Jehovah is Judge
Having rejoiced in our Sovereign Saviour, this psalm once more looks round this wilderness way; and seeing many living and acting in selfish, unjust ways, with no thought of God, the psalmist begins with a lament for justice (v1-11)
‘Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?’ (v2,3)
This lament ends with the psalmist brought to consider his God, the covenant keeping God, Jehovah (LORD). He considers how foolish these wicked are, for the LORD knows their very thoughts. From here the psalm turns to consider the blessing of the man who trusts in the LORD, but before we get to v12, I want to just consider in a positive light the truth that the LORD knows.
V11 – Jehovah Knows
‘The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man’
When we compare this verse – Jehovah knows – to Matt 12:25, ‘and Jesus knew their thoughts’, we find another clear proof that Jesus is Jehovah.
For your own enjoyment consider what our Lord Jesus Christ knows: Matt 12:15, Mark 8:27, John 5:6, 6:61, 10:14, 13:1, 16:19.
V12 – Jehovah Chastens
‘Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity’
The word ‘chasten’ used here, takes our minds to the words of Hebs 12, ‘whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth’. There we learn there is blessing in being chastened, for while ‘no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby’ (12:11).
This is an important lesson for these days, for we ought to see the current troubles facing this world as the chastening hand of God upon His saints, as well as a judgment upon the sinner. Both are to the same end, and if we are exercised to learn from this chastening, returning more fully to God, this will be a most blessed time for us.
V14 – Jehovah will not cast off
‘For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.’
What an encouragement to the people of God: whether Israel or the Church, and while we consider there was and is great failure in both, yet we must now our hearts and praise the LORD for His faithfulness – He will keep His covenant with us.
For Israel, Paul would write, ‘God hath not cast away his people’ (Roms 11:2), and having given further explanation, concludes:
‘For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved.’ (Roms 11:25,26)
For us, God’s saints in the day of grace, we too can have the same confidence: once saved, always saved!
V18 – Jehovah will hold me up
‘When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up’
Some Christians really struggle with this thought that they could possibly lose their salvation. I want to encourage you that our salvation is not dependent upon our keeping a firm footing on the narrow path. Indeed, our salvation is not dependent upon us at all. It is the LORD who saves, and it is the LORD who keeps.
Here, the psalmist knew the experience of falling, as all Christians do, but He also knew that the LORD held Him up. Remember that the Lord Jesus could say:
‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one’. (John 10:28-30)
V22 – Jehovah is being my defence
‘the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.’
Nevertheless, though we are held up by the LORD, we cannot but feel the guilt and shame at the cutting barbs of the accuser who rightfully accuses us ‘before our God day and night’ (Rev 12:10).
At times, we almost feel like slinking backwards into the shadows, and out the door, never to be seen in God’s presence again.
But just then, we hear the sweet tones of our blessed Saviour’s heavenly voice. There is no anger, disappointment or rebuke at our failure now. No, listen … for He is speaking up in our defence: we have been redeemed, propitiation has been made, and we are justified.
And John writes:
‘My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.’ (1John 2:1,2)
Truly, we are blessed above measure!