and they hate God by their words and actions.
When David looks to God for justice, he does so in two different ways. In one way he asks for justice for his enemies who hate God. He wants them to answer for their sins. He knows that God knows all their sins. Even the sins of their heart. If God knows David so intimately, surely He knows every action of David’s enemies.
But David also wants God to examine his own heart. David professes to love God and walk in a human righteousness. He invites God to search him and examine his life.
It’s important to note that David wasn’t professing some sort of sinlessness. He knew he was a sinner. He has written whole Psalms that deal with the confession of sin. But David has professed his faith in God to provide an acceptable sacrifice for his sin. See the following pieces of Psalm 51.
[Psa 51:1-3, 7, 10, 16-17 NKJV] Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin [is] always before me. … 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. … 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. … 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give [it]; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart–These, O God, You will not despise.
The difference was that David had humbled himself to acknowledge he could never undo what he had done. He could never make it right. He could never make himself clean. He needed God to do that and He asked God to forgive his sin and make him righteous.
(Some folks say the “Sinner’s Prayer” is never in the bible. I would press them to read Psalm 51, or even the sermon on the mount where Jesus tells us to ask God to forgive us of our sins. In both instances we see a model of confession of sin and trusting in the Lordship of God.)
This causes me to recollect Romans 3:26 where the Apostle Paul shares that God is Just and he is the one who justifies us in God’s sight through his work on he cross and resurrection.
[Rom 3:26 NKJV] 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Father, I thank you that you are Just. You always do right and will always do right. Your justice is pure and right. I know that there are things I have done, sins that I have committed, that demand your justice. I am grateful to have heard your gospel and responded in faith to know that you will judge my sins, but that I have been justified through my faith in Christ and He has already paid my penalty. I don’t want to walk in sin, so along with David I ask you to search my heart. I want to live a holy life that brings glory and honor to you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.